By Rob Williams, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Adriano Lucas & Pat Brosseau
Rob Williams and Eduardo Pansica’s Suicide Squad is a fun, enjoyable read that features Batman doing what he does best. Deadshot lies in Belle Reeve prison under Amanda Waller’s care along with the rest of the Suicide Squad, but Batman has other ideas – Deadshot’s daughter has been kidnapped and he believes that Lawton should be the one to rescue her. “You’re the world’s greatest detective, right?” Deadshot asks Batman. To which he replies, “And you’re the world’s greatest assassin.” Anyone would struggle against the two of them on the same team, and Kobra has no chance.
Williams keeps the script tightly plotted and tense, with focused action. The unlikely team-up of Batman and Deadshot is revealed on the front cover. It certainly has the potential to make an interesting premise especially when you remember that this is a Suicide Squad book and not a Batman/Deadshot one, so there are going to be more members of the team involved in the thick of things. As much as Kobra is teased as the ultimate villain, Amanda Waller is very much at the forefront here, as both Alfred and Batman know that if Waller caught Batman, she wouldn’t be afraid to lock him up and use him as another addition to her Suicide Squad.
The storyline of Batman breaking into a prison has been done multiple times before. On the surface there’s nothing new about this issue as it brings a sense of familiarity to the table. But sometimes it doesn’t always have to be new in order to work; the story is well balanced and entertaining enough. Although Suicide Squad isn’t the most consistent title in terms of artists, as another artist is attached for issue 42, penciller Eduardo Pansica nails the gritty, atmospheric and raw feel of the Belle Reeve scenes to keep the down-to-earth feel of the book that matches the commanding structure that it needs.
Colourist Julio Ferreira and inker Adriano Lucas both work well together to enhance that feeling of unforgiving roughness that Pansica brings to the table, with Pat Brosseau’s letters get straight to the point throughout the issue. It’s also worth mentioning David Yardin’s fantastic cover art featuring Batman and Deadshot – the sheer potential in having these two characters working together rather than fighting each other is something that Rob Williams will hopefully make the most out of in future issues, especially when you consider what’s at stake for Floyd Lawton here.
Suicide Squad #41 may be a basic set-up that doesn’t feel new, but it’s a solid one that does an effective job at engaging readers’ interests in the arc to come. Putting Deadshot and Batman front and center whilst giving minimal page time to the Squad was a good decision for this arc, but hopefully future issues will spend their time more evenly, especially as the current line-up of Squad members assembled at the issue’s end looks particularly enticing.