Thursday, March 1, 2012

Suicide Squad - First Arc Review / Discussion

Suicide Squad, at the very foundation from which all action takes its cues and direction, is smart. The Squad is never given time to rest or recoup. Right, cause why should they? Burn those suckers out. Definition of expendable that whole squad. It keeps everything moving and exciting (or should). The Squad isn’t told all the details of the mission either, they’re just given the gravity of the situation (a city dies or the governments fall, those levels), at which point they bitch they don’t have enough time left on the bombs implanted in their heads to accomplish their goals, to which Waller (their handler) says “better get moving”. How else to motivate them?

Right yeah, all good decisions, and there’s many more (no public face to the Squad another), but what’s build on top of this sound structure is blah. It’s not crap. It’s just enough to get the job done. The action straddles both worn-out and stupid. Prison break-outs, infiltrating secret terrorist bases, zombie stadium. Nothing played with with any real care or fun. They go to a place with four walls and kill things. Each character has one weapon or attack and uses it exclusively. Their enemies are fodder to such a degree it’s inconceivable any member of the Squad could ever be seriously hurt.

That’s blah but it isn’t bad. What’s bad, really fucking atrocious, is El Diablo. He’s the most flat, boring, preachy character imaginable. I am telling you, all people, that it is impossible to construct a worse character. If he does not die soon, he will kill this book. You know the type of person that says the same thing over and over, only changing the order of the words, but always delivering the message with the same level of hammy overbearing? That’s him and he pops up every other panel! Worse! He’s completely unneeded. The “conscience” of the Squad is King Shark. And he did everything El Diablo wants to do in one panel that was striking for how much it said and how easily it conveyed the emotions of a monster character who’s speaking parts have been, thus far, “meat” and laughing (it’s the one where he eats Yo-Yo for no reason, then grabs his head in frustration, shame, defeat at his own nature. Beautiful).

I’m hopeful for the on-going issues of the book though. Again, underlying decisions are smart. And now the Squad is moving away from the generic action pieces. Plus, from the beginning the art has been wonderful. Everyone saves the art for last to talk about as though it were the cherry just to top the rest of the "real" work but I wouldn’t be nearly as confident, nor have lasted this long, without Federico Dallocchio. That one panel of King Shark was pitch perfect, There’s truth to the violence being depicted without ever getting gory or excessive, which keeps the tone of the book lighter. More easy to simply enjoy than pick apart. There have been scenes which made El Diablo seem likable! I’m thinking the Squad will get better. 

Images Copywrite DC Comics

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