Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New 52 Review - Suicide Squad

Once upon a time (up until about roughly 30 days or so ago), DC Comics published this absolutely amazing little book called Secret Six. For those of you who didn’t read it, it was about a band of criminals doing somewhat decent things for questionable reasons. It had an amazing cast, solid creative team, and could routinely bring me to laughter or tears in the same issue (and sometimes the same page). It was a book born out of favorable reception to the least likely of a group of event driven mini-series, and despite flying just under the radar for close to three years, everyone I know who read Secret Six loved it.

Secret Six was canceled last month to give way to this amazingly awful steaming pile of crap.

And that isn’t just me expressing bitterness over the loss of Secret Six…if that were the case, I never would have picked up Suicide Squad to begin with. I enjoyed the old Suicide Squad (the one from the late 80’s) and as much as I truly LOVED Secret Six, I’ve been reading comics long enough to know that no matter how great a series is, cancelations happen and sometimes you just need to move on (something that fans of a certain former Batgirl need to learn)…No, I’m telling you that Suicide Squad is a steaming pile of crap because I’m trying to use all-ages appropriate language.

To put it another way: If the Ostrander written Suicide Squad of the 1980's was the Original "Star Wars" and Secret Six was "Empire Strikes Back", then this book is "Attack of The Clones". It doesn't even get to be "The Phantom Menace" which is so bad it's entertaining...no, it's Attack of the Clones Padme and Anakin bad...that unwatchable, "I can't believe I just wasted time I could have spent smoking, or swimming with sharks while I have a bleeding head wound, or drinking and driving myself into a telephone pole while texting" bad.

For the most part, I’ve avoided talking about plot details because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I don’t even care when it comes to Suicide Squad. I’m not going to get into specifics, but I’ll just tell you this: what you will probably find yourself thinking might be going on in the opening scenes is *exactly* what is going on. And no, no offense, it’s not because you’re suddenly extremely intuitive and will start figuring out all sorts of neat stuff from here on out; it’s because this same exact plot has been used over, and over, and over and over, and over again in hundreds of movies and TV shows and novels and radio dramas and…you know what? There was probably a passage in the pre-King James version of the Bible that uses this plot device, and I’ll bet you even then the ancient Christians reading it took a moment to look at each other to say “I totally saw that coming” before being fed to hungry lions. Perhaps I could overlook using a totally cliché plot device to introduce the characters to readers, even that’s not done well. And I’m still amazed that in a room full of white people, writer Adam Glass managed to kill off the only minority present (even if we aren’t supposed to know that Savant was a minority in this new DC Universe).

There’s decent art for about three-fourths of this…thing…but when the scene changes, the art changes, and so by the time trudge on through to the end, you’re not even left with feeling you just read a well drawn comic.

Seriously, the only “Wow” or “Gotcha” moment in this entire book was the change in appearance of one character, but it wasn’t so much a “Holy crap, I wasn’t expecting THAT” so much as a “Wow, they managed to change the one thing about her that made her special, now she just looks like your typical comic book chick”.

As of right now, I couldn’t care less what happens to Suicide Squad, either the book or the characters, and given that at least two of their number are carry-overs from Secret Six, that should tell you just how completely awful I found this book to be.

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