Suicide Squad #11
The explosive final issue is here! Task Force X has been through hell and back. Now they're the last thing standing between a human bomb and an island full of innocents. Which means that even if they win the day, there's nowhere to run when the Justice League arrives to clean house
Over the course of eleven issues, Tom Taylor has given us a story with wit, heart, humor, and a heck of a lot of action. In this final issue, he wraps things up a bit too neatly, but he keeps the plates spinning long enough to get a satisfying ending, and lays out a new and interesting potential status quo.
The issue begins with Jog, who died having his moment earlier in the series, revived and revealed to be the son of Black Racer. It’s one of several examples, over the course of the series and this issue, of Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo working perfectly in sync with one another. Redondo’s layouts and facial expressions match the rhythms of Taylor’s scripts in a way that lots of major series can’t match. Their pairing was one of the best parts of this already great run.
Every dangling plot thread is tied off in this finale: the fate of Badhnisia, Black Mask’s involvement in Task Force X, Deadshot’s death, and the team’s further adventures. To the creative team’s credit, it doesn’t feel lazy or tossed-off, but it’s impossible to ignore that several issues of story are packed into a single issue. The first few pages wrap up the cliffhanger from issue #10, with Jog’s return saving the day. There are the required celebrations, and an attempted intervention by the Justice League. Black Mask getting both of his legs shot is a comical bit of catharsis, again elevated by Taylor and Redondo’s work together.
And that scene with the Justice League gets to the heart of what was interesting about this run of Suicide Squad: it was very plainly a story about politics as an exercise of power—how and why its gets used, who gets to use it, and who faces the consequences. Task Force X was an instrument of an unaccountable power structure, and they made the decision to fight back. Taking back agency is a risk, and it comes with complications. The best one can do is stick together, fight for a cause you believe in, and hope things turn out alright in the end.
After that, things happen a bit too quickly for any really satisfying payoff. Harley gets her scene with Deadshot’s daughter, and Taylor gets to show off his skill with writing her as a believable, empathetic human being, which deserves commendation on its own, but it ends too fast to really enjoy. Afterwards, the rest of the team makes themselves known to the true power brokers, and sets up something very interesting, made all the more tragic by knowing that it probably won’t go anywhere.
And that’s a real shame, because this run was surprisingly great. Taylor and company got ten issues to put together a tightly plotted, funny, action-packed superhero thriller and got stuck having to end things way too quickly to have much of an impact. It’s always nice to get to see a book actually end with a conclusion, but it doesn’t take the sting of seeing it handled in a less than compelling way.
After a promising ten issue run, Suicide Squad #11 wraps things up too soon with a sweet and tidy conclusion.
Suicide Squad #11: No Thread Left Dangling
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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