You know them, you probably have ambivalent feelings about them, they’re the Suicide Squad! This book, presumably an attempt to both drum up and piggyback off of the hype for the upcoming movie, focuses on a Suicide Squad not before seen in comics or film. Personally, I’ve never been in love with the squad, but I do enjoy them from time to time. I will say that I didn’t immediately recognize everyone on the cover, and that’s exactly how I like my Squads. C and D listers being sent to die has always been the appeal of Task Force X to me, and it seems like we’re going to be getting a lot of that here.
So, without further ado, I give you:
This issue is written by Robbie Thompson (Supernatural, Silk), and he brings an interesting approach to the Squad that was at least enough to hook me. The issue opens with Squad staples Rick Flag and Amanda Waller arguing, as per the norm. Flag smells something fishy in government orders, and suspects Waller is pulling strings, more than she ever has before. He’s worried she’s planning something he won’t be able to stop. This B plot gets put mostly to the wayside for now, though I suspect it will quickly become an A plot as the series goes on. This issue’s actual A plot consists of a small team headed by Peacemaker, who appears to be taking the role of field leader this go round, breaking into (Assaulting, if you will) Arkham Asylum, with the goal of breaking out Talon. A new addition to the roster is Film Freak, a new character that speaks entirely in movie quotes and, amazingly, doesn’t grate on my nerves, though I can’t say the same for the rest of the Squad. He’s not too notable, unfortunately, as both he and Bolt, another Squad member, are killed by Talon during an ensuing fight. That’s all fine by me though, I’m reading Suicide Squad for a reason. That reason is to watch a bunch of wacky oddballs get killed in patriotic service to their country. And also because my boss at Batman News told me to. But mostly the wacky oddball thing. I will say that the pacing feels a little… off. The story builds as the Squad breaks into Arkham, culminates in a fight, and then just… ends. Waller reasserts to Flag that the Suicide Squad, as well as him, are expendable, and then leaves to go check on another project of hers. I also want to gush/rant about the ending for a second, but I’ll hide that in the spoilers below.
What the hell is Conner doing here? I know the fate of the Young Justice kids is kind of nebulous after Bendis’ run ended, but I’m not sure I’m going to like where this is headed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m here for any and all Superboy content, I’m just both intrigued and worried about where this is going to end up. Genuinely tell me theories in the comments, I want to know what you think.
The art in this issue, drawn by Eduardo Pansica and Julio Ferreira, is good. I’m usually not too huge of a fan of overly realistic art styles in my comics, and while this book hasn’t changed my mind on that, I will admit that the style works here. It adds to a gritty realism, a feeling that this world is as dirty as the deed the Squad has been sent to do.
The biggest thing that stood out to me about this issue’s art was the Dutch angle. Boy, does it love the Dutch angle. There’s one somewhere on almost every page, and while it doesn’t detract from the experience, I could not stop noticing it once I saw the trend. I don’t know why the choice was made, or why it was so apparent to me, but they absolutely litter the book.
The biggest argument I could think of is to create an air of uneasiness that the characters feel during the breakout, and mimicking the tension between Waller and the Task Force. The muted colors, done in this issue by Marcelo Maiolo, create a dreary, miserable vibe in the air.
- You’re a fan of the Suicide Squad, and want to see a fresh faced new roster.
- C and D listers call to you
- Political thrillers are your jam
The story is good, if a bit short, and builds tension well for the upcoming run. The tone is very quickly set for the series as well: Thompson is not afraid to kill off characters, in fact he will actively be doing so. One can hope it won’t become a total gorefest, but I am looking forward to seeing him play with the lives of our heroes, and hope he can keep us shocked and guessing. I think this has a lot of potential, and I’m really intrigued by the end of the book and seeing where that goes. I do wish we had a bit longer before getting to that ending though, the pacing is a little fast for my taste.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.