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Suicide Squad #23 - Slash 'N' Burn Review

4

A dictator is trying to form a superhuman army and only Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad can stop him.

The Good

Let this be known as the first time I'm using the word "bonkers" to describe a comic. Ales Kot has brought an offbeat comedic tone to the book, but this issue just goes off the rails and is easily the most wacky and hysterical chapter yet. It's absolutely ridiculous at times and, assuming you're in the mood for pure craziness, that's beyond a good thing. After all, we're talking about a book which abruptly breaks the fourth wall to tell us a bit of exposition.

The book has a fairly straightforward build-up as Waller explains who they're after and why. If you haven't read TEAM 7 or are unfamiliar with Wildstorm, you'll probably feel a tad left in the dark like I did. However, Kot throws a wee bit of exposition into the mix and picks up the pace shortly after he's forced to play catch up with people such as myself. Once everyone is in position, that's where things unfold in completely ludicrous and wildly amusing fashion. We have explosive pies, pheromones, and even mind-controlled bees. It's so out there that you just have to roll with the far out punches going your way. Kot's handling of Deadshot vs. Unknown Soldier in an earlier issue had humor to it but played out in a believable way. This? It's more like Pokemon where everyone screams out their attacks and ridiculousness unfolds. It's so out there and a real blast. As expected, Kot's script matches the equally wild events which are taking place ("I am Harley Quinn from murder without borders."). Thoroughly entertaining truly is the best way to describe his work with this one.

Patrick Zircher's absence is most definitely noted, but sometimes Rick Leonardi's more cartoonish style feels more fitting for the complete mayhem unfolding before our eyes. It's a very sporadic style at times and considering how all over the place the tone is, it definitely helps sell some of the more bizarre scenes.

The Bad

Having three inkers leads to a massively inconsistent looking book. Panels jump from bold to rough outlines and the level of detail and even facial structures undergo pretty big alterations from page to page. In one moment it even looks like Gordon's skin is merging into his glasses. It's a very uneven looking book and that only sometimes works in its favor.

The Verdict

Ales Kot is leaving SUICIDE SQUAD with an explosion of craziness and laughs. From Deadshot resting his head on King Shark to Harley Quinn shattering the fourth wall to the most absurd drone strike you'll ever see, this is an issue overloaded with lighthearted goodness and a few subtle touches on just how morally messed up this whole scenario really is. The narrative he was building never really had an opportunity to soar to great heights, but man, he delivered a whole lot of fun in the process.