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Review: Suicide Squad #1

SuicideSquad1CoverSuicide Squad #1 is really the tale of two (half) comics written by Rob Williams . The first is a highly decompressed, threadbare plotted Suicide Squad story that is basically the first few minutes of the Suicide Squad movie without the flashy music and intros. Amanda Waller assembles the team, gives them a mission to retrieve a MacGuffin, and then they get dropped out of space. And that’s the entire plot, and superstar penciler Jim Lee and inker Scott Williams are relegated to drawing Harley Quinn playing a copyright friendly version of Pokemon Go, and Killer Croc puking in his space helmet. It’s really a boring read: a gorgeous double page Lee splash of Amanda Waller’s helicopter swooping into Belle Reve notwithstanding.

But what takes this comic from the “pass” to “read” zone is a stellar ten page backup story starring Deadshot and drawn and colored by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson respectively. Fabok has an art style that is similar to Jim Lee’s recent DC work, but he brings more power and motion to the table, which is perfect for a quick fire action story that features Deadshot teaming up with Batman of all people to rescue his daughter Zoe from Kobra. This story defines the essence of Deadshot as a character while still having a thrilling plot as he wants to be a hero, but isn’t afraid to kill to protect his daughter or get a paycheck. His nihilist approach to living is told through Waller’s exposition, but Fabok’s art captures his love for Zoe as he immediately switches to live fire when he sees her in danger and immediately turns himself into Batman.

However, the vigor and emotion of the Deadshot doesn’t translate to the lead Suicide Squad story, which doesn’t even feel like a trailer, but a teaser for a trailer. It makes sense to have the lead stories more focused on action and fighting with the backups delving into the character’s personalities, but this lead story doesn’t even have action. It’s 11 pages of Amanda Waller narrating about how she doesn’t care of while the Suicide Squad members say a couple lines of dialogue having to do with the most cliched aspects of their personality. The story gives us no reason why we should care for these people except that they appeared in a movie earlier this month, and it has the vibe of a media tie-in instead of being its own entity. (Except Deadshot is white.) Alex Sinclair does do a decent job on the coloring front using a burnt orange palette when the Suicide Squad plunges to Earth that makes it feel like they might actually catch on fire upon re-entry.  Lee and Williams are stuck doing talking heads, but make Waller look sufficiently menacing as her presence is the only interesting part of this entirely run of the mill comic.

Suicide Squad #1 has one solid Deadshot and one utterly unstimulating Suicide Squad story, and it’s worth passing on unless you’re a huge Deadshot and want to see Jason Fabok draw him teaming up with Batman.

Story: Rob Williams Pencils: Jim Lee Inks: Scott Williams Colors: Alex Sinclair Backup Art: Jason Fabok Backup Colors: Brad Anderson
Story: 5 Art: 6 Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review