Monday, August 15, 2016

Suicide Squad #1

 The "Rebirth" keeps on rebirthin' with the umpteenth SUICIDE SQUAD #1 of the past decade.

 One look at the Jim Lee cover art will clue you in that this latest revamp is geared to fans of the movie, and uses team members featured in the film (Rick Flag, Amanda Waller, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, The Enchantress, Deadshot, and Katana). I wish Marvel and DC would stop catering all of their books to their cinematic counterparts.

 I'll spare you my usual DC confusion about the current continuity....I was prepared to just shut off my brain and enjoy a good Suicide Squad story, especially since this issue was penciled by the legendary Jim Lee, but....yeah, but. This is really not a good comic. Nicely illustrated by Jim Lee (and Jason Fabok, who does the Deadshot back-up story), but writer Rob Williams has these characters all wrong.

 I've been reading SUICIDE SQUAD since they were introduced in DC's LEGENDS mini-series thirty years ago, so I think I'm qualified to speak about them. John Ostrander was, is, and shall remain, THE definitive SUICIDE SQUAD writer. Rob Williams isn't even close.

 The story, such as it is, finds Task Force X mobilized to retrieve, and/or destroy, a "Cosmic item" of incalculable power that has landed in Russia. They are secretly deployed, but a mishap finds them plummeting to Earth. This happens within fourteen pages. What happens at the bottom of page fourteen, you might ask...? The bottom of page fourteen features the "To be continued" box.

 Yes, this comic features a whopping fourteen pages of main story.

 True, there is a seven-page Deadshot back-up story, which is decent, but, still.....FOURTEEN pages of story that features the meat of the book: The team and their mission. I have no idea how often this book is being published (Monthly, bi-weekly?), how long Jim Lee will be illustrating it for (One issue, the whole first arc...?), or how long this story will run (Are they keeping the main storyline to short chapters because that's all that Lee can deliver on a monthly basis?), but I can say this: Rob Williams has all of the characters speaking in the same voice (Aside from Captain Boomerang, who speaks in the same voice but uses Australian slang), so the writing ain't gonna sell this book. It's pretty horrible. Jim Lee's art WILL sell the book, and I closed this first issue thinking that I might pick up the collected edition when it comes out, but if it's going to have such a small amount of Jim Lee's art, I might have to reevaluate that. No offense to Jason Fabok, who is a tremendously talented artist in his own right, but I mainly buy comics to read, not look at, so a solid story is a must. Depending on where this story goes (What the team is looking for, who they come into conflict with, etc.), I might be tempted to buy the trade down the road, but this is a poor first issue, and it didn't give me warm fuzzies about picking up future issues.

 DC Comics provided a review copy.