Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth (The New 52) Review

Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth (The New 52)

She's almost dressed...
Writer: Adam Glass

Artists: Federico Dallocchio, Clayton Henry, Ransom Getty, Andrei Bressan and Cliff Richards

Background Information:

Who are the Suicide Squad?

Long story short, they're B-list DC villains who have been co-opted by the government to work near-hopeless missions for them. If they try to run away, then a small bomb goes off in the back of their neck.

That's all there is to it.

Review:

Okay, so I've been defending the New 52 to my dying breath. And I'm not ashamed of that. I've liked a lot of New 52 books and hated many that came before. I've been tempted to see the New 52 as infallible.

I'd like to apologise for that.

After reading Kicked in the Teeth, I now fully understand why people don't like the reboot. This is a volume that is poorly written, badly drawn and utterly boring. Indeed Kicked in the Teeth is not a description of the book's title; it's a description of how Suicide Squad fans must feel after reading this trash.

So when the Squad conduct a gone-awry mission, they desperately try to return to their boss, Amanda Waller. Leader Deadshot finds himself having to deal with a mismatched team comprising of King Shark, El Diablo Black Spider and Harley Quinn.

Oh, Harley Quinn...

Another day in high school.
Shockingly, she's a large part of what's wrong with this book. When written right, Harley's a funny, flirty, yet deep character. Adam Glass writes her as attempting-but-failing at being funny, aggressively sexual and shallow. I cannot think of one line that was actually funny from Harley in this volume. Her flirtatious attitude is replaced by her aggressively jumping Deadshot for sex (along with a bizarre and kinda gross joke about clown cars). Although there is a two-issue arc in this volume showing her cut up over Joker's apparent "death", this isn't really character development and just puts her back in the villain role that we see everywhere else - and considering that Suicide Squad is supposed to be about following villains as though they were heroes, that's a problem.

It's not like the other characters are well written; Deadshot is a typical "tough as nails" dudebro, and the rest are instantly forgettable. All the same, when the New 52 launched, Suicide Squad was treated as a book where Harley was the meant to be the drawcard- for evidence, see how nearly every cover features her prominently- and it's not done successfully.

The plot itself is also uninteresting. The squad complete one mission after another in succession. If you're going to do a story about a suicide mission, you'd better raise tension like it was going out of fashion. Glass doesn't do that. He jumps from one mission to another without letting us savour the intensity of missions that should, really, be all about looking hopeless.

Sure Harley. The unzipped coat is definitely going to keep
you warm.
There's been a lot of criticism that DC went "too dark" with the New 52. The strange part about Kicked in the Teeth is that, really, the book doesn't dark enough. We're talking about a group of killers and yet, there's not much of a sense of moral ambiguity. No morally questionable actions. Even Superman in the New 52 has made some not-so-heroic choices. Why the hell are the bad guys being so... good?

The art in this book is unspecial in some places, awful in others. There is literally nothing interesting to say about it. The one, and I mean, one good thing about the art is the flashback scenes into Harley Quinn's origins. We see Joker in the early days of the New 52 and... he looks a lot like Edward Cullen from Twilight and that is somewhat perfect, since Harley has a Twi-hard attitude toward the Joker.

But that isn't enough to save what is good reason to hate the New 52. Kicked in the Teeth gets only half a sparkly Joker out of five.

1/2

+ Joker looks like Edward Cullen... yep, that's a plus.
- Everything else.

Alternate Option: Anything Else.

Seriously, pick a comic and read it instead. It will likely be more entertaining.