New Suicide Squad Pure Insanity Review By Deffinition
New Suicide Squad Pure Insanity picks up the pieces of the inconsistent New 52 Task Force X run. Whilst I praised the beginning and end chapters of that arc, there was a middling section that was well…middling. Due to this DC decided to impose a soft reboot on the team, leaving what they didn’t like and keeping what they did.
I’m really excited to see how everything will develop, especially after the tease of Black Manta in ‘Walled In.’ Can this book live up to the hype of the best of the best from last time. Or is it doomed to meddle in the middling Middle most middling moment (I have no idea what that means).
Let’s find out!
Under New Management
The book opens with the Secretary of State appointing a new leader to work alongside Amanda Waller in moulding the Suicide Squad. He’s the typical ‘wanker from Head Office’ stereotype. You know, the one who’s just shown up at your work, no real idea what he’s doing, changes everything for the worst, then blames the staff. That guy. He wants to completely redesign the Squad, leaving just the ‘cool’ guys (as he calls it). It’s all very meta and very much ‘some of the members of the last team were crap so now we are changing them’ – yours sincerely DC.
Whilst on their own the new Squad (made up of Harley Quinn, Black Manta, Deadshot, Deathstroke and The Jokers Daughter) are interesting, creatively they seem like a strange choice as a team. Harley and The Jokers Daughter might as well be the same character, a character called ‘Harley Quinn‘ and Deadshot and Deathstroke do the exact same job. It seems like a counterintuitive choice and lessens the dynamics within the team because of it.
I found it hard to really gravitate towards this team early on and this didn’t really drastically improve throughout the initial arc.
Russian Through This Story
The introductory plot centres around the Squad on an assassination mission in Russia. It all goes belly up, Deadshot gets captured, they have to rescue him yada yada yada. The book will never win any prizes for originality and feels like a complete misstep due to the unorthodox aesthetic that has preceded it.
Harley and Jokers Daughter bicker, Waller and her boss bicker, Deadshot and deathstroke bic…look you get the point. It completely loses tension due to there not being many high stakes in the arguments and I found myself slightly bored.
Remember back in the day when you and your sister used to argue over who could use the computer so you could go on MSN. Well I do. To me and my sister it was a battleground, tempers flared and it felt like a life or death situation.
To the world it was two morons rushing to kill the remaining brain cells they had.
That’s this book, it wants you to believe that it’s a cataclysmic situation, the reality of it though is that there isn’t much here to really warrant your attention. They escape the Russians and I challenge any reader to not be bored in this beginning segment.
The New New Suicide Squad
Realising their mistakes the creative team change the team slightly. Joker’s daughter is dealt with off screen (or off panel) and Deathstroke betrays the team so is replaced by The New Reverse Flash and some Man Bats. It’s nice to see them rear their head from Batman Inc and the team certainly feels wholly more developed due to the additions and replacements.
They are tasked with destroying a clone factory. Along with a replica of Metropolis, China have cloned meta humans and made well…the Chinese knock offs of them. That’s not a joke. That’s the actual story. Whether this was racist or not is another thing entirely but it Ending is slightly hit and miss. Feeling very frantic it doesn’t pack the punch that the early Squad stories did. Everything is sort of PG-13 and due to this not as impactful as it could be.
Ending with the surviving clone having a crisis of consciousness we see the mission go tits up (for lack of a better phrase). The Chinese Government end up attacking their own superhero whilst the Squad try and survive the onslaught. It becomes very frantic.
In the aftermath the Secretary explains that whilst they did not fully complete the mission, its better that way. Removing any implication that the government were involved, when the Suicide Squad fail there is a sense of realism to it all. I loved this motif and its something I’d never really considered before but it certainly gives perspective to how the group operate.
We end with Black Manta requesting to leave, Waller denying it and Manta then questioning why she remains when she is the only one with the power to quit. It’s a poignant moment that really highlights how alone Waller truly is. Completely driven by her career she has removed the possibility of any life outside of it.
It’s a psychological ending that finishes the book on a high.
The New Suicide Squad Pure Insanity clearly indicates from the off that the creative team are finding their feet. There are break neck changes and inconsistent characters but there’s nothing that can’t be salvaged down the line. Perhaps they should be commended for realising their mistakes early on and rectifying them quickly.
However, that still doesn’t make this the best read that it could be.
It gets a…