Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Color Artist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Review by Max Byrne
If you like a heavy dose of pathos and emotion served with your carnage, then Suicide Squad #8 is the perfect book for you. Eschewing the usual forward motion of the narrative for an issue almost exclusively dominated by flashbacks, Tom Taylor allows his readers to find out more about The Aerie and her past.
Whilst some readers may not enjoy such a deviation from the main thrust of the plot, I welcome it. Let us not forget, the majority of this team are new characters that we are still getting to know, so why not fill in the blanks for us and let us understand more about where they have come from and what has formed their personalities. When a certain mainstay of the team appears to be on borrowed time, we should embrace the new blood all we can….
So, the backstory of The Aerie dovetails into the plotting of Ted Kord and his nefarious scheme. (Is he really a baddie now, I’m not convinced). With her homeland of Badhnisia being host to a huge oil reserve, the vultures are circling. Such avarice is what lead to her wings being formed, and a tale it is too. Equal parts touching, romantic and defiant, the love story between her and Wink feels authentic and pure. With flashbacks that provide a welcome return to the series for Amanda Waller, there is so much meat on the bone to enjoy.
The art of Daniel Sampere is a true treat. This issue showcases his versatility. You want ball to the wall action? Check. Tender imagery that conveys a genuine sense of love and affection? Check. Panels of Harley Quinn looking as bonkers as always? Check. Sampere runs the gamut of his whole repertoire within these pages, proving that he is the perfect foil for Taylor and can put his scripts on the page in a perfect fashion. As always, Adriano Lucas is on top form with his color work, providing a vibrancy and brightness that simply demands your attention.
As mentioned earlier, it remains to be seen what Ted Kord’s motivation is here. The ending of the issue does certainly paint him in a villainous light, but as we know with comics and specifically Taylor’s writing, things are not always what they seem. It would be a bold move to make the erstwhile Blue Beetle turn to the dark side, which is guaranteed to get the fans foaming at the mouth. Or, are we deliberately being misled ready for a rug pulling revelation to come? With the series due to come to an end with issue 11, the next three issues are going to be a rollercoaster ride.
Suicide Squad #8 is a book that offers a mix of content. One gets the feeling that this is the last table setter and the final three issues are going to be a dose of perpetual forward motion. With a longstanding character of the DC universe set to (allegedly) expire in issue #9, Taylor is certainly not going to pull his punches. In this issue, as with all of them to date, the pacing is spot on and proves that no other title provides such a heady mix of violence, humour and tragedy as the stories of Task Force X.
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