Suicide Squad #15 Review

comic books:
Tom Bacon

Reviewed by:
On April 12, 2017
Last modified:April 11, 2017


"Burning Down the House" has been a strong arc, but sadly, the resolution is a little lacking. Still, this issue of Suicide Squad bodes well for the future.

Suicide Squad #15

This review contains some minor spoilers.

“Burning Down the House” has been a tremendous arc – and it’s finally coming to a head! There’s a sense in which Suicide Squad #15 is the perfect conclusion to this story. It has all the strengths of the arc – and, sadly, all the weaknesses.

First, the greatest weakness. The book is divided into two chapters, with John Romita Jr. handling the first. And, as before, his art really doesn’t fit with Suicide Squad. In this case, I’m afraid the problems are literally there to see on the front cover – his image of Harley Quinn is pretty cringe-inducing. I… don’t think breasts work like that, JRJ. What’s more, I’m afraid the scene doesn’t play out any better in the pages of the comic, either. What’s more, this isn’t the only scene to fall a little flat due to JRJ’s artwork. I’m still not entirely sure just how Katana got hold of her blade…

Thankfully, Eddy Barrows remains a stronger artist in the second part, his work more suited to Suicide Squad. He gets the mood and atmosphere of the story so very well, giving the book a beautiful dynamic. He’s definitely earned my appreciation over the course of “Burning Down the House.”

There’s a sense in which Rob Williams has set himself an almost insurmountable challenge. “Burning Down the House” tore the Suicide Squad apart, with Waller killed, Deadshot a traitor, and Hack murdered. It’s all led to a climax – but sadly, the outcome is fairly predictable. All the clues and hints are tied together in a bow, but it feels somehow lacking. Perhaps that’s partly because I’ve never been a fan of the ‘it was magic’ explanation; it’s too convenient a hand-wave.

Suicide Squad #15 follows a pretty traditional arc. It opens with an all-action sequence in which the bad guys are taken down, and we suspend logic as much as possible. The seemingly-spontaneous gathering of Suicide Squad is actually Waller’s plan all along, Harley’s mallet somehow cut Katana’s bonds (?), and poor Deadshot gets his hand chopped off by Katana because he obeyed Waller’s orders. Ironically, he proves his heroism by saving Waller. The story then closes with a second chapter exploring the consequences, and this second half is frankly far more interesting.

Unfortunately, not all the consequences are convincing. I’m not clear why Boomerang kills one of the bad guys “for Hack,” when he was the one who murdered the kid. Nor do I understand why Deadshot is so relaxed, when Waller’s distrust and deceit effectively cost him a hand. Katana, after all, is one of Waller’s lieutenants; if she’d known about Deadshot’s orders, he’d not have had his hand lopped off. That said, in the middle of all the consequences we have a beautiful character moment, as Waller reflects on the cost of her ‘play dead’ strategy – watching her children grieve at her own funeral. Ooof, that moment is a real emotional punch in the gut – just as it should be.

Suicide Squad #15 is a strong issue, but it’s not altogether satisfying. It’s possible the bar had been set too high, meaning the resolution was always going to be a little weaker. Whatever the case may be, though, it’s still worth the read, and the future definitely looks bright.

Suicide Squad #15

"Burning Down the House" has been a strong arc, but sadly, the resolution is a little lacking. Still, this issue of Suicide Squad bodes well for the future.