Suicide Squad #13 Review

comic books:
Tom Bacon

Reviewed by:
On March 8, 2017
Last modified:March 7, 2017


Although Suicide Squad #13 suffers from mixed art, the overall plot is tremendous and wonderfully creative. Expect some haunting, poignant character moments.

Suicide Squad #13 Review

This review contains mild spoilers.

Rob Williams’ Suicide Squad run is proving to be a thrilling ride. He’s already had the boldness to kill Amanda Waller, leaving the team falling apart – and that process continues in #13. It’s a tense, character-full issue, with an eclectic mix of action and intrigue.

As with the previous issues, Suicide Squad #13 is divided into two chapters, one with art by John Romita Jr., the other by Eddy Barrows. Sadly, as classic an artist as Romita may be, he just isn’t suited to this property; his artwork feels strange and distorted, and he seems to be having real trouble rendering Killer Croc. There’s one scene where Deadshot lashes out at Harley – and it feels painful, but not quite in the way I think Romita was intending.

Part of the problem, I think, is that Barrows is firing on all cylinders; and where Romita’s style is blocky, Barrows is sleek and effective. One panel features a sorrowful Harley Quinn, and I truly regretted that there were other panels on that page; the main background image was haunting and poignant, conveying a depth of emotion you don’t normally associate with Harley.

Moving from the art to Williams’s plot, he’s clearly enjoying the ride. I admit that I’m surprised Harley pegged Waller’s killer so perfectly, although we’ve already had hints in previous issues that Deadshot may have been acting on Waller’s own orders. There are some intriguing text-boxes that dive into Deadshot’s mind as well, giving us a window into his motivation, and raising even more mysteries for the future.

Meanwhile, Rustam’s plan continues apace. He unleashes Djinn into the mainframe, deactivating the brain bombs and freeing Suicide Squad. Now, with Amanda Waller gone and her legacy destroyed, we’re in a time without Suicide Squad. But what will happen to the different members of Task Force X? Who will return to villainy, and who will prove to be a hero? It’s a smart question, cutting the core of the book’s whole concept; is redemption even possible for Suicide Squad?

The second chapter explores that question, focusing in on Harley Quinn and Hack. The character moments are well-handled, with dialogue that’s beautifully on-point, and some moments of real emotional depth. You’re left truly caring for both characters, with Hack finally getting her moment to shine. The book closes with a shocking revelation, and there’s subtle dialogue running through both chapters that sets it up. I freely admit that I’m not ready for Hack to die; she’s growing on me as a character, and I desperately want Williams to work his way out of this particular corner!

Suicide Squad #13 is a mixed bag, and the artistic approach – with different artists handling each chapter – sadly backfires a lot in this issue. Romita’s art contrasts a bit too much with Barrows’, and it makes the chapter breaks jarring; you honestly feel as though you’re reading a different book. That said, the sheer quality of Williams’s writing is breathtaking, and makes this issue one you don’t want to miss. The core concept – Suicide Squad without Amanda Waller – is one that’s seriously intriguing, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Suicide Squad #13 Review

Although Suicide Squad #13 suffers from mixed art, the overall plot is tremendous and wonderfully creative. Expect some haunting, poignant character moments.