Suicide Squad Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
You may or may not know, but the Suicide Squad movie hits this week. So what better time to roll out Suicide Squad Rebirth, the latest DC Rebirth special to grab new readers? DC is well aware of the added interest on the Suicide Squad now, and they’ve tapped Rob Williams and Phillip Tan to write and draw the new series. Legendary artist Jim Lee (yes, that Jim Lee), will be handling the regular issues as well, but let’s be honest, asking him to handle the Rebirth issue and the first issue was never going to happen (I’ll be amazed if he’ll be able to handle the first issue to be honest).
Much like the other DC Rebirth titles, Suicide Squad Rebirth is very much a set up issue. Using Amanda Waller’s recruitment of Rick Flag as a framing device, this issue finds the squad (this time consisting of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and Captain Boomerang-the “holy trinity” of the Squad) attempting to rescue a scientist from China before his research on Metahumans can be used for their gain. It’s a good framing device that gets the job done, and even though it doesn’t do anything really special, Rob Williams’ script is solid on character. I already like his takes on Boomerang and Deadshot, and the scenes where Amanda Waller is explaining the use of ‘Task Force X” to President Obama are really great as well. Hell, I even like the way he writes Harley, and I’m very particular in how Ms. Quinn is treated by creators.
Where Suicide Squad Rebirth stumbles though is in the art. Phillip Tan is s serviceable step in for Jim Lee, and he mimics Lee’s style pretty well in the first few pages. But somewhere in the middle of the book his art starts changing. Everything becomes looser, and at times the body shapes and styles of characters varies wildly. By the end of the issue, I had to check the credits to see if there was a fill-in artist who jumped in to help out (there wasn’t). It’s a big blotch on an otherwise solid book.
Despite this, the Rebirth of Suicide Squad seems to be on the right track. With Jim Lee jumping in for the art, there’s no question that the actual start of the book will look great (even if we’ll have to wait a little longer for issues). This one issue is already better than the last 8 issues of New Suicide Squad, and if you can look past the wonky art, it’s worth reading to give you a primer for the movie.