Titled “The Replacements,” SUICIDE SQUAD: FUTURE’S END #1 by writer Sean Ryan and artist Andre Coelho sees Amanda Waller get the team back together in order to stop a governmental cloning program.
The issue opens in Belle Reve Penitentiary in Louisiana, with a morose Deadshot lamenting the loss of his arm. Things quickly become more action packed, however as he is rescued by a machine-gun toting Amanda Waller. They quickly go to release other members of the Suicide Squad imprisoned here: a lobotomized Black Manta who has had Deathstroke’s fighting patterns surgically imposed into him, and a Harley Quinn that has been juiced up on Venom. It’s quite the team.
With the foursome newly assembled, Waller leads them to a secret facility in Texas, where it is revealed that the government has been cloning various super villains, including members of the Suicide Squad, and mixing their personalities together to get the best results. The final showdown of the issue comes when Deadshot faces a clone of Deathstroke while Amanda Waller attempts to destroy the facility.
Sean Ryan’s script moves at a brisk pace, never lingering too long in a scene, which helps keep the plot moving. Coelho’s line art is great, and his design work on Venom-injected Harley Quinn is good, though perhaps not as surprising as one might hope. The real visual highlight is a pair of Joker clones who are delightfully vicious. It’s something that could have easily gone overboard, but Coelho strikes a nice balance.
However, much of the issue struggles to find that manic level of fun. A good portion of the blame falls on Sean Ryan’s script. While a juiced up Harley Quinn and a Black Manta with Deathstroke’s fighting ability sounds like a great idea, the execution falls flat. Both characters are largely rendered mute, removing their potential fun. In addition, both characters fail to make any real impact on the issue. As readers it’s like we’ve been given cool toys, but then told not to play with them.
In addition to the scripting issues, SUICIDE SQUAD: FUTURE’S END #1 falls a bit flat on the visual side. None of it is bad, but Coelho’s line art is muddled by the coloring and inking. Not much in the issue pops in the way it should. With the exception of the opening sequence, there isn’t really any atmosphere being displayed.
SUICIDE SQUAD: FUTURE’S END #1 ultimately fails to deliver on its own promises. Despite some tight pacing and interesting ideas, the execution is ultimately lacking. There have been great issues to the Future’s End month, but unfortunately, SUICIDE SQUAD is not one of them.