[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Rob Williams
Artists: John Romita Jr. and Eddy Barrows
Inkers: Richard Friend and Eber Ferreira
In the ultimate game of “whodunit,” this issue finds the squad turning on Deadshot as the prime suspect in the shooting of Amanda Waller. If that wasn’t enough, Djinn (the “evil” equivalent to Hack) enters the Belle Reve mainframe and decrypts the encrypted intel, exposing various sources of government corruption. Oh but it gets better. Djinn also deactivates the brain bombs within the squad, essentially setting them free. Without brain bombs or Waller to keep them in line, the squad leaves Belle Reve, and to freedom.
Meanwhile, at camp Rustam, Rick Flag and Katana find themselves prisoners after being taken into the ether. Rustam gives them a choice to join their revolution, and to help them bring down government corruption.
In the second story, we see Harley and Hack at a bar after leaving Belle Reve. Hack, desperate to know the people’s spy identity, returns to Belle Reve for answers. And boy, does she ever find them!
So many positives I don’t even know where to start! Williams does such a great job at blurring what’s right and what’s wrong here. Rustam is essentially cleaning up corruption, not killing civilians or harming those that haven’t done anything wrong. He doesn’t seem to want to harm the squad, and even goes on to say it was never his intention to fight them. They were prisoners of a corrupt system (which lets be honest, was true). Who really are the villains of the story?
I absolutely loved the brief few pages where Deadshot is talking about himself, what his name really means and how he now had something to live for. It’ll be interesting how Williams takes that into the next issue as it seems that Deadshot will be taking on planet Earth.
The story had incredible flow, from one page to the next, going back and forth from both storylines. There’s also a fantastic twist at the end which I definitely didn’t see coming (and absolutely appreciate). Williams’ misdirection was perfect.
The art by Williams and Barrows is great. Beautiful lines within each panel, and the change in art teams from one story to the next didn’t hurt the book at all. The two best pages by far have got to be Romita’s cover with Harley drinking a slushy and about to take a punch, and Barrows’ Harley where her face is taking up the entire page while she’s talking about Rick Flag. Both are just simply amazing.
Harcourt should have found a way to keep the squad at Belle Reve, even without the brain bombs. I mean, lets be honest, Waller would have. If Waller will remain missing from this book (dead, in a coma, etc), Harcourt’s character will need to be tougher.
Williams, combined with incredible art from Romita, Jr. and Barrows, gives us a fantastic issue where good and evil are constantly being tested. There are so many questions left unanswered after this issue, and that’s to the testament of the incredible writing by Williams to hook us in, and to make us care about these larger then life villains or heroes, depending on your definition.