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Review: Suicide Squad/The Banana Splits Special #1

“SUICIDE SPLITS”! Mistaken for metahumans, thrown in the bowels of Belle Reve, the animal rock band Banana Splits are recruited by Amanda Waller for a secret mission: to save the Suicide Squad! What follows is the weirdest team-up you never thought you’d see! How can Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky stand up to Harley, Deadshot, Katana and Croc?!

And in the backup feature, Snagglepuss is a Southern gothic playwright working with an ensemble cast of cultural figures, exploring an intensely creative time in the New York City theater scene of the 1950s…

Ok, want a concept that shouldn’t work by does and then you realize it’s something you’re missing in your life and you want more of it? Then take the Suicide Squad, add in The Banana Splits, and have it written by Tony Bedard with art by Ben Caldwell.

While the Suicide Squad is well know partially due to their high profile from a film its been a while since The Banana Splits has been a thing and for those that don’t know them, think 70s music focused show where the band is dressed in costumes and are made of nightmares similar to the animatronic Chuck E Cheese band. In this story after a misunderstanding the band is recruited by Amanda Waller and must save the Suicide Squad and it’s insane. Like, what’d Bedard take while writing this insane. But, it works. This comic is fun, full of energy, and completely out there. It makes me want to see more of this, and especially The Banana Splits as a hardcore rap group (read the comic it makes sense). Bedard in his writing not only is able to use the insanity of the Suicide Squad times ten, but he also seems to mine NWA and CB4 for material as well. More please!

Caldwell’s art too is fantastic. The style by which it’s all done feels like it enhances the insane energy and these two together as writer and artist are awesome. Caldwell makes the case that he needs to do a Harley Quinn comic as his renderings show off her insane glee of destruction. It’s a perfect mix of concept, writer, and art.

But, the main story’s insanity isn’t the best part!

That’s delivered by writer Mark Russell and artist Howard Porter who deliver Snagglepuss as a Southern gothic playwright dragged in front of the House of UnAmerican Activities committee. That’s funny, but the second half of the story is tragic and a hell of a statement as to the importance of art in society. It’s a gut punch through the laughter, but again shows off that Russell is a master at mixing comedy with social relevance in an entertaining package. Porter’s art is top notch here with a very cool design of Snagglepuss and the world around him. It’s just a fantastic combination that makes me want to see more of it all.

This comic is my favorite of the week delivering two entertaining stories that are entertaining in totally different ways.

Suicide Squad/The Banana Splits

Story: Tony Bedard Art: Ben Caldwell
Story: 9.35 Art: 9.35 Overall: 9.35 Recommendation: Buy

The Snagglepuss Chronicles

Story: Mark Russell Art: Howard Porter
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review