Suicide Squad, Vol. 4: Discipline and Punish by Ales Kot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
3.5 Stars for sure, creeping a bit higher?
After the clusterfuck that was the “writing” of Adam Glass (is NOT half full of anything but shitty writing), this new direction from Ales Kot is a VERY welcome change. It’s like eating Spam for 3 meals in a row, and then, having a hamburger: The hamburger to anyone else, is just an average hamburger, but to anyone who choked down the Spam? It’s fucking Filet Mignon!
Finally, instead of infighting, triple agents, betrayal, the constant threat of blowing up bombs in their heads, and Deadshot being shot. dead. by. his. own. gun.; we have a squad of killers actually working at their maximum potential, and we’ve mostly eliminated the C-list cannon fodder.
No Yo-yo (shockingly he didn’t regenerate AGAIN), Voltaic is there, and talks, all totally normal, but gets the shit kicked out of him, and the aftermath, well takes him out of the picture. No Avalanche, El Diablo, Black Spider, or any other fucktards.
We get: Deadshot, ALIVE AGAIN!!!!!! Harley, Unknown Soldier, King Shark, Cheetah (Wonder Woman villain) and…James Gordon Junior…WHA?????? OK well he’s just an advisor to Waller, but he seems to make a lot better choices and suggestions than the past people have.
We finally get told that they unlocked Samsara Serum, which resurrected all the dead peeps (Deadshot especially). We also see the team work together to get the upper hand on Waller, and we also see Gordon wisely work with them, in order to balance things out and get everyone moving forward to actually accomplish shit.
The team are all actually bad guys here, not lame-o dudes. Deadshot kicks the shit out of Unknowy for payback after he killed him last volume, and Gordon knocks Deadshot out. Cheetah leaves Deadshot to fall to his death (though he doesn’t actually).
We finally see the violence directed against the right people (ie. targets, and not each other so much. We also have a revelation, tied to Voltaic’s death…that’s permanent this time…the Samsara Serum…will actually kill people exposed to it…including…Deadshot AND Waller!!! Dum Duuu DAHHH!
The art goes downhill in the second half of the book, but seeing as how the writing isn’t spam anymore…I’m not going to gripe too much about it.
Finally, instead of having their target always get the better of them, have a spy, an infiltrator, or just defeat them, with the aid of Gordon’s brain and everyone on point, they totally bitchslap the minions of the badguy (named John Lynch…how original! He’s the bad guy in the A-Team, in one of Ed Brubaker’s books – SLEEPER I think…and just obvious) who was also on Team 7 (seriously, who the fuck WASN’T on this Team 7?)
Finally a squad of psychos and killers (who are actually intelligent here) gets the job done and just makes the other baddies look like chumps.
Oh, and there’s a Foreigner song lyric used! I love it. 80s music nostalgia used in a 2010s comic…so good. Big Smile. (Oh and Gordon is in love with Waller!)
Then we’ve got 2 issues by Matt Kindt, which are both stand alones, one about Harley and one about Deadshot (because this series is making them the bread and butter of it, no matter what.)
I didn’t care for the Harley one too much, as Mike ably pointed out, there’s more info about how she got her costume together than anything else, and it’s not very interesting, just kinda rehashed info.
I’m guessing Kindt wanted these to be packaged together, because Deadshot shows up at the end of Harley’s, and his words at the end are more or less EXACTLY what he says at the end of his own story the next issue.
Deadshot’s focuses on his origin, which I wasn’t really aware of, and it’s kinda Batman-esque, and also in a bad part of Gotham…but it doesn’t have the same outcome, even though he also becomes a highly trained soldier in his own personal war, and he likes big money.
I almost liked it, except he lost the plot (Kindt) when he made it appear that Floyd’s only motivation was $$…for everything else he shows, he just ruins it by showing the $$ motivation. I could have done without that…and then he goes and pretty much says he’s useless without being aimed at the right target, and can’t do anything alone…so of course he has to go back to Waller and the Squad to be complete or worthwhile…
What a pile…for everything in the Deadshot issue I liked, he ruined it in the last 3 pages by wiping his ass with it.
So all in all, if you’ve not read any of Suicide Squad in New 52, this is average at best…if you’ve read it all, then this is like a Da Vinci masterpiece.
In all honesty, it’s just above 3 stars, but the context of how bad it was, makes this a lot better. Were I to read it without context or not right after all the others today, it wouldn’t impress as much.
I would actually go find volume 5 now…I will just wait for the library, but at least Ales Kot proved he’s at least worth paying some attention to as a writer who’s not stupid.
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