Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: Suicide Squad #1

I consider myself pretty lenient on story telling. I like plenty of campy and “terrible” things and enjoy them immensely. Reading this, however, I found myself becoming more and more bored by the second, and knew that this was not gonna be as enjoyable as I'd hoped.

The comic opens up on several men wearing burlap masks torturing various characters, confirmed later to be the eponymous Suicide Squad, by means that I assume are designed to counteract their powers and abilities. The burlap men ask who sent them and then torture them some more when they refuse to answer. This goes on for several pages.  In fact, about half the book is them being tortured, with a flashback page showing the backstory of the current person being tortured inserted every so often.  Finally one of them cracks and tells, and we see them (in a flashback one again) going on their first botched mission that presumably led them to their current situation. Finally they got knocked out, and wake up where we get 3 pages of plot advancement and the book ends. That’s right; just THREE pages of real content.

I’ll be honest: I’m pretty new to the DC world. I’m a Marvel reader for the most part, and have slowly been dipping my toes into the DC pool. As such, I’m not very familiar with these characters, save Harley who I absolutely love and she is the sole reason I picked this book up. But if this book was the first DC book I had ever read, I would have dropped all interest and ran back to the mutant haven of Utopia. The characters were just bad and if I was a fan of these characters, I would have been EXTREMELY upset at their portrayals. They were all interchangeable for the most part. Similar costume designs, similar speech patterns and similar attitudes. In fact, I sometimes got confused on who was who. I could only set three apart, a shark man named King Shark (who looks so lame to me), Chato (who I assume is codenamed El Diablo? It was never specified), and of course, Harley. The other 4, Deadshot, Black Spider, Voltaic, and Savant (the one who caved), all pretty much blurred into one.

The comic just has so many things wrong with it. I know it’s just starting out and I shouldn’t be so harsh and let it get into its groove, but the first issue is supposed to grab a person’s attention, not bore them to tears. Chato’s dialogue is pretty much all in Spanish, which would have annoyed me if I wasn’t able to read and understand it, and King Shark is portrayed as…well, a hungry shark. There’s no nuance at all. The whole book just comes off as a giant rip-off of Hostel and other gorefest films, and not a very good rip-off at that.

Then there’s the biggest issue in the whole book, for me: Harley’s redesign. It was so unnecessary and so unneeded. It tries so hard to hip and cool (much like the whole comic) that it just falls flat. I have a huge issue with making a character’s costume overly sexy for no reason other than to bring in the male demographic that wants to ogle over cleavage.

The comic does have a saving grace though. The art is absolutely wonderful. It’s simple, yet detailed, and I liked how the flashback scenes and the torture scenes had different styles that juxtaposed the different situations and their atmospheres. I just don’t think that that’s enough to overcome all the things that I found wrong with the first issue, and it isn’t enough to keep me coming back issue after issue.

By Phoenix with 1 comment


LOL re: this "creative" team. these clowns ripped off the character "hammerhead" from an indie book called hard-bullied comics ( and used him for this supposedly "new" king shark design. that federico guy drawing ss was the artist on the indie before he hit.

pathetic. may this travesty be cancelled swiftly, as it deserves to be. creative bankruptcy should not be rewarded, nor should stealing from independent creators.

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