Suicide Squad #1

Wow, this comic is a disaster. The idiocy of Harley’s new costume has been widely discussed, but I hadn’t seen it until now and it is worse than I thought it’d be. The hair is fine and could have been a nice touch with much of the old costume, but DC has apparently decided to go toe to toe with Image on ridiculous costumes that try to see how much female skin they can show 20 years too late. I don’t really get why they made this change, Harley had a really good, identifiable, almost iconic costume. It is like they let Rob Liefled become the art director and I can’t think of anyone who would be worse at that job.

There’s also a small re-design of King Shark, a character that had been pretty pointless until Gail Simone got a hold of him in Secret Six. For some reason, they’ve decided to make him a hammerhead shark. I don’t like it, it makes him more fragile or at least fragile-seeming and there’s no point to it.

As far as the “plot” goes, this first issue is little but torture-porn. You’re led to believe that the Suicide Squad’s first mission has gone horribly wrong and they’re all about to be killed after being brutally tortured. Deadshot has rats tearing at his chest, Harley has jumper cables applied to her face, they’re pouring sacks of salt into people’s wounds, covering others in insects, doing all kinds of horrible things to people. Turns out it was all a test to see if any of the villains would say who had sent them, a test done by the government, the very people that are about to send them on a mission. It is implied that Amanda Waller herself is one of the torturers.

Not only is this sick, it is stupid. First, every one of these villains is the type to seek vengeance for this kind of thing, even if it kills them. Second, they give the villains 8 hours rest, put them back in costume, tie them into chairs and dump them out of a plane into their first mission, still bound to their chairs, no briefing, no plan, no idea what to expect, not even a reassurance about how they’ll get to the ground without splatting or how they’ll get out of the chairs. Unless they were lying about the 8 hours, this is about as stupid as it gets, they’ve all just spent time being brutally tortured. Deadshot and El Diablo have had open, ragged wounds in their chests, they’ve all listened to another prisoner, one they thought was one of them screaming for help as he thinks he’s being dragged off to his death. None of them are in any shape to be out of a hospital, much less air-dropped into a mission.

The mission itself gets only a brief description at the end, it is all they’re told of it, as they’re falling from the plane, they hear Amanda Waller tell them they’re being dropped into the “Megadome” in Mississippi and she ends up with “Your mission is to wipe out the entire stadium. Sixty thousand people. You have six hours.” What possibly purpose could this have? Is Amanda Waller a terrorist this time around? How did she get access to the prison system? Not only is this “mission” impossible for the villains sent on this mission even if they were healthy, but it makes no sense.

The teaser for the next issue says “Six vs. sixty thousand! The first squad casualty!” Oh good, the next issue promises to be nothing but an orgy of murder and one of the new characters they’ve thrown in here is nothing but fodder. Apparently this writer has no idea of what to do with this title. These are all cheap stunts with no redeeming value. It is a shame too, I liked previous incarnations of the Suicide Squad, but if this title keeps going like this I won’t just drop it from my pull after issue #2, I’ll be rooting for it to be cancelled.

There’s one other character redesign and I don’t like this one either. They’ve changed Amanda Waller. They’ve made her younger, thin and “sexy”. Her pose in the one panel where she’s shown gives me an idea of why. Someone’s been reading Marvel’s Heroes for Hire and thinks Waller should look more like Misty Knight, the other black woman that sends supers of questionable moral standing out on missions. I liked Waller the way she was: middle aged, experienced, in good shape, but not hero-level, heavy, but not fat and tough as hell. What’s wrong with having a more normal-looking character in comics? The change was probably made by the same moron that changed Harley’s look.

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