Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mini-Review: Suicide Squad Vol. 4: Discipline and Punish

So, as is wont to happen in Comiclandia, this series got taken in an ALL NEW DIRECTION with an ALL NEW TEAM, etc.  It was okay, and there were some elements I genuinely liked.  However, the ignorance of a little something called "plot" is rather problematic, and even Harley's irrepressible mania can't save a plotless comic entirely.


Let's break this down, spaghetti Western style:

THE GOOD:

Harley, as always.  This is a very different Harley from her standalone comic by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti (which I adore); here she's unabashedly ruthless and unhinged. However, Harley's also wicked smart and uses her body and overt silliness as a distraction to get what she wants.  Case in point: when she basically takes over Belle Reve, tapes Amanda Wallace to a chair, and *accidentally* crashes a drone into a U.S. helicopter.  Whoopsies!

There's a fun gimmick where the villains are introduced in panels with a little blurb, like: "DEADSHOT.  Shoots Things."  "UNKNOWN SOLDIER.  Party Pooper."  "KING SHARK.  His name is Trixie and he likes to party."  Okay, so the last one is really tied to the panel it's in, but you get the idea.  It's corny, but it worked on me.

King Shark.  He's a Zen koan-spouting killing machine who really likes his meat alive and kicking.  I mean, how can you not love a walking shark-beast-man-thing?  If you don't, he'll eat you.  I mean, you're not entirely safe if you're on his side, either, but that's the risk you take, chum.

THE BAD:

Cheetah.  I haven't seen her since my days of watching the sketicly animated Superfriends of the late 70s, so I was initially excited to see her here.  Alas, she's mostly there for maximum boobage drawing.  Like, wow.  I had sympathy pains, especially since she just seems to be in a bodysuit with no bra, unless a) her bodysuit has inner hardware to keep the boobs in place or b) becoming a super-villain means that the laws of gravity do not apply to boobs any more.  If the latter, maybe I should work on my evil laugh, because bras are truly from the devil.

Should I pop some popcorn and watch all the dudes here run away screaming?  Hee.

THE UGLY:

Plot?  What ... plot?  Unless you mean that thing where Amanda Waller hires on James Gordon, Jr. as an analyst and they torture the Squaddies for fun and make pithy observations about human nature but THEN!  Someone hacks Belle Reve's security and Harley makes a break for it, demanding removal of their neck bombs and a reduction in sentence to one year, which, inexplicably, Waller gives them.  What?  No.  NO.  The bombs are kind of integral to keeping these hotheads in line, so now Waller is sending them out on missions based on blind faith?  You want to put blind faith in a team with Deadshot, Harley Quinn, King Shark, and other assorted villain-types on it?  Your funeral.

And what happened with Voltaic and the serum sub-plot?  Will we get to that in the next volume?  It's all woo-woo you're gonna DIEEEEE and he like explodes (or something?) but then there must have been some sort of DC EVENT which is, pardon me, really bloody disruptive to whatever storyline is going on, even if it's microscopic.  Instead of a continuation of the main plot (loosely termed as such), we get two one-offs of Harley and Deadshot's origin stories.

AS IF WE DON'T KNOW ALREADY.  Well, maybe not Deadshot.  Who, by the way, is way more interesting to read if you just imagine Will Smith reading his lines.  Not gonna lie: I love Will Smith. Not in a creepy way but in a "heck yeah I'll watch that!" way.

I'm curious to see where this goes and how the reboot for the All-New Suicide Squad goes.

P.S. Margot Robbie's Harley makeup is totally on point when you look at the comics.  Wow.

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