Suicide Squad #7
Deadshot walks away from the Suicide Squad in hopes of reuniting with his daughter, Zoe, and making things right at last. But you can't outrun your past when it's still looking to kill you, and their family reunion quickly takes a turn for the deadly. To whom can Deadshot turn when he's left behind everyone who once had his back?
Before his profile was raised with DCeased (which is a must-read, go check it out), Tom Taylor has been writing interesting, unique projects that exist out of the spotlight at DC for a few years now. His current run on Suicide Squad epitomizes what he’s good at: tight plotting, great dialog and action scenes, and an uncanny ability to punctuate hyper=violence with the right mix of humor and drama.
Issue #7 focuses on Deadshot’s departure and subsequent reunion with the team after reconnecting with his family. Ted Kord is hip to Task Force X’s new game, and will stop nothing to halt their plans, including threatening to kill civilians like Deadshot’s wife and daughter.
What has made this series such a pleasure to read are the simple things that Taylor does to keep the narrative moving. The central, external conflict is driven by character-level motivations, which helps connect the characters to one another, and gives the series—and this issue in particular—a tangible sense of stakes. Lots of books, team books especially, can feel like their plots only exist to keep the team in motion. Not here. Taylor’s grounded, human character work brings just the right amount of gravity the book needs to work.
Deadshot reuniting with his family features two separate splash pages, both prominently highlighting his daughter, as both a regular girl happy to see her father and a low-rent (but still dangerous) version of her father’s alter-ego known as Liveshot. It’s a humorous bit, and one that highlights the central tension in Deadshot’s story: knowing that your dangerous life doesn’t disappear, and that is has consequences for everyone involved.
The story shifts then, very fluidly, to the action scene. Here the art, by Daniel Sampere and Juan Albarran, Adriano Lucas’s colors, and Wes Abbott’s letter, has its time to shine. The talking segments already feel dynamic, with clear layouts, clean linework, and well-drawn backgrounds, but the choreography of the action itself is great, too. Abbott’s letters keep the tension up by letting us into Deadshot’s head, which is another bit Taylor does well: using the basic grammar of superhero comics, namely action scenes, to aid in character, rather than as a pause button for growth. A small thing, but impactful.
At the end, right when Liveshot seems to be lost, Wink and Aerie show up to save her, which shows another imperceptible bit that some writers gloss over: using the team member’s power in ways unique to them. For some reason, that always feels nice to see—it’s a little reminder that the writers think of teams in terms of individual characters, rather than an amorphous unit.
Overall, Suicide Squad is a low-key success, delivering action, drama, humor, and character moments with great art. Taylor’s own pacing knows when to pull back and when to up the tension, and with the team ready to take the fight to Ted Kord, it’s hard not to be excited about where this series might be headed.
Suicide Squad #7 is a welcome bit of durable superhero storytelling, full of the action, character work, and great art readers expect.
Suicide Squad #7: Keeping It Consistent (Which Is A Good Thing)
Writing - 8.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/10
Art - 8.5/10
Color - 8.5/10
Cover Art - 8.5/10
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