DC’s New Suicide Squad: Oh the things they COULD have done…

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Even with the minor complaints I’ve had as of late, I still love CW’s take on DC Comics’ Arrow, and since their first official appearance last season I’ve wanted to see more Suicide Squad. So when I made it out to a local comic book shop yesterday and realized that DC recently released comics featuring a new version of Task Force X, I purchased and devoured the first four issues, along with the Futures End one-shot that was put out earlier this month.

Unfortunately, I was left reeling, and not really in a good way. Do I want more of the story? Yes, actually, I do…though I wish I hadn’t bothered reading the one-shot at all now that I can’t put it out of my head, but more on that later.

image3There’s so much going on in these issues that, despite the fact that it all leads to some great plot developments, those developments are slightly outweighed by several glaring problems. The very first issue throws readers right into the thick of things, and there is little to no back story revealed, not in New Suicide Squad #1 or the three subsequent issues. By the time I got to “Joker’s Daughter and the Wrath of Harley Quinn” I’d hoped to understand these two women more, but all we get is two crazy chicks fighting over a man…for no discernible reason! Yes, Harley was pissed about the Joker’s Daughter from the beginning, but while they’re fighting she’s insisting that the Joker “isn’t worth it” and that he was “the worst mistake of her life”. When did these realizations come to pass? Up until those panels Harley seemed to be angry about the inclusion of the Joker’s Daughter, who is literally wearing the face of the man Harley “loved”…

And speaking of the women in this comic, let’s talk about their clothing…or rather, their lack of it. There have certainly been other versions of Harley Quinn that didn’t feature her trademark jester outfit, and there are things I like about this new, darker iteration of her…but take her corset top that’s literally busting open and her bare midriff and thighs, combined with Joker’s Daughter’s similarly revealing outfit, and compare it to the full body armor/suits that Deadshot, Black Manta, and Deathstroke are wearing. image2There’s something seriously wrong with this picture, and no, I don’t want to hear the usual “Get used to it, they’re COMIC BOOK CHARACTERS”-type arguments. Considering that the art is actually *mostly* top-notch, it’s not only unnecessary to have these two women be barely clothed, it would actually be more interesting if they had legitimate outfits/suits more like those of the male characters.

Additionally, the constant bickering between Amanda Waller and new character Vic Sage took up far too many panels. Why does it take four issues for Amanda to assert herself? And when Sage finally steps off the edge and lunges at her, why does she have to point out that he is threatening a “subordinate, African-American woman”? Sage’s very inclusion seems contrived at best, though I’m glad that at the end of Issue #4 he seemed to be moving on to his true purpose. Maybe he’ll be easier to handle if he’s not spending 100% of his time whining about Waller.

I was hoping that the Futures End one-shot would be an interesting break from my slight disappointment in the first four issues of New Suicide Squad, but as I already mentioned I wish I hadn’t read it quite yet. In fact, it seems a bit early in this particular iteration for them to already be introducing a possible future for the Suicide Squad. Add to that the fact that some of the characters don’t quite look right (I can’t place my finger on it exactly, but I feel like Waller and Deadshot’s portrayals don’t really match with how they are being drawn in New Suicide Squad) and the fact that this one-shot is basically about cloning and experiments gone wrong, and the whole thing just seemed contrived and out of place.

All that said, I’m still itching to find out what will happen in New Suicide Squad. Did Joker’s Daughter take Harley’s words to heart? What mess is Vic Sage going to cause next? This series could use a bit of tweaking, but I do think it has some great potential, especially with CW’s Arrow [hopefully] stirring up interest in the Suicide Squad.

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.


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