Writer: Robbie Thompson
Art: Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Marcelo Maiolo, and Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC COMICS
Release Date: June 1st, 2021
The SUICIDE SQUAD forfeited its chance to apprehend a new speedster from TEEN TITANS ACADEMY. Nevertheless, they managed to return with a trophy just as precious: Red X. However, the tables quickly turn when the Squad’s newest victim appears to have intended his own capture. Let’s dive into SUICIDE SQUAD #4 by Robbie Thompson as Task Force X proceeds to drop one by one leaving Waller scrambling for assistance.
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For a book titled SUICIDE SQUAD, the main focus of the issue was Red X. Sure, the squad guest stars in this issue. Still, it’s at the expense of Red X dismantling the mainstay of this book. Somehow, Red X has his way with SUPERBOY and even TALON. Now, we may all have our speculations as to who Red X might be. Yet, regardless of who DC COMICS decides to reveal him to be, I can only wonder why Thompson let this character manhandle his entire team.
What’s truly disappointing in this week’s issue of SUICIDE SQUAD is that Thompson wasted an issue elevating someone who probably won’t show up in this series again. Plus, we’re given more clues as to his identity. Red X wants to help SUPERBOY. And, Waller hints at his BATMAN-level intellect. All signs point to a ROBIN. Could it be Tim Drake? Either way, Tim Drake or Red X are not members of the team nor does it appear as though they will be the antagonist of the series in the future. So, what was the point of this issue? To prop up the speculation of Red X, which was merely a roadblock in a series that was thoroughly interesting to this point and had some legs.
Nevertheless, the focus on Red X did reveal some key elements about the characters. Without spoiling too much, readers should take notice specifically of TALON and SUPERBOY. Thompson drops future clues that will certainly develop as this series continues to unfold as well as an inmate who finds his way out of Belle Reve.
This art team does a fantastic job of creating extraordinary panel layouts that uniquely impacted the storytelling of the issue. Full page splashes with subtle small box panels overlaying specific scenes added an extra flavor to this issue of SUICIDE SQUAD that stood out. Additionally, this art team even used a large “Red X” as a way to break up the framing of the issue. Furthermore, when the action was heating up, this creative team used two-page spreads to exemplify the action causing this reviewer to feel right smack dab in the middle of the action.
When I buy a comic about a specific team or hero, I want them to be the focus. My desire is for that team or hero to win the fights, be the center of attention, and watch them be successful. Not to rehash the past, but Tom King’s BATMAN is the prime example of watching the main character get beaten, bruised, misused, and practically made fun of. My point: I didn’t buy SUICIDE SQUAD to watch Red X make them look like a bunch of Junior Varsity backups.
Now, please don’t let my disappointment detour you from this series. Thompson did divulge some key components to a few of the main characters that I’m sure will ripen into prosperous fruit as SUICIDE SQUAD unfolds. Readers just need to hang in there throughout this tale with optimism for issue five. However, there is no doubt Red X fans should check this issue out! Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!