Suicide Squad #21
It’s one issue in and I’m already over Harley Quinn as the leader of the Suicide Squad. She’s been the psychotic comic relief since the book started and now writer Rob Williams is just emphasizing the psychotic part. Harley filled a necessary and useful role on the team, but she’s a poor fit to lead the squad even on simple point and kill missions.
Williams seems to be banking on Harley’s popularity by making her the featured character. Instead of an ensemble, this issue read more like a regular installment of Harley’s solo book with a different supporting cast. The beauty of the title thus far was that no one character was bigger than the team with the possible exception of puppet master Amanda Waller. I’m really concerned that this new focus on Harley is going to mess up the formula that’s made Suicide Squad such a constantly entertaining read.
With no responsible leader, the team’s baser instincts came to the forefront leading to some questionable tactics like Enchantress unleashing a dragon and Deadshot shooting Croc in the head. Williams seemed to overcompensate and go heavier on the joking tone than usual. The most intriguing aspect of the issue was Waller in the midst of a congressional hearing and how that could potentially impact the team.
Gus Vasquez’s art is rough with flat panel composition and overall harsh looking characters. Vasquez’s action sequences look clunky and the characters look stiff, failing to convey a real sense of movement. It doesn’t help that Vasquez followed the beautifully illustrated issue by Stjepan Sejic two weeks ago. On the plus side, Sejic is slated to draw issue #26.
All around, this was a rough issue for Suicide Squad. I’m not optimistic about the future of this title with this new status quo. Maybe Williams can make this work, but for now my expectations for this book have decidedly diminished.
Rating: 4 out of 10