Despite what looks like a huge spoiler on both the cover and in the solicitations text, you'll certainly not be ready for the gasp-inducing twists and turns the wonderful story in Suicide Squad #9 takes. With cinematic stylings and fairly effective characterization for most of the cast, Tom Taylor's script brings this lengthy quest much closer to a conclusion, as ugly as it may be.
The cat's out of the bag: The Suicide Squad has been acquired in a hostile takeover. Amanda Waller has been re-assigned, the new handler has been killed, and behind the strings of it all is evil billionaire Ted Kord. Wait, no, don't leave, hang on, it's all right! While the idea of the old "Bwa-ha-ha" guy as a manipulative villain type who tried to overthrow a country for profit may seem, on its face, ridiculous, there's more than meets the eye like Mirage hanging out with Hound.
Once you get past that one weird bit of cognitive dissonance, here's the meat of the matter: Deadshot is the no-holds-barred star here, showing up in three different scenes of this issue (including a great moment of parenting) to dazzle without pulling a trigger. The visual storytelling of the wonderfully effective Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott give these moments a fantastic sense of vibrancy with facial expressions and body language that give the reader a real feeling of being along for this thrill ride.
Admittedly, there is one problem. A few characters — Deadly Six being the biggest example, but there's room to look at Thylacine there too (nothing she does here could not have been done by Osita) — get so little definition that they could be swapped out for almost any other vaguely powered operative and the story would be no different. With a cast this size, giving everyone time to shine is hard.
Tom Taylor's script is still wildly entertaining, giving moments of tension, at least three legitimate gasp-worthy surprises in the third act, and still delivering fun one-liners and moments from Chaos Kitty, Harley Quinn, and Fin. This series has been off the chains for some time and shows no sign of letting up. RATING: BUY.
This issue, it's the shocking death of Deadshot! The man who never misses has been on the front lines of Task Force X since its inception—bomb in his neck, gun in his hand. He's seen teammates blow up and countries fall. He's faced down heroes and villains alike. Now the Suicide Squad has one final mission: bring down the man who enslaved them, then put a bounty on their heads when they escaped: Ted Kord. But to finish the job, the world's deadliest assassin will have to do the one thing he's never done for the cause: die!
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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