SUICIDE SQUAD #4 [Review]

SUICIDE SQUAD #4/ Script by TOM TAYLOR/ Pencils by DANIEL SAMPERE/ Inks by JUAN ALBARRAN/ Colors by ADRIANO LUCAS/ Letters by WES ABBOTT/ Published by DC COMICS

George “Digger” Harkness (AKA Captain Boomerang) is something of an idiot savant. While many would debate the savant part, it can’t be denied that the bad Captain lacks the common sense to keep his mouth shut. So when Digger starts drinking and dares to mention his time in the Suicide Squad in a public house, it takes less than an hour for Task Force X to have a team of soldiers ready to take him back into custody on a parole violation.

Unfortunately, while Digger may be an idiot, the one thing he excels at is sneak attacks and ambushes. Like his weapon of choice, he’s good at hitting people in the back. So when Digger takes out the first team sent to bring him back to the States, Lok decides to send the new Suicide Squad out to bring Captain Boomerang home.

There’s just one problem; the new Suicide Squad is not quite the autonomous, finely-tuned machine it usually is, thanks to the recent recruitment of a rogue terrorist team called The Revolutionaries. There’s something screwy going on and it doesn’t take a trained psychiatrist to see that. Of course Harley Quinn IS a trained psychiatrist and determined to get to the bottom of the newbies’ secrets, one way or another.

Off-hand I can’t recall if any Australian comic book writer has ever handled Captain Boomerang before. Somehow I doubt it, because if they had they probably would have made an effort to salvage the honor (such as it is) of DC Comics’ most prominent Australian character. Tom Taylor doesn’t do this, because honor and Digger Harkness go together like Sam Elliott and veganism, but Taylor does turn Captain Boomerang into a credible threat again after years of him being one of the bigger jokes in the DCU. Of course Digger is STILL a joke, but one with a bit more of a cutting edge.

What’s amazing about this issue is that Digger Harkness being redeemed into an honest-to-goodness threat is only the B-plot to Taylor’s masterful writing of one Harleen Quinzel. Too many writers forget that Harley only plays dumb and crazy and it’s brilliant to see Harley’s deductive prowess in taking apart the Revolutionaries, as we learn a little more about their backstories and how they came together before being enslaved by Task Force X. The character work here is phenomenal, as is typical for Taylor’s books.

The art is of equal quality and the work of the team here is some of the best to be found on the stands today. I’m not sure if its because they have such extensive experience working together (they all worked together on the New York Times Best Sellers series Injustice: Gods Among Us) but Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Adriano Lucas and Wes Abbott are firing on all eight cylinders. Sampere’s pencils are vividly detailed yet smooth as silk. Albarran’s inks find just the right level throughout. Lucas’ colors are perfectly chosen, vivid and eye-catching. And Wes Abbott’s font selection and balloon placement are exemplary.

The final word? Suicide Squad hasn’t been this good in years. If you haven’t been reading it, start now!

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