Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo

Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo
Suicide Squad Most Wanted El Diablo review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 978-1-4012-6865-7
  • Release date: 2017
  • UPC: 9781401268657
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Chato Santana was a criminal enforcer with fire generating powers whose crimes saw him inducted into the Suicide Squad, yet he’s a conflicted man who maintains a religious belief despite his chosen career. At the start of his Most Wanted solo graphic novel he’s served enough time to commute his sentence, but that’s something Amanda Waller isn’t going to permit. Fortunately for El Diablo, as she’s making her point he’s co-opted into another covert government organisation, Checkmate. They let him return home, but as the saying goes, you can never go home again.

From there Jai Nitz’s story meanders all over the shop, from Mexico to Metropolis to Gotham to Texas and in every location there’s another superhero or another super villain that needs to take El Diablo on. There are some good ideas, but it’s episodic and conveys the impression of leading the readers from pillar to post in the same fashion El Diablo is being led. At every crisis point Nitz’s solution is to throw in more new characters, who rapidly exit after their part is played. The most prominent among them is Azucar, created for this story as a former Checkmate agent who has an axe to grind and who accompanies El Diablo for much of the time. While a consistent presence is welcome, their rapid relationship is unconvincing, and in the end what’s meant to be an El Diablo story is hijacked by the parade of guest stars.

There is, however, a form of saving grace. Cliff Richards supplies page after page of solid superhero art. His layouts maximise the danger and excitement of the scenarios, his designs for new characters are eye-catching, and his efforts result in a graphic novel that’s worth looking at even if the story fails to grab the attention.