Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Suicide Squad #1

By Hervé St-Louis
September 24, 2011 - 10:59

Various villains have been captured and are tortured so they can give away the name of their boss, Amanda Waller. Some of them resist, some don’t. But who are those mysterious men that want to know about Amanda Waller?

This new Suicide Squad goes back to the core of the original series with an interesting mix of old and new villains with the same Faustian deal. Join the Squad and work on behalf of your country or die. However, one of the hallmark of the first Suicide Squad series and similar series like the Thunderbolts and the Secret Six has always been the interaction between different members of the team and how that causes drama where missions inadvertently go sideways. There’s none of that in this first issue.

One could argue that giving the series more time to be fleshed out may allow it to play one character against another and that the setup here didn’t allow for that format. I disagree. The premise of the plot is that the Suicide Squad candidates have already been captured and are been tortured for information one after the other. There is little interaction between each member of the Squad as the time spent which each of them also helps to introduce them to the reader. The writer bets that how the characters feed off one another is something he can show in the next issue, as well as showing a glimpse of Amanda Waller and reveal more about her next issue. My take, is that Suicide Squad has little time to prove itself to readers. At this point, I have no clue as to why I should be reading this comic book. It’s just a bunch of villains, none of them are really interesting or have anything to say that I haven’t read about being thrown together on a failed mission. We’ve all seen that in Mission Impossible and countless other comic books and movies. What’s so special here?

Let’s address another issue which apparently has been a vocal topic in places like Twitter and the blogosphere, even if I wasn’t looking to find out about it. Amanda Waller is now a sexy and young woman. She’s still black, but she looks closer to how Angela Basset portrayed the character in the Green Lantern movie, than the overweight middle-aged woman we’ve come to adore or despise in the last 20 years in comics but also in the mid 2000s Justice League cartoon series. Accusations have been levelled against DC Comics for their pandering to male audiences and stereotypes by making Amanda Waller someone guys and lesbians might actually desire. There’s but a shot of Waller in that issue, and it’s clear so far that she’s a babe. Making Waller a hot chick makes no different than say Roulette or Spysmasher. She’s just a badass woman with power. The fat version of Waller was closer to someone like Margaret Thatcher. We did not objectify her as a woman. She was tough and gained our respect by virtue of being who she really was, a crafty and powerful person. That she was a woman wasn’t even issue. In that one pic of Amanda Waller in the new Suicide Squad, I felt like she was a dilettante and had problems taking her seriously. I’m hoping however, that the writer of this series will surprise us with something. I’m not about to go on a campaign about the equal representation of overweight women in comics. But I will say the fat Amanda Waller had more credibility.

I like Dallocchio’s artwork, but find that the inking is uneven and not complementary to his work. He needs someone with thinker lines to really surround his work. Here, the lines are too thin and brittle to extract all the good designs from the penciller and throw it out at the reader. Because the lines are so thin and much of this issue is dark and with little light, it can sometimes make understanding what’s happening in an individual panel difficult.

Rating: 8.5 /10

Last Updated: February 5, 2023 - 09:06

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