Monday, August 8, 2016

Suicide Squad Movie Review

From what people said so quickly about the Suicide Squad movie, you'd think there were major issues with the movie.

Suicide Squad is a comic book movie, it should have issues.

Here's a few to show that the movie did at least follow the comic.


First up, we saw the team form.  This happened in Legends #3 (January, 1987), and that story (and the previous issues capturing a few members of the team, the introduction of Amanda Waller and her battles with Rick Flag, as well as the situation of a missing Superman and the populace hating heroes) was covered in the 6 issue mini-series, most recently reprinted in the Legends 30th Anniversary Edition, written by Len Wein and John Ostrander, with art by John Byrne and Karl Kesel.

As you can see by the cover, though the Squad members are not on it, they have at least been named, and this release timed to take advantage of the movie.

Nightshade Odyssey

Collecting Suicide Squad #9 to #16, Justice League International #13, Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad #1 and the set up story of Nightshade's origin from Secret Origins #28 (all from 1988, with the main Suicide Squad stories by John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell and Karl Kesel)...this covers the team working together, Firestorm foe Slipknot suffering nearly the same fate he did in the movie thanks to Captain Boomerang, Batman confronting Amanda Waller, then the team coming together to stop the Incubus (Nightshade's brother in the comic, but Enchantress and Nightshade do get their fates entwined here, not unlike June Moone from earlier in the comic series with Enchantress, and Nightshade was drawing closer to Rick Flag; so the movie just eliminated Nightshade from this equation), from expanding out from her home and taking over Earth's dimension.

Plus you get to see the second version of the Doom Patrol working with a doomed Squad, and Speedy and Vixen in action together for the first time (this is cooler more for CW's Arrow fans than for DC movie buffs, but still...).  

Kicked In The Teeth

The Suicide Squad changed over time, adding members like Harley Quinn, Black Spider, Voltaic and El Diablo to the mix during the start of DC's New 52,  as well as old members Deadshot and King Shark (though to be fair, King Shark only joined after the original Squad finished it's 66 issue run, being part of a group to join during a Squad appearance in Superboy's title).  Still manipulated by Amanda Waller, this group was a little looser in these stories by Adam Glass, Federico Dallocchio, Clayton Henry and more....

....but Harley was still haunted by the spectre of the Joker in these stories from Suicide Squad #1 to #7 from the 21st Century.  This series very much highlighted the illegal side of what the Squad was doing, moreso than before, and the slant of having the series tied a little stronger to Batman's foes (the movie even replaced King Shark with Killer Croc; Killer Croc being a Batman foe who started in the 1980s, and helped to make Jason Todd into Robin).

All of which should be helpful to the new Suicide Squad fan who might have gone to see the movie, or for the current comic fan who has heard reports that they might not like the movie as it isn't like the comic.

A little more history of the Suicide Squad with Rick, the Enchantress, Deadshot and Captain Boomerang is here, Amanda Waller and the Incubus is here, El Diablo gets the focus at this spot, Outsider (and brief Suicide Squad comic guest star) Katana is here....and Harley Quinn and Killer Croc will likely get tons of coverage coming up!

The movie follows the basic, established in the 1980s idea of the Suicide Squad (that set up in the movie, the Dirty Dozen), that has the government using super-villains under the control (with the threat of death) of Amanda Waller, those villains resisting her control (to the point of being menaces if, or more likely, when, they get out of her control, with perhaps Amanda Waller being the biggest menace of them all....).

Maybe, at some point, people who are at their ends or considered useless by society, finding a little redemption by doing one last brave act as well.

That last bit was the crux of the majority of John Ostrander's Suicide Squad run, and stories would focus a character or two at a time with the rest as background (for those who thought Deadshot and Harley might have had too much time....they were the stars of this story, allowing the main story to unfold around them), and though not as high a death toll among the major characters (to be fair, people did also survive in the comic, too),  and focused on Harley Quinn (a later addition to the Squad after Ostrander's run)....but if you didn't like Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, you are crazier than that character is!

So, while you may be able to say Suicide Squad isn't your cup of tea... really can't say it didn't follow the comic books.

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