New Suicide Squad #3 “Pure Insanity”
Written by Sean Ryan
Art by Jeremy Roberts and Rob Hunter

First off, I want to apologize for posting this so late. We’ve had a conference going on the past three days at my job, so I’ve been working until 1-2 in the morning every night. I was convinced I was going to pull this review together so it would be ready for you guys on Thursday morning… Until I read my first paragraph late Wednesday night, and realized nothing I’d written made sense… But I’ve had some sleep! I’ve made edits so I don’t sound crazy! And I’m refreshed now! So let’s get to this review!

The issue starts where the last issue left off. Harley is all venomed out, Deadshot has no arm, Black Manta rides the short bus, and everyone dies so Waller can save the world… oh, wait… nevermind, not that issue, the issue before that… The Suicide Squad are in Russia. They’re in a firefight with the Russian military and their super soldier cyborgs. Deathstroke has abandoned the group to negotiate with the Russians. Deadshot has been injured and left behind, and Harley, Black Manta, and Joker’s Daughter are on the run. The tension between Harley and JD has been building ever since they met each other, and we knew these two would eventually go at each other. And that happens here!

There’s been some chatter about this issue ever since the cover and solicitation were released. It’s Harley vs Joker’s Daughter! Right away, there were questions as to whether or not there actually would be a fight between the two, followed by hopes that Harley would destroy Joker’s Daughter! That’s right, destroy. So guess what I’m going to talk about first… The art! (But if it’s absolutely killing you, then yes, there IS a fight between Harley and JD – it takes up a good chunk of the book. And yes, I’ll go into details later.)

Lately, I’ve noticed quite a few comments on the site discussing how “bad” art can alter the reading experience (*cough* I’m looking at you Guera. *cough*). While I’ve always been aware of this impact, I don’t think I noticed the depth of it until I started writing reviews. I feel like this issue is plagued by great moments that were almost ruined by the art. Unfortunately, it’s during what should’ve been the BEST PART! Roberts covers art duties for most of the book, and I really enjoy his art. Then Hunter steps in, and everything goes to hell! It’s super distracting. I almost felt like I was tripping on some type of crazy drug. All of the visuals were suddenly odd. It created slight confusion, minor hysteria, and the need for me to flip back a few pages to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind… It’s that bad… Don’t believe me, compare the two artists for yourself then:

Spoiler

[caption id="attachment_16874" align="aligncenter" width="768"]Oh! Look at that wonderful art by Roberts! Oh! Look at that wonderful art by Roberts![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_16873" align="aligncenter" width="768"]Oh my God!!! What in the hell just happened!?! Oh my God!!! What in the hell just happened!?![/caption]

And it lasts through the whole Harley/ Joker’s Daughter fight! (Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!) The million dollar question though, is who wins? I’ll never tell (unless you check below where I put all of my spoilers).

There’s honestly not much progression in this story once you take out the big battle of “Joker’s girls.” And I wouldn’t even call that progression, it’s just a moment we’ve all been waiting for. We learn Deadshot’s fate after he was shot, left for dead, and caught in an explosion. This essentially leads the team to discuss their next move, followed by back-and-forth banter between Waller and Sage. It’s rather annoying. I don’t want to say this issue is bad, but it’s not as good as the previous issues. And what should’ve been the highlight, ended up being pretty poor due to the art. The ending is interesting though, and definitely looks as if it will set-up a worthwhile issue #4!

Recommended if:

You hate the Joker’s Daughter.
You need to be reminded why you like Harley Quinn.

There are spoilers below! Be warned!

The Good: Harley kicks Joker’s Daughter’s ass!!!! Woo hoo!!!! And as a special inclusion, I want to share my favorite page of the issue, and my favorite panel! Most of this issue feels like set-up to start heading into an action packed back end of this arc. I can only hope that leaving off with Deadshot being kidnapped and tortured, and Deathstroke walking in to take over will lead to some good story telling. Oh, and no more Joker’s Daughter! At least for now anyway… But as a nice little highlight, I’d like to show my favorite page, and my favorite panel!

Spoiler

Favorite Page

Favorite Panel

The Bad: The art really bothered me. As much as I loved the fact that Harley ends up beating the crap out of Joker’s Daughter, the whole moment is essentially ruined. Hunter’s characters look terrible. Panel after panel, its one bad face after another. The action itself is terrible. Based on what he delivered, you’d think Harley and JD both had the same abilities as Superman. They’re falling out of buildings, punching/kicking each other across lanes on a freeway, getting run over by cars, and they just get right up. And then the dialogue get’s bad too…

Also, I think Sage was a terrible addition. I was hoping he would overrule Waller on everything, putting her in her place, whether he’s right or wrong. Instead, we get two adults bickering like children.

Overall: While this issues delivers a really nice moment, there’s not much progression, and it’s the weakest issue since the re-launch (I’m excluding the Future’s End issue). The team will need to get in gear with issue #4, otherwise I think sales of this book will begin to drop pretty drastically. For my score, this book got a lift in points due to how the fight ends between Harley and Joker’s Daughter. Had the actual execution of the fight been better, then my score would’ve been better. Much better.

SCORE: 6.5/10