suicide_squad_17_cover_2013Am I the only one having fun here, boys?

– Harley Quinn

That’s the first line of Suicide Squad #17, and it’s pretty much a complete review in and of itself.

This is not the smartest comic you will read this week. It is not the finest attempt at visual narrative aspiring toward classic literature that you are ever going to see. It doesn’t have the most intricate plot – hell, it doesn’t have much plot, period. And with the exception of two panels for Harley and some backstory for Yo-Yo, the closest thing this comic has to character development is the establishment that Harley’ll let you suck her toes if you kill someone for her. So if you’re looking for some kind of high-falutin’ example of comics as the entertainment of choice for the discerning sophisticate, this is not the book for you.

However, if you are looking for non-stop, balls-out violent and gory super villain action, with entertaining repartee and a few damn good jokes? Suicide Squad #17 is about the best three bucks you can spend this week.


Fifteen issues into various DC “New 52” titles and I have to tell you – if you’d have asked me who would still be standing as the long term writer of a title at the end of 2012, I’m not sure I would’ve named Adam Glass over Scott Snyder or Gail Simone. Snyder’s Swamp Thing was an unexpected initial hit, although its sales have been in decline lately; Simone’s Batgirl, despite being uneven in places, was garnering solid sales. According to Comics Beat, last October Batgirl #13 sold 50,074 issues versus Suicide Squad #13’s 27,644. So, what gives? Why does Glass continue to get the green light?

After the jump, we puzzle out the nature of sales, love, and rubber chickens – with spoilers!


First of all people of San Diego: it’s a fucking e-cigarette. It emits water vapor. So please stop passive-aggressively giving me shit when I’m using it on a public sidewalk, out of doors and approaching the convention center, by muttering, “Nothing I like better than a faceful of cigarette smoke blowing into my baby’s face…” Let’s clear the air here (ha!): my e-cigarette emits no odor and bothers no one, unlike your little bundle of squalling fecal production. And since my e-cig doesn’t even burn, the San Diego Fire Marshall even considers it less of a fucking fire hazard.

Okay, I feel better now. Now that we’ve got my personal news out of the way, let’s talk about what’s been happening at SDCC 2012 that doesn’t involve self-righteous self-absorbsion.

The actual programming at SDCC started in earnest yesterday, featuring panels on everything from homosexuality in genre fiction to Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II. (Rob: This may be redundant. Consider editing. -Amanda)


In order to do due diligence for this review of Suicide Squad #7, “The Origin Of Harley Quinn”, I was going to re-read 1994’s The Batman Adventures: Mad Love by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. Dini, after all, created Harley Quinn and, frankly, my first reaction after reading the conclusion to Adam Glass’s reboot of her character was that I wanted to read the original. However, Mad Love doesn’t appear to be on any of our book shelves at the moment – which means it’s in any one of 23 separate, unlabeled long boxes that are stashed in the closet of the Home Office’s second bedroom, and I just don’t have the patience to go digging.

You know what is out and easily accessible on the book shelves of Home Office Command Central? Batman: Son Of The Demon…just in case Rob wants to get into a drunken pissing contest with a 12 year-old who has a theory that Batman is gay and that Damien was grown in a petri dish in the Bat Cave.

Stranger things have happened. Both here and in the Bat Cave. But, I digress…

The thing is, this issue, and most of the Suicide Squad run in general, isn’t bad. Some of it is pretty good – but it’s not as good as what Dini and company first came up with, even if it’s trying for darker, edgier, clown car…ier, whatever. Perhaps that just my own failing that I can’t get past that.

Or is it? Spoilers and whatnot after the jump.


On a lot of levels, the reboot of Suicide Squad has been a hot mess. It started with a psychological torture tale, moved into a zombie story and then transitioned quickly into a prison break movie with almost no segues or fanfare… and that’s all in what’s supposed to be a single, cohesive, five-issue story arc. In many ways it’s a failure, but what’s saving it is two things: a total commitment to the primary characters on the part of writer Adam Glass… with the keyword there being “primary,” because the second saving grace is the apparent willingness to kill just about any character at any time.

By the time this issue rolls around, what’s left of the Squad (We’ve lost one or two via simple escape, gunshot wound, the odd zombie attack and fatal viral infection… only some of which may have been passed on by Harley Quinn) is stuck behind bars, infected with something called the Rot Virus (Yeah, sounds like Harley) and charged with quelling a prison riot before the bombs they had stuck in their brain stems. So long story short, Glass is throwing everything at the wall to amp up the tension. Deadshot’s out of bullets. El Diablo might have to kill someone. Waller’s trapped two floors above the riot. And the tension works… for those characters.

When I was a kid, I developed a theory called “Murder She Wrote Logic,” which was borne out of (duh) Murder She Wrote. Whenever you watched that show, you didn’t need to look at the evidence or the logic or anything else; all you had to do was look at who was least likely to be the killer, and you knew that they were the perp. You can use the same logic on Suicide Squad: whichever characters are drawn in broad strokes are doomed. The aforementioned Deadshot, El Diablo and Amanda Waller are well drawn out with reasonably solid dialogue and characterization, so they make it. Others like Yo-Yo, and Voltaic in the first issue? Meat for the machine, man. It’s an area where the book falls down; yeah, Glass will kill members of the team – something you’d expect to see in a book called Suicide Squad – but you can pretty much call who’s dead the first time they speak. They might as well show Deadshot a picture of their grandkids and tell him how many days they have left until retirement.


It is Wednesday, and since the Arkham City video game has made many of us… shall we say, sensitive to the idea of Harley Quinn in a bustier, that means that this…

…particularly a new Suicide Squad, means the end of our broadcast day.

But let’s talk about a decent take, shall we? We’ve got a new Black Panther, a new Ultimate Spider-Man, and a new Star Trek Vs. the Legion of Super Heroes (Or as we like to call it here at the Crisis on Infinite Midlives Home Office: Two Saturn Girls, One Spock)!

But we’ve gotta read them before we can write about them, and before that we have all this beer we need to turn into hangovers!

So: see you tomorrow, suckers!

Harley Quinn and Suicide Squad

Ding Dong - Candygram!

Wow! Check out Harley Quinn on the cover of “Suicide Squad” #1! That’s quite a makeover you’ve undergone there, ma’am. Trying something different to regain the Joker’s interest after his disappearance in Detective Comics #1, huh? It’s a good look – and I don’t just mean the multi-tonal hair and the push up, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bustier (and, just between us girls – how do you keep that on when swinging that sledgehammer? I have a running theory that involves dress tape and transdermal snap implants – am I close?). No, I mean that extra sprinkling of crazy. It looks good on you, and I’m not just saying that because you’re holding a knife. Really.