Well, the gang is all finally back at Belle Reve! O.M.A.C. is on the loose and this issue basically boils down to one big brawl with the android. The last issue was all about telling us who these characters are and what makes them unique, but this week sweeps aside character progression and simply gives many of them an opportunity to take a swing at the big blue powerhouse. It isn't the most epic brawl around, but it's most definitely attention-grabbing as super-human punches are thrown, C4 is detonated and energy blasts pummel targets. In spite of the dark scenario, writer Matt Kindt still tosses in a bit of humor here and there. It's nothing that'll make you burst into laughter, but there's little moments that are totally capable of popping a smile (e.g. Captain Boomerang's role).
Usually when there's two or more artists on an issue (in this case, Jason Masters and Carlos Rodriguez) the transition between styles can take you completely out of the moment. Thankfully, that isn't the case here and the issue's visuals remain consistent throughout. The big hits may be somewhat lacking in impact, but the effort put in elsewhere definitely compensates for that. There's a commendable amount of work put into these panels to create an absorbing experience. This is particularly noticeable with the way the cloudy sky is brought to life and the lower levels are filled with ankle-deep water which ripples as two characters tread through it. They're also able to nail the expressions behind each moment and the look on O.M.A.C.'s face is almost always an engaging one. They also did a great job selling a very badass scene with the Unknown Soldier. The panel layout really sold the fluidity and skill behind the moment. Brett Smith absolutely delivers on the coloring as well. There's a huge variety of characters and effects on display and the man doesn't slack with any of them. There's about four or five different panels where I found myself just admiring the cinematic vibe behind the instance. There's some wonderfully vivid coloring to be found here.
SUICIDE SQUAD would greatly benefit from an opening recap page. Because without one, every opening scene -- and sometimes beyond -- feels like Kindt's way of including a "previously on..." without moving the story forward. It's obviously great for people who randomly jump into a story that's already well underway, but for those of us who have been reading month after month, it comes off as redundant and slows the pace.
The clash between O.M.A.C., King Shark and Kamo should feel like a clash of the titans as each thunderous punch is thrown. However, it comes off feeling very static -- there's no real sense of energy as these super-strong beings grapple and go smashing through the floor. It also seems like a character is killed in this struggle (another's fate remains uncertain), but there's no way it'll evoke any emotions since we haven't had much time to connect with the character. It seems odd to give them a whole backstory only to cut their life short. On top of that, the pretty large onomatopoeias sometimes hinder the weight of the panel as well.
Instead of feeling shocked or leaving us stunned, the cliffhanger's effectiveness is completely countered by the fact we know these characters will be okay. Quinn does have her own series, after all, so that alone should prove this won't be lethal. Still, I'm left with quite a few question about this item. Instead of jumping into them, I'd much rather wait until the next issue since Waller will be sure to reveal just how honest she was being about it, anyway.
Kindt's run on SUICIDE SQUAD started off real strong but has unfortunately taken a bit of a dive in quality. With this issue, he finally puts all of the characters back together and what this creates is basically one large melee with just a few plot developments. It's not going to make you fall in love with the book all over again, but, for the most part, it's an alright step back in the right direction. There's isn't nearly as much forced exposition in here as the previous issues and, a lack of motion aside, there's some really strong artwork which is sure to keep you absorbed. The cliffhanger leaves me with a few questions, but instead of jumping to conclusions, I'd much rather wait and see what explanations Kindt will offer in the next chapter. It's not the most memorable issue around, but it's a fine does of fun and there's just enough intrigue to likely lure you into the next issue.