At the end of Suicide Squad #26, the Thinker transferred his consciousness into O.M.A.C. and was about to have a major confrontation with King Shark and his father, Kane. If you’re looking forward to seeing where all that goes then you may want to skip this issue.
It’s easy to find Matt Kindt’s writing, Harley Quinn aside, rather enjoyable. Even when the issue comes across as disjointed, the stories he tells via flashback are interesting. It’s helped that the art team of Jordi Tarragona and Roger Robinson manage to keep Suicide Squad #27 alive. Normally, having multiple artists on an issue can lead to awkward visual transitions, but it’s handled fantastically here. Jordi Tarragona tackles the present day sequences with the team trapped under the mountain. The panels are tight, cramped, and crowded which lends a claustrophobic feeling to their predicament. Roger Robinson handles the flashbacks, tailoring each one to specific characters. The Unknown Soldier’s is dark and moody, while Power Girl’s is bright and clean. Of course, credit is also due to colorists Matt Milla and Blond, whose fantastic use of color helps ease the transition of the artists and make their work come alive.
Since her Villains Month issue up to now, Kindt’s portrayal of Harley Quinn has only managed to demean and degrade her as a character. She isn’t the type of person to blow up a bunch of kids or drop a mountain on her team in hopes of killing them, and she isn’t the kind of character that brutally kills a man in cold blood, yet these are things Harley has done since Kindt has started writing her. It’s clear that DC and Kindt are trying to carve a new direction for the character, but it’s the wrong direction. There’s absolutely nothing at all about the new Harley Quinn that makes her appealing. Since her debut in the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Joker’s Favor”, Harley has been a loveable and sympathetic character. Sure she was a villain, but it was never more than your garden-variety, light-hearted Saturday morning cartoon villainy. In fact, she’s even been shown to do good things when separated from The Joker. In the New 52, she’s been turned into a cold psychopath who kills without remorse. It’s such a drastic change from her previous portrayal because Harley was someone who cared. She was full of life, love, emotion and fun. One has to wonder why they didn’t just create a new character in the first place. We already have a Joker and, quite frankly, we don’t need another.
Suicide Squad #27 is the very definition of ‘filler’ as the entire plot comes to a grinding halt. It’s actually rather shocking since Kindt’s work tends to progress things very nicely. There’s been so much build-up and set-up in the past few issues that makes the transition jarring. While the flashbacks—which the crux of this issue revolves around—aren’t that bad on their own, the way they’re strung together makes the story a little choppy and disjointed. As a result, the pacing, not just for this issue but now for the entire arc, is being thrown off.
There are good pieces in Suicide Squad #27, but it never quite manages to come together. The placement of this issue is just puzzling, coming in the middle of an arc and slowing things down considerably. While it’s interesting to learn more about the character, it shouldn’t have come at the expense of the story. With the exception of a rather egregious boobs and butt pose, the art is definitely the saving grace. Suicide Squad #27 ultimately is an underwhelming effort that didn’t feel like it was worth the cover price for the story alone.