New Suicide Squad #1 review

A new chapter in the Suicide Squad story begins with a new number one. Events segue so smoothly from the last issue of the previous run that if you didn't see the cover copy, you'd not notice. Still, if it helps sales and gets attention on the work of new creative team Sean Ryan and Jeremy Roberts, that's fine.

Because this is a pretty decent first issue. Not amazing - the final instalment of the previous volume, #30, also written by Sean Ryan, was more impressive, a rollicking good read - but there's a nice energy that could make for a compelling run. Roberts' sharp linework is an instant win - he draws the cast consistently well, and knows how to choreograph a good action sequence. 

And Ryan's character dynamics are well-worked, with the scene between deposed Squad boss Amanda Waller and new team chief Vic Sage promising fireworks.

Vic Sage? Yep, it seems mysterious hero The Question has the trust of the US Government and for some reason he's acting like an ass. How this will tie into his upcoming role in the just-announced Trinity of Sin ongoing, I've no idea. To be honest, I'd rather forget the linked pasts of the Phantom Stranger, Pandora and the Question, especially the latter's current mystical nature. For now, I want to see where Ryan is going with Sage; he's apparently playing Waller, sending a new version of the Suicide Squad into Russia on a very dubious mission. As well as existing members Deadshot, Harley Quinn and Black Manta, he's added Deathstroke and the Joker's Daughter. You'll notice the repetition in the MOs of four of the five. Waller does too. Why Deadshot and Deathstroke? Why Harley Quinn and the Joker's Daughter? 'Friendly competition' says Sage. My translation: he wants one or more of Waller's team choices to get killed, to teach her some kind of lesson.

Me, I'd rather the weirdly popular 'noble assassin' Deathstroke and one-note Joker rip-off JD fell under a Russian tank, I don't want to read about either. I suspect they'll be around awhile, though - what with Deathstroke currently being on telly and JD the star of a hyped-to-success 3D cover comic - so let's hope Ryan does something interesting with them. And if he can make Black Manta more than a villain of few words, so much the better. With Deadshot being the only team member with true charisma, Ryan will need to go some to convince me this is a line-up worthy of my time. 

A big wow moment, that's what this book lacks. Something of the level of Thunderbolts #1, or Avengers Academy's debut. A surprise, a reason to pay attention to the book. As an old school Squad fan, I know that an unpromising bunch can be spun into gold by a first-rate author, so I'm not writing this bunch off, but so far as debuts go, this is simply solid. 

When the things that impress me most are the return of Deadshot's tache and the speech pattern of Waller's new right-hand person Bonnie, that's not good.

Sage's assignment for the Belle Reve bad guys involves disrupting the Russian government machine with a spot of easily disowned murder and mayhem. Squad missions are usually more on the metahuman side - I'm not comfortable with the US government sponsoring the slaying of civilians for some nebulous exercise in point scoring. Hopefully, Waller feels the same, although she seems so keen to remain part of the Task Force X programme that she's treating Sage better than he deserves.

I suspect I'm grumpier about this issue than it merits because of the Joker's Daughter, the worst excuse for a Batman villain to turn up in forever. The Seventies JD had wacky charm, the new version is simply a psycho wannabe who fills the pages with blood. Harley, on the other hand, has an actual personality and her own take on the life villainous, a certain crazy sexy cool. 

My favourite Squad moment here sees her begin her assault on Russian values with one of the great symbols of America. Just call her Batwoman. And look at how well Roberts and colourist partner Blond represent snow.

Roberts and Blond also provide the barnstorming cover, which boasts a brilliant new logo.

If you've ever been a Suicide Squad fan, I say give this a try. It's a well-crafted, entertaining comic book. I do hope, though, that it quickly becomes something really special.


  1. I picked up the last series here and there, buying most of the last year. So I thought I'd give this a try. It really didn't work for me.

    I agree there wasn't a ka-pow moment.
    There also was no humor.

    I sort of like my Suicide Squad to be a sort of black comedy, gallows humor and all. There didn't seem to be much of that here. And Deathstroke hasn't been interesting to me since New Teen Titans. And Joker's Daughter? Yeesh.

    I did like Jeremy Roberts art.

    1. I'll read a few issues and report back on whether any gags show up, as you indicate, there's plenty of potential in the concept.

  2. I did a review on this as well. I liked the issue, but I wasn't in love with it either (7.5 out of 10 from me). There things I definitely liked about it and I'm going to read the entire first arc before I make a judgment call, but I dunno. You are right, it needed a wow factor, because I felt like this book was missing something.

    1. I had a look around for your review, couldn't find it - help!

  3. thanks for posting this review Gary I was some what curious about this book. but it looks like more of the same of what I hated about the Squad reboot. although at least Deadshot finally looks like Deadshot and not like Rick Flag but as an old school Squad fan DC basically has nothing for me.

  4. (Gary?)

    I wonder of Rick Flagg Jr exists on current continuity? A new version could be interesting. I'd like Nightshade too

    1. oh sorry about that mate I dunno where I got Gary from. as far as I know there's nothing to be found of Nightshade or Rick Flag in the new DCU. that was one of the biggest mistakes about the rebooted Squad was to not include just about all of the classic SS characters. even some of the new characters that I kinda liked such as Diablo and Black Spider didn't last long and in general the series just seem to have writers that never could get the title going in a consistent direction. it just isn't anything like what made the series so fun to read when it was written by John Ostrander. it even has me burnt out on the Harley Quinn character I just really hate new comics when it comes to both DC and marvel they cost too much and don't contain the content I want to read. in the case of marvel they've done such a disservice to the continuity of ROM spaceknight in their cosmic stories it just complete bulloks as you guys say.

  5. I remember when Duella Dent was a fun character, rather than a one-note psycho. And honestly, when every one else is a one note psycho, there's room for branching out a little.

    I always thought that the point of Suicide Squad was that people could actually die. When half the cast have their own comics and the rest are on TV, that element of danger falls a little flat.


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