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“PIZZA PARTY” yells Harley Quinn as she, Deadshot and El Diablo burst through the door of a wooden cabin to attack their first target – which turns out to be a dummy with a bomb inside. Yep – it’s the Suicide Squad, a rag-tag bung of DC villains drafted into a top secret task force rather than spending their days locked up.

WARNING: some minor spoilers.

I’ve got some mixed opinions with this first issue. It appears to be reaching for a Guy Ritchie/Tony Scott style of fast cutting, flashback style of story telling – or at least it should be – but doesn’t quite provide the edginess needed to pull this off. The premise and the characters are there, this should be DC’s chance to give us something a little bit more dark, show these characters as the real evil they are instead of funny costumed people who do bad things. But in the end, we’re left feeling a little sorry for these guys and thinking of them more as a misfit Justice League.

Alright, so we’re left with a pretty cool cliffhanger and promise of (hopefully) some carnage in the next issue, but issue #1 is a little damp, and I reckon it might be the ‘by the numbers’ way of introducing the characters that it uses. I got pretty bored of the ‘show the character being tortured’ then ‘show the character’s back story on a page’ technique employed here – yes this is a first issue designed to give people unfamiliar with the characters a chance to jump on – but so were Swamp Thing and Animal Man and all of the other 49 comics, and these don’t feel the need to spell things out in quite the same way.

I was also kind of annoyed at “the twist” – something that was so obvious from the start that I just wanted to finish the issue quickly so I could move on to some proper storytelling. But I’ll leave you to find that one out for yourself.

There are however some pretty good lines throughout the book – mostly those coming from Harley Quinn. I’d be more than happy if King Shark’s only dialogue throughout this entire series is “MEAT MEAT MEAT” – get’s me giggling every time.

As for the artwork, like the storytelling, this could have been a lot darker. The subject matter should lend itself easily to this, with plenty of torture and violence, but everything’s a little too cartoony and brightly coloured. And then there’s Harley Quinn’s outfit – a topic of much debate online. My personal opinion on it when I first saw the cover was that if they could pull off the Tony Scott Domino-esque feel, then I’m fine with the change. This is of course a move from being The Joker’s puppy dog to leading a crack team of insane hitmen/women – she’s no longer just a clown jester, so the move to leather from cotton jump suit does make sense. But unfortunately the cover doesn’t translate to what’s inside – we end up with a Blue & Red costume instead of Black & Red, which – like the rest of the comic – is too colourful to match what’s actually going on.

I’m a little disappointed. I had high hopes for this comic. I’ll stick with it for a few more issues and see if things pick up now that we’re done with the backstory.

Craig @hastiecraig

3 Comments so far
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Yep – I’d agree on that one…..if the pages had the same art as the cover….we’d be bigging this issue up. Got a Manga-edge to it with the sharp lines on the front and the rest doesn’t really hold with that style.

Comment by G-Man

Still waiting for this from DCBS. I was a huge Secret Six mark so I too have high hopes for this. Nobody can write some of these characters like Gail Simone did, but I’m willing to give anyone a shot. I love the group they’ve assembled.

Comment by greenlightcomics1

[…] 38. Suicide Squad – 5.0/10 […]

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