DC Comics, 20 pages, $ 2.99
For all intents and purposes, Suicide Squad replaces Gail Simone’s fan-favorite Secret Six as DC’s resident villain-themed title. And, of course, it carries the title of another fan-favorite series from the 1980s—but without having fan-favorite writer John Ostrander’s name in the credits. Finally, the title revamps fan-favorite characters Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller, exchanging their recognizable and unique visuals for ones that are rather less so.
In other words, many of the book’s potential readers were probably predisposed to dislike the book from the get-go.
As it turns out, the creators don’t seem inclined to change anybody’s minds, as Suicide Squad is a mediocre, run-of-the-mill book more than anything else. The story introduces the characters and the concept with a plot that’s well-worn but just about does the trick. The artwork—shared by two artists whose styles are not a very good match—is competent, but looks rushed and, in places, just plain ugly. There are extended displays of violence and torture, too, but to be fair, a book titled Suicide Squad is a better place for them than most of the many other “New 52” debut issues that have them as well.
It’s a dumb, mean-spirited, sometimes ugly, mostly competent but completely unoriginal action thriller about a gang of super-powered psychopaths working for a shady government program run by a sadist. If you like this sort of thing, you may find Suicide Squad intermittently entertaining.