Review by: comicBOOKchris

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Avg Rating: 4.3
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Written by ADAM GLASS

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

I dropped Suicide Squad at issue #3. I came into this series desperately wanting to like it, as it starred a few characters who I immensely enjoyed reading in their pre-reboot states. If only I heard the interview with Adam Glass before this series came out, where he spelled out his hatred for the previous Suicide Squad series, maybe I would’ve gotten a preeminent clue of what this series would actually be. However, after hearing about the continued fanfare regarding this series from people who’s opinions I respect, I decided to pick up Suicide Squad #6. After all, the cover did promise that it was going to focus on one of those characters who I previously enjoyed reading.

I can kind of see the appeal behind the new Suicide Squad. The series seems like a completely anarchist romp where violence is king and blood and broken bones fly like birds through the air. On the surface, it seems like this would be the perfect book to experience some great black comedy and seedy stories. What we get here, however, stops short before the target. Yes, this book is quite carefree in the action and gore. That’s really it, though. If you look past all of that, it’s apparent that this is one of the shallowest books on the stands. I have no problem with violence for violence sake or using violence as a punchline in a black comedy sense, but when that’s the only thing that a series is telegraphing, a blind man can see that we have a one trick pony on our hands. It’s possible to make a fun story out of the three B’s (blood, boobs and bullets), but the writer here doesn’t seem smart enough to tie all of these elements together into an entertaining story. It reminds me of that fight scene in The Matrix 2 where Neo fights the thousands of Agent Smiths…on paper it sounds amazing, but when executed, it ended up being an overlong punchfest that dragged on forever. Writing a good dumb fun story isn’t easy. Like comedy, there’s alot of work that goes into something that seems effortless.

The fact that the characters are as interesting as dry sponges doesn’t help this book’s cause (more on Harley Quinn in a minute). This book doesn’t so much have characters, but instead a group of personality-less machos dorks who form an amorphous blob that form the titular team. It’s pretty pointless to single out characters to talk about, since they’re all the same guy but with different gimmicks. For instance, Deadshot was a character who I would follow from book to book, as I loved his nihilistic and smarmy (also mustachey) attitude. In this issue, though, he’s just testicle-threatening “badass” #4. And don’t even get me started on Amanda Waller, who is just a characterized recap page.

I did want to focus a tiny bit more on Harley, though, since she’s the focal point of this issue. Much derision has been placed on her new “Strong Independent Female Character” outfit (perhaps ICP fans who have a thing for female Juggalos like it…but it goes without saying that we should ignore them), but not enough focus has been placed on her character. Yes, the new redesign looks stupid and trashy…oh damn, I mean “Strong and Independent”, it’s never good to judge a book solely on its cover. Well in this case, the book is pretty much entirely the cover. In Suicide Squad #6, we get the DCnU origin of Harley Quinn. It’s more or less the same one that Paul Dini wrote many moons ago: Harley is a psychiatrist at Arkham who tries to break into the mind of The Joker, but since The Joker is The Joker, the exact opposite happens. Thus, Harley becomes utterly infatuated. I have no problem with the writer recycling the origin, as it’s a great base for her character. The thing is that despite her origin being the same, Glass scrubbed away everything that made her an enjoyable read. Previously, you could describe Harley as an intelligent-but-naive woman who ended up being brainwashed by a cult-like figure due to her biting off more than she could chew. Not only did she have a bit of enjoyable whimsy about her, but it was also interesting to see this normally good natured lady making all of these poor decisions. That’s not at all what we get here, as the Harley that I read in Suicide Squad #6 was an ugly parody of her old character. In her origin, Dr. Quinzel wasn’t the over ambitious doctor who was cursed by her own hubris, but instead was a rough and tough Brooklyn chick who was going to crack The Joker BECAUSE SHE’S A STRONG FUCKING WOMAN RAWWWR!!!! Additionally, The Joker didn’t break her by twisting her psychiatric games into games of his own in the new origin, but instead appealed to her daddy issues. Because, you know, having daddy issues is a MUST when you’re a “Strong Independent Female Character” (NOTE: Harley had a bit of a daddy thing going on her her previous incarnation, but it was not nearly as hamfisted as this). The coup de grace of all of this is that Harley is just an incredibly ugly character now. All of the charm is now lost. In this series, she’s merely The Joker with boobs…and a poorly written Joker, at that. It completely misses the point of the character, as now she’s just a thug who wears clown makeup.

So yeah, that’s my two cents on this issue. One might disagree with this review, saying that “this series is just supposed to be dumb fun!”. To that, I would say that for this to be fun, there would have to be some cleverness or wit to the violence and gore going on here. Dumb fun might seem dumb to the consumer, but coincidentally, one has to be an incredibly talented writer to pull it off. Look at all of the stuff by John Carpenter, Howard Stern, Mike Judge, Lloyd Kaufman and Trey Parker & Matt Stone. All of their works seem base and simple on the surface, but the amount of talent that goes into writing the material and properly exploiting the dumb elements is astounding. Suicide Squad lacks this. It’s comedy without the wit, and weightless violence. It’s a Uwe Boll film (like Postal).

Story: 1 - Poor
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. I think you should spend less time thinking about this book and just read something else.

  2. I agree with your review. These were once great complicated characters, now they seem like characters in a very bad first person shooter 🙁 Sponge dry characters is being generous in my book…

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