This week’s third pleasant surprise gets reviewed this morning. The only review left from the September 14 releases is Superboy, which I was always planning to get and not necessarily going to be surprised by.

General Information

Title: Suicide Squad #1

Author: Adam Glass (who also writes for Supernatural)

Illustrator(s): Federico Dallocchio and Ransom Getty and Scott Hanna (artists) and Val Staples (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.

Premise

Deadshot, Harley Quinn, El Diablo, Black Spider, Voltaic, King Shark, and Savant have been drafted as Task Force X, also referred to as the Suicide Squad.

High Point

The very rapid and effective character reveals, such as:
Harley Quinn: “Hee… that’s so cute. You think you’re scary. But mister, I’ve seen scary. And you ain’t got his smile. Oh, and Scarecrow called. He wants his laundry back.”
Deadshot (with a gun on the crown of his head while captured): “You’re aiming too high. Base of the skull is a better target.”

Low Point

We don’t yet know the purpose of the Squad or who sanctions it. We know who gives the orders, but does it go any higher? These are big questions when you recruit a group like this bunch.

The Scores

The concept is more original than it feels to me. This reminds me of the Thunderbolts at Marvel post-Civil War, but that was a good 20 years after the team was introduced with this concept at DC in the Post-Crisis relaunch. That said, it doesn’t feel like any other book in the line that I’ve read so far. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork shifts tone noticeably for the last few pages, right with a scene jump. With three artists credited, could this be the first example of DC’s determination to get all books out on time without exception? I give it 4 out of 6.

The story sets up the team nicely, and the first full mission announced at the end is not even a little bit like what I’d expected, which is why I wonder if the “top dogs” are the same as they used to be. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization of half the team is great. The other half is still a little fuzzy, but given two missions and an origin sequence with seven major characters and one off-site commander, it would be hard to cover it all right away. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is surprisingly strong. Like Deathstroke, this is a villain book, but it’s a very different kind of villain book. I’m hooked. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is smooth. Once again, we have a first issue that starts right in the middle of a story and tells the origin with a flashback. It’s a structure that keeps things moving, and is disrupted only by the art shift. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a surprisingly compelling first issue. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Suicide Squad #1 receives 35 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman