Despite the assignment of Jim Lee as artist, and a couple of big surprises, overall The Black Vault didn’t quite set the pulses racing as it should have done. Going Sane is better. Rob Williams has grown into the cast, and retains the ability to shock and surprise. He begins relatively slowly with an ethical argument about weaponising someone retrieved in the previous volume, but then steps up the tension, eloquently highlighting the steps along the way. Eventually, and inevitably, a monster is on the loose and the saviour is extremely unlikely, but definitely plausible. Williams includes playful references in his scripts, such as to John LeCarre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, nice nods for those who pick up on them, and sometimes his dialogue just nails a situation. This is a fine action-based morality fable where your jaw will drop several times at the audacity of Williams’ plotting, while Lee’s busy art and instinctive talent for delivering page after page of exciting layouts ups the ante. There’s also a rectifying of what many might have considered a mistake in The Black Vault, but cleverly factored in by Williams all along.

In the previous book the back-up material outshone the main feature, which doesn’t happen here, but Williams still produces nice insights, with newcomer Hack, the duality of Enchantress and June Moone, and Killer Croc under the spotlight. Stephen Byrne and Carlos D’Anda’s art is good, but it’s the elegance of Christian Ward on the Enchantress segment that really stands out.

Going Sane is completed with a companion piece for the main story, as Harley Quinn considers resuming her previous identity as a psychologist, but in this case going sane isn’t part of the deal. It’s the opportunity for Lee to strut his stuff in his final Suicide Squad outing, and he supplies a great Man-Bat. There’s also some good cute Looney Tunes style cartooning from Sean Galloway, but it’s in service of a meandering exercise in messing with Harley that promises more than it delivers. It leads into Justice League Vs Suicide Squad.