It seems like every comic book villain has been made into a hero, or at least a terrible person masquerading as a hero, which I suppose is pretty true to real life.
DC isn’t immune to the epidemic, but they haven’t been struck with it quite as hard as Marvel, where the X-Men to such an extent that they literally have no rogue’s gallery left.
DC’s Suicide Squad mirrors the concept of Marvel’s similar Thunderbolts: what if a group of some of the most irredeemable villains were offered temporary clemency to use their powers to benefit the government?
I’ll confess that the only thing that looks familiar here is Harley Quinn, who I only know from Batman cartoons. Will a squad of villains I’ve never met resonate at all?
Suicide Squad #1
Written by Adam Glass, art by Federico Dallocchio & Ransom Getty
Rating: 2.5 of 5 – Okay
In a Line: “A scream lets me know we’re making progress.”
#140char Review: Suicide Squad #1 is an effective intro that seems to tread Deadpool “bloody & whacky” ground, but I don’t know that I care about any of the villainous chars.
CK Says: Consider it.
Suicide Squad #1 stands in the middle of the pack of average DC Relaunch books with a nuanced story structure but inconsistent artwork. It comes down to whether this team of minor-league villains is compelling enough to support their own book, which is as much about them as about the plots they are subjected to.
So how is their first plot? Adam Glass sets up an interesting narrative, where half the team get brief origin stories – not of their villainous ways but of the missteps that lead to their capture. It’s a seriously effective device for a team book, and it jives well with the brutal interrogation they’re all being subjected to.
Deadshot and El Diablo both have human vices, but the deranged Harley Quinn is pure chaos and King Shark is a one-note cannibal. It would have been a good choice to throw in one or two members that weren’t in the same torture session as the squad, even if that meant holding a few characters back until next issue.
Federico Dallocchio handles the team well in the heavy blacks of the one-on-one torture sequences, but some of the other pages have a gawky silliness to them (especially on Quinn), which pushes the book into comedic Deadpool territory. A spread of the entire team on their first mission is especially bad. Can Dalocchio only draw this team well in low light and bondage gear? If so, it’s hard to know which version of Suicide Squad to come back for next month – the moodier, darker tone or the sillier one.
Despite the reintroductions I’m not sure this issue did enough to distinguish any one character for newer fans, though I will admit that a few last-minute twists piqued my interest. I think it is worth picking up the second issue to see if the team can get to the purpose of their new mission without committing mass murder, but the final direction in art will have a lot to do with if it’s worth sticking around beyond that.