DC's Dirty Dozen returns. How's that working out for them?
Welcome to 52apolooza, the Outhouse feature focusing on DC's September Relaunch. All of DC's 52 titles will be reviewed by our pool of reviewers to point out the best and worst that DC's new comic book line has to offer. To see how this book ranks among the other new DC titles, be sure to check out our 52apolooza Rankings!
Some fan favorite criminals go out to do some good in the world. Or do they? Let's see how the new Suicide Squad matches up to the discerning tastes of the 52apolooza team.
Grab Bag Reviewer: VeggieleezyWriting
- The Suicide Squad is a team that I imagine is difficult to write. Adam Glass did the best job he could with that in mind. The plot in this book is pretty easy to follow and feels like it could be a standalone issue placed later in the series. However, using this particular story as the "pilot", as it were, doesn't entirely gel. It sets up the characters and their individual stories, but the plot of the arc isn't introduced until the last few panels.
Several characters I was previously unfamiliar with (Voltaic, Black Spider, King Shark, Diablo, and Savant) are included in the lineup with Deadshot and fan favorite Harley Quinn. The "featured" characters are Deadshot, Harley, and Diablo, though, leaving the others in the background. Almost no development is given to Shark, Spider, and Voltaic, and Savant is (spoiler) killed off as soon as we hear from him. Perhaps Glass has plans for these other characters, but for now it seems like the primary focus will be Deadshot, Harley, and Diablo.
Something I like to do when I read, especially with comic books, is to provide the characters with their own voices. For me, Harley has always sounded like Arleen Sorkin. Now that she's been made over, it feels like her "voice" has changed. She's been recast with Tara Strong in the upcoming Arkham City video game, so perhaps this is a chance to recreate her as a character. Personally, though, I don't care for it.Score: 15/25Art
- While the art in this issue isn't perfect, it's one of the best examples of having the art going hand in hand with the writing. It's a little difficult to explain it better than that. The color palettes are dark and full and the characters are rough and angry. Like many other people, though, I felt that the makeover of Harley Quinn was unnecessary. I appreciate what they're trying to do but it feels like they've sexed her up for the sole purpose of bringing in horndog readers.
Within the story, there are some pages where the art makes more sense than others. The opening panels set the tone for the rest of the book, showing Deadshot being tortured with rats. The following splash page is actually pretty cool, in my opinion. It shows all of the characters being tortured in manners that relate to their skills and powersets. Something I thought was a nice touch was the tinting of the panels during the flashback sequences; reminded me of the different chapters in Reservoir Dogs. However, the dark and gritty style really only fits best during the torture sequence. Still, it's a very nice looking book.Score: 20/25Accessibility
- Accessibility is one of the prime things going for this book. So far, it's one of the best books I've seen in this regard. This issue alone explains practically everything you'd need to know about the team and the history behind it. Of course things have changed to some degree with the reboot, but still it is very easy to get into.
I'm far from DC's target audience with this one, but I felt like it was a book I'd be able to pick up and read without too much issue. I was right about that much. There have been some changes that have been cause for complaint (Harley's makeover, Deadshot's shaved, Waller's thinned down), but for me I wasn't bothered by any of this. Longtime fans may have problems with these changes and new fans probably won't even know the difference.Score: 20/25Enjoyability
- One word I wouldn't use to describe this book is "fun". It's dark and grim to the point of trying too hard. Still, it has a certain air to it that feels like a neo-noir movie. Going back to my earlier Reservoir Dogs reference, to me this book seems like it could be a Tarantino movie (for better or worse). There's always the possibility of violence, which is what gives Tarantino (and Hitchcock before him) his edge.
That said this book is far from being on par with them. Even though I said it could be a Tarantino film, it certainly is not. The interrogation/torture scenes are cool for me because I enjoy those kinds of scenes in films. In comic books, I don't really think it works. They lean too much on it and make it the primary focus of the book.Score: 15/25Overall Opinion
- One arc that came to mind for me while I was reading this was Mark Waid's Amazing Spider-Man #578-9
, featuring the Shocker trapping a subway train in the tunnel. The two issues take place in one place and time and build it naturally. Suicide Squad, though, takes one scene but misuses it. They spent too much time developing some characters (Diablo has potential, though) and not enough on others. Who the **** are Voltaic and Black Spider? What's King Shark's deal, aside from being a man-eating shark-man? After one issue, I feel like these things should be known.Final Score: 70/100
Marvel Reviewer: Comic Doctor
I've always been a fan of books with villains working to be heroes, so I was looking forward to reading Suicide Squad #1
. Although these villains may not necessarily be doing heroic work, I don't mind at all.
