Writer Tom Taylor, artist Bruno Redondo, colorist Adriano Lucas, and letterer Wes Abbott have done it again. Another stellar issue in the series that is Suicide Squad. DC Comics’ Suicide Squad #6 is a ridiculous mess. But would you really want to see this loveable team of psychopaths any other way?
Taylor is always having fun with this series. And his characters are too. It’s one thing to put a cast of colorful characters up against great odds and see them struggle. It’s another to see them love every second of it. With new developments coming to light, and Batman on their tails, Taylor revels in the shit hitting the fan. Not only does he put the Squad into crazy positions, but he regularly gives them a moment where they step out and notice the ridiculousness of what’s going on. Taylor knows how to keep the ball rolling without dwelling on exposition. Briefly, we get a moment between Osita and Deadshot that seems a little premature, mutual respect and trust that still feels unearned. But Taylor’s treatment of Batman is a spectacle to pardon all grievances. Batman is placed outside of his element, his defensiveness and failure at banter make it a highlight of the series so far. Honestly, give this man a Batman run. Unless… he’s the Tom that already has one?
It’s amazing to see Redondo use the same techniques, to very different effects. At one point, we see the Suicide Squad running out of a dingy operating room when Chaos Kitten stops them. She’s found a puppy, which she then holds up to Osita, asking to keep it. There is very little movement across that page. We see Chaos Kitten see the dog, we see her hold the dog up to Osita for two panels, and then two panels of them closing the doors to their getaway truck. It’s funny. Redondo gives this moment room to breathe in the midst of a getaway. They’re adopting a dog while they’re on the run. But later, as we see Batman tailing them, Redondo uses a similar technique. Very little movement on the page. But this time, all the panels are on the same line, and Batman is placed so he’s never fully in frame. We don’t get the feeling that much time has passed. Instead, it looks as though Batman has moved through the crime scene and gotten what he’s needed in a flash. Redondo’s use of time on the page is masterful. His little variances make something go from hilarious to badass.
Lucas gives us the Gotham City of our nightmares. Of course, we get the dark streets, but we also get the brightly lit back-alley doctor’s offices. The fluorescent feel to those pages makes the colors looked washed out and sickly. Fitting, given that anyone would feel sickly in that environment. Outside, the sky is a dark red, like blood. Lucas never lets us forget that the Suicide Squad is now in Batman’s town. It even feels like a vampire’s playground. The bright yellows and greens that interrupt the color scheme feel strangely comforting, but they don’t come often. It’s like the Squad is trying to leave their mark on Gotham, but Gotham already knows who she is. And so, each impression the Squad tries to make is drowned out by the city’s overwhelming personality.
Abbott should get a medal. He has his work cut out for him. Everything in this issue makes a noise—the ding of a text message or the bark of a dog. But the real fun begins when the Squad faces off with Batman. Abbott pays homage to the 1960’s Batman TV Show with sound effects that make you want to do the batusi. And they seamlessly give way to the regular sound effects of this series. Pointing out, in a way, that Abbott’s regular style isn’t far off from the fun of the Adam West TV show. And Abbott goes beyond just fun. He uses the sound effects to communicate what’s going on in a character’s head. In a moment when Deadshot stands his ground against Batman, he shoots a Batarang out of the air. “DANG!” is spelled out in large letters. You’d wonder how much Lawton immediately regretted facing the Bat, if Abbott hadn’t just told us.
DC Comics’ Suicide Squad is fun, hilarious, badass, and heartfelt. Often all at once. This creative team has proven themselves over and over on other projects, but here they make the perfect team. Suicide Squad #6 is another ridiculous chapter in a bonkers series. Get your copy, out from DC Comics on Tuesday, June 23rd!