Suicide Squad #15 Review
By J. Skyler
December 26, 2012 - 01:45
Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Adam Glass
Penciller(s): Fernando Dagnino
Colourist(s): Matt Yackey
Letterer(s): Jared K. Fletcher
Cover Artist(s): Ken Lashley, Matt Yackey
One of the (many) negative consequences of DC Comics' The New 52 relaunch has been the revamp of Harley Quinn. Visually, I admit the cover to Suicide Squad #1 by artist Ryan Benjamin makes Quinn look exquisite, but unfortunately, he isn't the only artist to pencil her new look and frankly, he's the only one capable of making her new costume look intriguing. It's not the first time I've come across this problem. Back in 2002 when Jim Lee redesigned the Huntress' costume for the Hush storyline, I thought she looked absolutely brilliant. Every other artist that drew her, however (including my personal favorite Ed Benes), just seemed to make her look ridiculous, regardless of their talent. Quinn's original harlequin outfit is one of universal appeal, particularly because it's one of the rare instances where a female character can appear sexually alluring without showing any skin whatsoever.
Her visual design aside, Quinn's characterization seems to have taken a hit in The New 52 as well. She seems to be inconsistent from writer to writer. Scott Snyder (Batman) writes her as timid and pitiful, while Glass portrays her and independent and calculating. To Glass's credit, Harley Quinn is always a bit a pill in terms of characterization. How do you write a character with a degree in psychology who falls in love with a sociopathic serial killer that still has a conscience of sorts? It's the same conundrum that often makes Catwoman a hit or miss. Unfortunately, Suicide Squad is a miss for Harley Quinn. I do enjoy Glass's deptiction of the Joker, who admits to Harley Quinn that despite his best efforts, he was never able to truly corrupt her... not completely. Conversely, Quinn's utter detachment towards the Joker is contradictory to her entire character history. For her to have an overwhelming obsession with him, inspite of his incessant abuse, to suddenly have no qualms about not only ending their relationship but killing him as well, just rings false.
However, just as in real life, cycles of abuse are hard to break. While the Joker is (for the time being) intent on marrying Barbara Gordon (see Batgirl #14-16), I highly doubt he and Quinn will be capable of keeping away from each other for long. I'd like to see Quinn revert back to the abused puppy with a bubbling personality we all know and love, but I'm not counting on it.
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