Writer Adam Glass has assembled a good team of characters for his book. Deadshot and Harley Quinn have always been favorites of mine, and King Shark, Chato Santana, Black Spider, and Voltaic all seem to have lots of promise. Adam does a great job showing us how some of these characters came to be in the situation they are in, and he also shows just how tough they are while being tortured by some hooded strangers. Adam then uses the character of Savant to fully fill us in on all the details, though this seemingly costs Savant his life. Very well done Mr. Glass.
By the end of the issue we learn that the new-look Amanda Waller is responsible for bringing this 'team' together, and all the torture the villains went through was a test to see if they would crack under extreme pressure. The reward for passing is to go on their next mission – a mission to kill a stadium full of 60,000 people within six hours. Sounds like it will be a bloodbath.
The art in Suicide Squad #1
was pretty good, but the first half was a bit different than the second half. I don't know if there were two different pencillers, or two different inkers. Either way, I didn't find it distracting to the story. The colors were a bit dark, but that was perfect for the atmosphere of the issue.
I will definitely be picking up future issues of Suicide Squad
, and I can't wait to see how things go in the stadium next issue.Writing
: 22/25TOTAL: 83/100
New Reader Reviewer: Katie Hutchison
Perhaps it was because the first page had Deadshot being tortured and eaten by rats, but I did not like Suicide Squad #1 from the beginning.
I had decided to read this comic because I had learned who Harley Quinn was through the Lego Batman Wii game (OK, can you tell I never really got into Batman?) and I thought the concept of the Joker's girlfriend seemed cool, something that should be interesting to read. Right?
As I said, there was a lot of torture. Now I love Wolverine and his homicidal family, so it's not like I have a problem with blood, but I felt like the torture was too focal and in your face. Like I was watching Saw XVI, or whatever number they are on now. Another con: I had to read it through twice to understand who was who and which character was narrating.
Eventually I get to page 10 and I see King Shark. Good lord, could they have come up with a more ridiculous character? As someone who took a science class at least once in her life, I know I have to push back my basic understanding of biology, anatomy, and genetics for some comic book characters. And I am ok with this. But human body with a shark head? Just plain stupid.
In the end we learn why they're called the Suicide Squad (they can be blown up at any time!) and why they're being tortured (a loyalty test). The concept of the comic seems like it could get interesting and pick up...but I won't be picking up issue #2.
DC Reviewer: Brian Burchette
This is the third incarnation of this book; the first being in 1959 and the second and most legendary team in 1987 by the legendary John Ostrander. This new incarnation stays very true to the first two, including longtime fan favorite Deadshot.
Just like the first two incarnations, this team is also hidden deep within Belle Reeve and on paper is called Task Force X. However, there are some new twists, with the ever popular Harley Quinn now a member with King Shark and hopefully a still alive Savant. What seems like a rescue mission turns into a fight for survival as the team is tortured mercilessly to give up their secret – who do they work for? Only Savant breaks, the others keep their mouths shut right up until the very end. The end, however, is not what it seems as this was all a test. Having passed, the newest members of Amanda Waller's team are assembled for their first real assignment: Wipe out a stadium full of sixty thousand people!
This book has some potential, though the first story seemed cliché, and there could have been a bit more explanation on whom Amanda Waller and the organization actually is (maybe even a quick history lesson). Adam Glass seems to have a feel for these characters, though Harley seems to be more of a sarcastic killer than a real nut job like she has always been written as. Unfortunately there is something about the art that doesn't seem neither appealing nor very inviting.
There's enough here to make me come back for at least a six issue trial, but the art may just keep me from collecting the entire series.
Final Score: 67/100
Final 52apolooza Score: 267 (Average Score: 66.75)
Written or Contributed by: Veggieleezy, Comic Doctor, Katie Hutchison and Brian Burchettehttp://126.96.36.199/index.php/reviews/comics-reviews/52apalooza/15693-52apolooza-suicide-squad.html/