SPOILER WARNING: Do not read this review if you have not already read Teen Titans #12 and Nightwing #29.
When a strange mountain suddenly forms in the middle of Gotham and the city is transformed into a nightmarish maze straight from the mind of Gary Gygax, there is only one group to call. Unfortunately, since most of The Justice League is Missing In Action, that means the US Government has no choice but to send in The Suicide Squad.
The good news is that Harley Quinn and Killer Croc know the territory better than anyone else. The bad news is that they got separated from the rest of The Squad early on.
The better news is that Harley and Croc did find some unlikely allies along the way – Nightwing, Green Arrow and Robin. And they had weapons!
The worse news is that things are almost so crazy in The Gotham Labyrinth that even Harley’s chirpy optimism is starting to crack. And that was before the “Gotham Resistance” ran into Harley’s best friend/ girlfriend/ “It’s Complicated, All Right? Yeeesh!”, Poison Ivy.
Gotham Resistance falters a bit in this third chapter, though those flaws seem born of the nature of the beast that is The Crossover. Much as in Teen Titans #12, the titular team is barely involved in the action of this issue, so fans of Enchantress or Deadshot may be disappointed to find that their favorites aren’t here for very long. There’s also a fair bit of difference between how the individual writers handle different characters, with Killer Croc’s intelligence and Damian Wayne’s level of bratty behavior varying wildly from chapter to chapter.
Thankfully, Suicide Squad #26 gets far more right than it does wrong. The action of the issue is amazing and Rob Williams writes a picture-perfect Harley Quinn – cheerfully insane, but able to get the job done when the chips are down. He also writes a mean Green Arrow, who quips “We’ve gone full prog rock,” regarding the rambling rantings of those villains possessed by the dark forces transforming Gotham City. (“Your struggles are for nought! Gotham descends into The Blood Dance of…”)
This beautiful madness is gloriously illustrated by Stjepan Sejic, whose recent work on Aquaman has been highly and rightfully praised. Sejic’s work here seems a little rougher than usual, but that seems to be by design. The darkness of The Gotham Labyrinth demands a different aesthetic than the elegance of Atlantis and Sejic delivers one, with heavier inks and dirtier, more washed-out colors than we expect from him.
Suicide Squad #26 may be a bad issue of Suicide Squad but it’s a good continuation of the Gotham Resistance story-line and the Dark Knights Metal saga. Great characterization paired with amazing illustrations makes for one hell of a read.