New Suicide Squad #5 “Defective”
Written by Sean Ryan
Art by Rob Hunter
Guess what!?!? The Squad isn’t in Russia anymore. They’re headed to China… And everything that would explain how they got from point A to point B is essentially thrown away with a few sentences, if it’s even discussed at all. This book has become an absolute mess. I’m sorry to say this, but “rebooting” Suicide Squad was a wasted move.
Last month, Black Manta and Harley were on a rescue mission to save Deadshot from Deathstroke. Deathstroke had betrayed the team, and was working with the Russian government to bring the Squad down, and while doing so, he was having a little fun torturing Deadshot. The team managed to save Deadshot by beating Deathstroke, but they still needed to get out of Russia… And they complete gloss over this little plot. There’s nothing about escaping. Nothing about the Russian Military that had been after them since the first issue of this series. And nothing about how they collected their remaining teammates. Nope. The team saved Deadshot, so everything is just fine and dandy now… This, ladies and gents, is cheap and lazy storytelling.
This issue picks up with Waller preparing a new mission. Sage is apparently in DC complaining about his work situation, so he’s MIA for this issue. Deadshot is recovering from being tortured, and due to his injuries, will be out of commission for a little while. Waller mentions frustration that Deathstroke is benched as well since he was shot, then mentions he shouldn’t have been on the team anyway… Umm, so is he on the team or not?… She also mentions that Joker’s Daughter is out because she’s too unstable, and that she’s been admitted to a mental institution in Gotham to get better (not “that one” though).
Lawton is curious as to who will join Harley and Manta on this new mission, and is less than enthusiastic to find out his replacement is Captain Boomerang. Waller is also using Reverse Flash and “ninja man-bats” (going all the way back to Batman & Son/ Batman Inc when the League of Assassins used Kurt Langstrom’s serum on themselves). All of the additions feel random aside from Boomerang. I should admit that I don’t read the Flash, so there could’ve been some set-up in that book that I missed… but regardless, this still feels sloppy.
Ryan attempts to provide some character moments here – which many of you know I’ve been saying this book needs – but it’s just… bad. It made me wish the book would give me more mindless action and forget about character development… but then that thought scared me when I considered the below par art… And I then had to deal with a poor action sequence that I was already worrying about. Let’s just be honest with each other for a second. When a book titled “Suicide Squad” features a scene where a building gets blown up, it shouldn’t remind of the Animaniacs. And that’s what this reminded me of, especially Harley. The whole bit was slapstick. I don’t want slapstick in Suicide Squad.
I can’t get over how much of a wasted opportunity this reboot has turned out to be. I would venture to say that the launch of New Suicide Squad is worse than what it rebooted. The premise of Suicide Squad is brilliant, and there’s no reason that this book shouldn’t be captivating. If DC wants a return on their investment, they need to scrap this creative team, and turn this book around immediately. I’ve said this before, but this book NEEDS a purpose, and at the moment, it doesn’t have that. The missions that the team takes should have a purpose, and at the moment, they don’t. I have SO many ideas, and there are so many opportunities with this book… It really is a shame that we’re stuck with this.
I’m not going to cover my standard “The Art,” “The Good,” and “The Bad,” because I don’t feel like it’s worth it. I’m not sure I would put anything in “The Good” section, and you’ve already heard me bash the art for a couple of months now. I have provided a few samples of the internal art below in the spoiler tag. But be warned, it’s still pretty bad.
- You enjoyed Suicide Squad before it rebooted to New Suicide Squad.
- You didn’t want Joker’s Daughter in New Suicide Squad
- You wondered what DC’s version of the Three Stooges meets the Animaniacs would be like.
Overall: This issue is titled “Defective,” and that’s exactly what it is… defective. If you’re looking for a little edge, a little danger, and some villainy goodness, then check out Secret Six or Deathstroke. I wouldn’t waste my money with this.