Matt Kindt (Writer), Carmen Carnero, Bit, Sami Basri, Keith Champagne (Artists), Matt Milla, Jeromy Cox (Colorist)
The Story: While executing a contract, Deadshot tells his life story and how he perceive the world according to the many events in his life.
The Review: We all have some characters that we generally prefer over others, one that just resonate with either our values or has a concept that is used far too well for our personal tastes. Many could name dozens of characters right off the bat and I do incorporate myself in that general statement as I could name numerous heroes and villains that I love to follow. One of them is Deadshot, a character that had a generally nihilistic and possessed no regard for his own personal life. Popularized by John Ostrander in the original Suicide Squad and brought back with great effects by Gail Simone in Secret Six, the character had a voice that suggested deep psychological issues, yet the authors always found a way to balance the depths with humor. Prior to the New 52, that character was one I especially liked.
Cut out to the reboot of two years ago and we had a new Suicide Squad with a brand new characterization for this particular character. While the new take on the character was quite different, Matt Kindt uses villain’s month in order to tell a new version of his origin, combining some of the previous iterations with new material in order to play a bit with the character before he himself take the reins on Suicide Squad. Does he succeed in creating an origin that plays with the characters strength?
Surprisingly, Kindt very much use the new continuity to his advantage in order to create a new origin that manage to play very well with the original version without rehashing old contents. Gone is the rich man in order for him to become simply a victim of circumstances, an orphan who lost everything just because he was a tad unlucky. While the orphan angle is decidedly not one of the most original angle for any type of character in a superhero universe, Kindt use the circumstances quite well to deepen the philosophy of the character, which is incidentally the strongest point of the character and this issue.
The pacing is good too, with the story and the narration going on in a steady pace in order to bring out the various elements without letting them delve around for too long. The dialogue brings around what is needed and does not feel clunky, which helps center the readers toward how Deadshot thinks.
What’s a bit weaker, though, would be the separation between two eras being done too quickly, as Floyd Lawton goes from young hitman to costumed mercenary really fast. It feels a bit like a waste of opportunity as the story goes forward to the events of Forever Evil with the character now free from Belle Reve. It does manage to take the new status quo for Kindt to use for his take on Suicide Squad and does give us some action with the character, yet it’s quite a jump from small kid victim to super mercenary. It could have been handled better it seems.
What could also have been handled better too is the art, though not in a way that is absolutely critical to the book. The art by Sami Basri and Keith Champagne is good in most places, but not great by any mean. They are quite able to bring emotions to the characters with their pose and body language, although their facial expressions could use some work, as they are a bit on the minimal side. There are some panels where the backgrounds are pretty good, yet there are many more where the backgrounds are non-existent, relying instead on an abundance of speed-lines. While it does help simulate speed and movement, they rely on it too much as it creates a redundancy in the visuals. Still, the panelling is quite solid and both artists work well with the script in multiple times, adding to the narrative in solid ways most of the time. All the while, the past scenes by Carmen Carnero shows a bit more details in their backgrounds as they give a more realistic tone to their pages, clashing a bit with the Deadshot scenes that open and close the issue. Their pages are good, yet prety different from those full of actions seen later in the book.
The colorization by Matt Milla and Jeromy Cox is quite good with the script, as they essentially shows two eras with their respective palettes. The pages focusing on Floyd Lawton’s youth show an abundance of grey, brown with other generally dull and cold colors, bringing in a somewhat ordinary and boring life, one that is certainly accentuated to negativism. All the same, the pages featuring him as Deadshot, feature quite a lot of warm colors, accentuating more on the violence and the rather ludicrous situation the character is in. It’s a smart choice in terms of contrast and it serves the art and script quite well.
The Conclusion: The focus on the psychology of the character coupled with several new elements that play right around it manage to make this issue quite enjoyable despite the rapidity the story switch from one era to another and some of the small missteps in the art. Overall, it’s not a bad start for Matt Kindt writing this character.
-Hugo Robberts Larivière