Tony Black reviews Suicide Squad #3…
“THE BLACK VAULT” part 3! It looks like a well-deserved day off for the Suicide Squad—until things go off the rails when the bizarre energies of the dark sphere Amanda Waller’s team brought back slowly drive everyone in Belle Reve Penitentiary to acts of violent, bloody madness. Everyone except the crown princess of crazy, Harley Quinn, who’s somehow been…cured?
After two issues of establishing the mission in Suicide Squad, part three of ‘The Black Vault: Bad Brain’, blows everything wide open as writer Rob Williams squares Task Force X off against none other than General Zod, the evil Kryptonian warlord who serves as one of Superman’s arch enemies – how can they possibly hope to defeat an alien of such power? Williams to be fair does have some fun in asking this question, writing Zod with some hilariously arch and epic dialogue that befits a trapped psychotic warlord, which is counterbalanced by the gritty rebukes by Rick Flag or the comic mercurialism of Harley Quinn.
We also get a nice sense of context from Amanda Waller, who we don’t much see, but she does reference the Darkseid War event that preceeded the Rebirth saga as she talks about why these bad guy meta humans are locked away, and it becomes apparent as events in the vault see Task Force X facing the wrath of Zod alongside a small army of Russian soldiers who have come to lock the place down. In the end, the main adversary who cuts deep with Zod serves as the perfect segue into the second half of the issue, focusing on Katana. ‘Choose’, written by Williams, throws out much of the comedy to tell a haunting backstory of how the Soultaker sword chose Katana, not the other way around; filled with Japanese imagery and portent, it’s again a strong focus on one of the squad.
Come the climax, Suicide Squad really begins throwing everything at the wall, introducing yet another large treat for Task Force X which will only add to the mess happening in the vault. If lacking some of the wit and bite of previous issues, it’s a busy and well staged issue which continues the comic’s excellent opening run.