The concept of the government using bad guys to fight risky battles in no win situations, by offering them a chance at redemption is not an new concept, like the Dirty Dozen, or xXx or that episode of the original Battlestar Galactica where they have to go blow up the cannon on the snow planet (ok, that was basically a rip off of the Dirty Dozen but my point stands.) It’s not exactly a new concept in the comics either, but this is the DCnU, so it’s all shiny and fresh here.
Well maybe not so shiny. This book is dark. I guess any book that has “suicide” in the title is not exactly going to be all sunshine and lollipops, but man, it shouldn’t make me want to commit hara-kari myself.
Of course there are some big question here is what the hell is Harley Quinn almost wearing on the cover?
Let’s start with what I liked about this book, despite being dark, there is some humor in this book. With a team featuring Floyd Lawton (aka Deadshot) and of course the Joker’s girl Harley Quinn, you have to expect some funny in your funny book. Sure it’s gallows humor, after all, how funny is it really when a mutant shark man bites off someone’s arm (while wearing a pretty funky looking Speedo). But after that, there’s not much I really like about this book, which is sad, because I wanted to. I wanted it to rise above the pre-release chatter it was getting over the re-design of Harley. I wanted to the story to justify the new look with a edgy but smart story that bleeds cool.
Well it did bleed a lot. Except for Deadshot, who, despite a hideous new facepiece on his costume, still seems to be the same guy he was before the relaunch, this group of bad guys are a pretty emo bunch. I mean it, look at Harley Quinn. Her new look and attitude come from her trying to get the Joker’s attention. That’s right, she’s pouty because she lost her boyfriend and she wants to get him back. (Not gonna happen Harl, he only has eyes for tall, dark, and pointy eared). She’s so messed up, she enjoys the use of jumper cables on her face.
Then there is El Diablo. Here he’s Chato Sanata, who appeared pre-Flashpoint, in a mini-series in 2008. Though I don’t know how much, if any, of his origins made it into the New 52. He’s a pyro-kinetic from the hood, is the warrior monk type. He was sent to Belle Reve Prison after giving himself up to the police without a fight. See, he was going after some bangers who were dealing on his streets without giving him a cut. During the fight, he burned down their crib, but he didn’t know the bangers had their “shorties and babies” there too.
There are 3 other members of the team too, but besides King Shark, I don’t know much about these guys. Black Spider is a Batman villain, but there have been a few of them, I am not sure which one this is, and Voltiac, who appears to have electrical based powers and is a fan of Bjork.
Of course, Harley Quinn’s stripperific new costume wasn’t the only new look turning heads and wagging tongues, of course I am talking about the drastic lose of Floyd Lawton’s trademark ‘stache. Just like Ollie Queen’s missing goatee, apparently the new diversity in the DCU does not include facial hair.
Seriously, it was the last page reveal of Amanda “The Wall” Waller that was making news on chatboards and blogs. Waller, a DCU staple, has always been a short, stout, middle-aged, tank of a woman. But in the DCnU she apparently joined Dan Marino on Nutrasystem, and like everyone else, is young and hot, if we can go by her appearance in the one panel she is in on the last page of the issue. She is holding one of the hoods that the Squad’s torturers were wearing, so can we assume she was one them? Maybe even the one cooking rats on Deadshot’s chest? Maybe. She has more than a passing resemblance to Angela Bassett, who played a character with the same name in the recent Green Lantern film. (But with exception of the name, I did not see anything to make me think that she was the same character that has appeared in DC Comics since 1986.)
So what is DC saying with this redesign? That they don’t have a place for a short, overweight person in a world full of Gods and Goddessses who walk the Earth in spandex, with 3% body fat? Or did they probably think that the millions of people who went to see Green Lantern would recognize Angela Bassett as The Wall before CCH Pounder? It probably was 10% the former and 90% the latter. But was it a good decision? I am not ready to make that decision after 1 panel. But sadly there was not a lot here to make me want to pick up issue 2.
a $2.99 comic, 32 pgs
(w) Adam Glass (a) Federico Dallocchio & Ransom Getty