Monday, August 10, 2015

Reivew of Suicide Squad volumes 2 & 3

New 52 Review: Suicide Squad, volume 2: Basilisk Rising & volume 3: Death is For Suckers, collecting issues 0 and 8-19. Writen by Adam Glass, with art by Fernando Dagnino, Henrik Jonsson, and others.

The premise of this series has been done many times before. Take the baddest of the bad guys, and dragoon them into doing good in exchange for time off their sentences. In this case, the bad guys are actual super-villains (Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, King Shark, Deadshot and others) who work under Amanda Waller to keep the world safe from worse super-villains than they are. Waller keeps them in line through explosive neck implants that she can remotely detonate.

Volume 2 picks up there the first one (reviewed here) left off, as the Squad faces the international terrorist Basilisk. In a dramatic concluding scene, Deadshot sacrifices himself to kill Basilisk, proving that even the most villainous villains can act heroic when called upon to do so.

Except that in Volume 3, both hero and villain return. And although this is common in comic books, it should not be the case for Suicide Squad. The premise of Suicide Squad is that these characters are disposable. What else could explain the presence of Slipknot in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie? The tension that these characters are actually risking their lives is what makes this title different from almost every other comic book title, and removing that from the equation removes much of this title’s uniqueness. I did not keep a count, but it’s possible that over these 13 issues, we actually have more characters return from death than actually die. And that’s a problem.

Harley Quinn continues to be the breakout start of this series, and the two issues where she goes head-to-head against Joker were very good. There are indications in that issue and following that he has gotten back inside her head, and her personality split between Harley & Harleen may return in future issues. King Shark is the other recurring villain that I have grown fond of, as his presence adds a nice bit of humor to the book.

And the dramatic turn of events at the end of issue 19 guarantees that I will be tracking down volume 4 of this title.

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