Suicide Squad has already become a box office hit in the theaters and with it is a comic series that’s a bit more in line with the movie lineup of the team. The Rebirth issue manages to do a few things right, but how is issue #1?
Suicide Squad #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
“The Black Vault” part one! When a mysterious and definitely super-important cosmic item falls out of the heavens and into enemy hands, America has only one option: Task Force X, Amanda Waller’s strike team of incarcerated super-criminals. A one-stop-shop for plausibly deniable espionage and ultra- violence, this “Suicide Squad” only handles missions they’re not expected to survive. An insane new era of SUICIDE SQUAD begins here with superstar artist Jim Lee and red-hot writer Rob Williams (UNFOLLOW, MARTIAN MANHUNTER).
Why does this book matter?
Jim Lee is drawing again. Rob Williams proved last week he has a handle on big ideas and great action. What else do you need?!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Suicide Squad #1 feels like a lost chapter that’s a precursor to the recent film with most of the team in the film being represented in this issue. Waller’s hard ass nature comes with some clever captions that convey the sense that evil is good and evil needs to be used. From there the characters go on an insane mission that’s a reminder these characters only do missions that risk their lives. Suicide is essentially reiterated in that regard, which helps to sell the uniqueness of this team. So, at the same time it feels like a solid introduction, but also a mission the characters went on before the film takes place.
There’s plenty of moments for each of the characters — like Flag rescuing Killer Croc, or Harley commenting on the direness of the situation. While much of the their moments involve throwing out some customary dialogue or acting strange it does well to set things up for the next chapter. The main story lasts only about 15 pages so major developments taking place isn’t a necessity.
Waller is one bad mother.
The rest of the issue involves a dossier of sorts for Deadshot. We get to see the events that took place before he was sent to prison and made to join Suicide Squad. The fact that the story involves Batman is somewhat irrelevant, although it’s a welcome site, and instead it’s great because Williams reminds us that Floyd’s just an average guy who loves his daughter. He also has a crackerjack wit and attitude, which is fun.
Jim Lee proves yet again his pencils are fantastic. The detail looks great in technology like the helicopter Waller rides in on and there are some pretty panels like the one that introduces the characters. Jason Fabok’s pencils in the backup story about Deadshot might just outdo Lee though as their dark inks and detail have a great handle on atmosphere. Deadshot’s story is a tragic one and you can see it in Fabok’s art.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Harley fans may be disappointed in the lack of her character doing or saying much, but it is early yet. As a first issue you get a sense of where things are going and the dynamic between the characters, but it is a bit unfortunate they don’t get to do much beyond be forced to do something dangerous.
Is It Good?
Suicide Squad is a shot out of a barrel that’s fun and reminds us how and why these characters are captivating.