We offer today a Retro-Review of a DC Comics title--The Suicide Squad–that originally hit the bookshelves in August, 2014. With the new Suicide Squad movie coming out in the summer of 2016, and the media buzz around this new DC film and the new Joker, and Margot Robbie as the first live-action Harley Quinn.
For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of the Suicide Squad, the following comic book review will serve as an introduction to what is fast becoming DC Comics’ best-known super-villain group–The Suicide Squad!
The All-New Suicide Squad’s first issue, brings together several of the most murderous, and, in at least a couple of cases, most insane villains together to ‘do a job.” In prior volumes of this title, every now and then one of the Squad members gets killed, therefore making their missions something of a suicide mission, which more-or-less provides the impetus of the books’ title.
New Suicide Squad Cover
The concept of the Suicide Squad is fairly simple. Taking the idea from other media (the movie the Dirty Dozen comes to mind), the U.S. government, seeking secret warriors who are not publicly connected with Washington, recruits imprisoned villains into an ad-hoc strike force that can do the dirty jobs that cannot be connected to the government. The bad guys and gals wreak mayhem on the intended target and the public (and the target) just think it is homicidal super-villains doing what they do. DC Comics has been running Suicide Squad titles since the 1980s, and this latest version of the secret villain team features some of the most bloodthirsty, crazy, and calculating baddies that the DC Universe has to offer.
All-New Suicide Squad
Black Manta, Deathstroke, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and the Joker’s Daughter are the new Suicide Squad. The plot, such as it is, puts our gang in Moscow, with a mission to make the Russians pay for their own bag of dirty tricks. Ukraine and Crimea are not mentioned, but they may as well be for all the non-subtlety of their mission.
The action is typical of what happens when you unleash killers upon a civilian target. The only question is who will intervene to stop this Suicide Squad? Batman and Robin? Aquaman? Anyone? Actually, the end of the book answers that question, but we will not reveal that here.
All-New Suicide Squad #1 Harley and Joker’s Daughter
As an introductory #1 issue, the plot and character development are par for the course. Writer Sean Ryan sets up what the essence of what this team is about, why the government bureaucrats are unleashing these horrible killers upon the world, and the basic interactions between our Squaddies. The most intriguing piece of this team lineup is Harley Quinn and Joker’s Daughter. They don’t like each other, and if you have any knowledge of these two crazy women, you know why they are like oil and fire together. The interaction between Deadshot and Deathstroke also bears possible future plot complications.
Harley Quinn in Moscow
Artist Jeremy Roberts turns in good, clean art, with clear definition and effectively violent battle scenes. His take on our five villains is well-done, and effective.
Again, going back to the problem of the “suicide” title, after reading the story, it is clear that “Homocide Squad” or “Murder Squad” would be more in keeping with the actual action of the Squaddies.
Overall, this book is interesting mostly due to the potential Harley/Joker’s Daughter conflict. That, and wondering if one of the bad guys will be killed off. Comics and storylines that highlight the character and motivation of villains, if done right, can be fascinating. We shall see what Ryan and Roberts have in store for us and this collection of sociopathic misfits.
Below is our video review of the New Suicide Squad #1.