New Suicide Squad #1 (Comics Review)

With DC’s launch of its entire line-up in 2011, and my subsequent return to comics in the following year, Suicide Squad was one of the books that I was quite interested in because of its team make-up and the premise. But my expectations didn’t match the reality, by a good margin, and I gave up on the book after just the first arc. And then the Suicide Squad showed up on screens with Arrow‘s Season 2 and I got really, really excited. And at the same time, DC announced that Suicide Squad was being relaunched with a new creative team and with a shake-up of the Suicide Squad team itself, and I thought, why not?

New Suicide Squad #1 has proven to be better than I expected, by far. Joker’s Daughter vs Harley Quinn, Deathstroke vs Deadshot, and Black Manta? Well, that’s a recipe for goodness. And I loved that writer Sean Ryan played up on the differences in the team make-up, and he really made each character feel valuable in their own way, with a decent “first” mission that also has a spectacular cliffhanger that is sure to appease some long-term readers of DC comics, especially alternate international superhero teams. Plus the art was fairly decent, so that was a notch of positive difference as well.

New Suicide Squad 001

From what I understand reading through this issue, Amanda Waller has fallen from grace and she is no longer in control of Task Force X aka Suicide Squad. She is now going to play second fiddle to a man named Victor Sage, brought in by the (Defense?) Secretary to run things in her stead. She is still attached to the team because of her knowledge, but she is no longer calling the shots. And the new guy is bringing in big names like Joker’s Daughter and Deathstroke to revamp the team and bring in some oomph that I’m not sure is really necessary. But still, the team’s first mission in Russia is pretty damn interesting and features some really great moments so I’ll give the character additions a bit of a pas. Particularly since I loved the scene where Harley goes after Joker’s Daughter for wearing Joker’s skinned face that she found in a sewer.

The best thing about this issue is, well, the character clash. Deadshot and Deathstroke fulfill the same mission requirements since they are both assassins. Joker’s Daughter and Harley Quinn are both related to the Joker in some way and are both crazy and insane clowns, or close to it. Black Manta is the only one with a somewhat unique mission profile and someone who brings in some much-needed innate badassness to the entire team. I mean, Deathstroke and Harley are awesome and all, but Black Manta is in a class of his own, given how well he’s done in Aquaman and Forever Evil under the pen of Geoff Johns.

Pitting the team in a mission against Russian interests might be a bit grandiose, but it fills the psychological profile of Victor Sage. I am curious as to what connection this man has with Vic Sage, the identity of the Question pre-New 52 in his male guise (before Renee Montoya took over the superhero identity), so a lot is open but I like how Victor Sage is portrayed as a bit of a fanboy with the whole Task Force X thing. He even calls his new team Task Force XL and he disagrees with Amanda Waller (you do NOT disagree with The Wall on things like this!) on how dangerous all these villains are, especially Deathstroke and Joker’s Daughter who aren’t… tied to the team the same way the rest are.

The art here is by Jeremy Roberts with Blond on colours and Taylor Esposito on the letters. The art is fairly decent, pretty much in the DC house style for New 52, so it isn’t unique per se and it suffers from some of the same problems as many of DC’s other titles, in that character poses are often stiff or unrealistic and body proportions can be off as well. But Roberts is really good with facial expressions and his action scenes are really well-done so I can give the other things a pass, for now, with the hope that it all improves in the future.

New Suicide Squad #1 isn’t a bad start to the new series at all, and I’m hoping that things really do get better and that we get to see more of a look-see on all the different characters. However, this isn’t as new-friendly as it could be since Waller’s fall from grace is never really addressed and you get dropped right into the action.

Rating: 8.5/10

Posted on July 11, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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