Well, with all the arguments about the Suicide Squad film going on out there, I guess somebody had to draw the short straw and review the comic book, Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1. Unfortunately, this is probably going to cause some arguments too, especially when I say… It’s okay.
It isn’t great. It isn’t bad. It’s just kind of… okay. So boringly okay, in fact, that I actually lowered the rating on this at the last second because it didn’t leave any lasting impression on me.
So the deal, in case you’ve been living under a rock while the hype machine for the Suicide Squad rolled over the landscape for the past year or two is that they’re a black ops team of supervillains working for the US government. Since this isn’t a strict reboot, the Squad already exists and Amanda Waller – DC’s Nick Fury – gets chewed out by the President for allowing the Suicide Squad to exist in the first place. The only way out of this potential media fiasco is to assign someone with a strong moral and ethical code to control the team in the field, and that someone is Colonel Rick Flag.
Meanwhile, the team of Deadshot, Harley Quinn and Boomerang (dammit, I miss calling him Captain Boomerang) are on a mission in Mongolia, trying to safely extract a scientist and the meta-gene bomb he’s created. Of course, it isn’t as easy as it sounds since they’re about to be attacked by an army of super-powered cannon fodder. Since they’re underpowered, out-manned and fresh out of luck, things naturally go pretty badly…
As introductions to the plot goes, Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 does a decent job of explaining how Task Force X works and setting up Rick Flag as the new team leader. As far as the team itself, it’s pretty much the Harley And Deadshot Show, which apparently seems to be par for the course these days. The mission they’re on is typical too, which in other words means SNAFU for them as they infiltrate a country with all the subtlety of a bulldozer.
The problem is that it all seems so by-the-numbers, like this issue has been done just to interest viewers of the film. It doesn’t bother to provide anything that long-time readers haven’t seen before, or take the time to establish the characters as anything more than they appear on the surface. Yes, it’s the first issue and hopefully they’ll do more with the characters in future issues, but there’s no hook to draw readers in and keep their attention, and no sense of team chemistry.
Amanda Waller’s chat with the President is exactly what you’d expect, although she’s far from the classic Wall who used to command readers’ attention. Harley, despite being better than she was in her own rebirthed comic book, just shoots people. Deadshot, looking ludicrously armoured like AzBats, shoots people too. Boomerang says something offensive. And that’s about it. The action is fine, but there’s never any feeling that the team is in danger so subsequently it all feels boring.
Based on Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 it’s hard to feel enthusiastic about the new series. Maybe it’ll get better, but it’s got a long way to go if this is any indication. It’s like a party balloon: it might entertain a few people but it’s still full of hot air, bloated and hollow.