In Review: Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1

If you liked the previous incarnations of the Suicide Squad or the film, you'll enjoy this.

The covers: Harley Quinn holds up three photographs of three allies, Deadshot, Katana, and Killer Croc. The photos are covering over half of her face, but it’s impossible not to recognize her. This Regular cover is penciled by Philip Tan, inked by Jonathan Glapion, and colored by Alex Sinclair. It’s a cool cover that follows in the footsteps of the other Regular Rebirth covers, but I do wish that more of Harley’s face could have been seen, because this artistic trio do such a good job on her this issue. The Variant cover is by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts. This has Deadshot, Harley, and Killer Croc standing atop the DC Bullet which is on a white background. The assassin has his pistols drawn, Harley holds a mallet in her right hand and a high powered rifle in her left, while Croc has his hands raised to rend any opposition apart. I liked this cover more than the Regular because I see more of the Suicide Squad characters, so it was the one I purchased and the one I chose to accompany this review. Overall grades: Regular A- and Variant A

The story: Photographs are shown of Deadshot with dead bodies in the background, Katana bearing her blade, Croc smiling while in chains, and Harley being pulled off a guard after ripping his ear off with her mouth. The dialogue accompanying this is “The Suicide Squad is finished.” President Barack Obama is telling Amanda Waller he’s closing down Task Force X; he disapproves of using the villains to do America’s dirty work…that is unless someone oversees them. That’s when Waller produces a folder that covers the career of Colonel Rick Flag. Obama relents saying, “…this Colonel Flag…he’d better be everything you say he is.” Rob Williams has the first half of this book focus on Flag’s inclusion to the task force. He’s being sent in to assist Deadshot, Harley, and Boomerang in rescuing a kidnapped scientist that’s in a ghost city in China. The scientist has created a meta-gene blast that makes his captors into superhumans for 36 hours. This is a cool premise to introduce the villains in action, and it couldn’t come at a better time, seeing as how the movie opened three days after this issue came out. Deadshot and Harley are as one would expect, and so is Boomerang, whom I was ecstatic to see included. Page 14 has something occur that ups the ante for the heroic villains. Williams does something completely unexpected to a character at the bottom of the page and 16 has an even bigger surprise. The action in this issue is good and the characters are fun, though there are only three villains in this Suicide Squad; more would have been better. That said, this is what a comic book should be. Overall grade: A-

The art: Philip Tan does not disappoint anywhere in his visuals on this book and he’s inked by three different people, Jonathan Glapion, Scott Hanna, and Sandu Florea. One would expect the art to look at least a little different with three different inkers, but not in this book: the visuals look consistent throughout. This is a huge plus to the look of the book and all three inkers are to be congratulated for making this look so good. The second page introduces President Obama and he’s in a pose that’s never been captured on film and it looks great. The first two panels of Page 3 continue to show this man angry and I love it! Page 5 ends with a close up of Flag’s dossier that perfectly sets up the reveal on 6: one couldn’t expect a more opposite image. 9 shows the three villains of the issue in action: Boomerang has the scientist, Deadshot is shooting an opening for them to make there way through, while Harley is up high with a lot of firepower. I’m not used to seeing her with such weapons, but it works for this story. The reveal at the top of 14 is terrific; in fact, I wish that this visual had been the ending of the film! There’s a great visual surprise at the bottom of the same page that had me pausing to wonder if such a scene could be shown in this book! The action that starts 16 is flat out awesome; it had me aping Boomerang’s dialogue. There’s an excellent panel on 18 that shows the city being effected by something and it’s perfect. The final page brings all the characters together in a full paged splash and it’s just the right way to end this Rebirth issue. I really like this art team. Overall grade: A

The colors: This book has what the movie doesn’t: bright colors that allow every inch of the visuals to be seen. Thanks to Alex Sinclair this book looks bold. The scenes between Waller and Obama have a gorgeous purple sky whenever the exterior of the White House is shown. This is a neat way to emulate darkness, but keep things bright. The close up on Flag’s photo on 5 has a nice faded look to it, making it seem like a glossy picture. The next three pages are set in an incredibly dark location, but Sinclair uses dark colors, but brightens up characters’ clothing and flesh to make them stand out in the setting. Colors explode when the villains appear in action. Page 9 is beautiful–it’s violent–but the colors make it so gosh darned pretty! The highlight of Sinclair’s work are the cool blues used for a supernatural element that runs throughout the final half of the book; it’s cool, it’s eerie, and it explodes off the page. Overall grade: A

The letters: Yells, dialogue, character identifications, sounds, the story’s title, and the book’s credits are created by Travis Lanham. I prefer to see transmissions done in a font different from dialogue, as only the shape of the dialogue balloon differentiates them. The sounds are good, when done, but I wanted to see more of them, and there should have been considering all the bullets flying at the end. Still, what there is looks fine. Overall grade: B

The final line: A good reboot for this series, though there are only three villains in this squad. More is better, so bring on a bigger team, DC! If you liked the previous incarnations of the Suicide Squad or the film, you’ll enjoy this. Overall grade: A- 

To find out more about this book and other Suicide Squad adventures and characters, go to http://www.dccomics.com/comics

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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