New Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Pure Insanity

The new series begins with a mission in Russia that features two red-hot Batman villains: Harley Quinn and Joker’s Daughter, plus Deadshot, Deathstroke the Terminator, Black Manta and more! Collects NEW SUICIDE SQUAD #1-8.    –

Artists: Tom Derenick [@TDerenick], Jeremy Roberts [jprart], and various others

Writer: Sean Ryan [@seanryanxv]

Before reading this, I knew hardly anything about the Suicide Squad and only knew a little about some of the characters. I knew a bit about Harley Quinn from reading other titles and I knew a bit about Amanda “The Wall” Waller from watching Justice League Unlimited. I also knew that this run could give me some insight into what this highly anticipated Suicide Squad movie is about and in a way it did.

Amanda Waller is the director/commander of the Suicide Squad. I was initially introduced to her character being an older, rather large woman and in this title she resembles the thinner and younger version seen in the Arrow show on the CW. Her storyline is probably the most interesting part of this volume. Amanda Waller is a tough, complicated, and isolated woman. Her motives are continually unclear; her character alignment is often listed as neutral, not good or evil, but she is commander of a group of villains and her nickname is “The Wall”.


I was initially annoyed by the dynamic between Harley Quinn and the Joker’s Daughter; I didn’t find them arguing with each other about their ties to the Joker as an amusing part of the plot, but then Sean Ryan utilized the dynamic to show some depth to Harley’s character…she may be crazy, but in some ways Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, M.D. is brilliant!


The bulk of the rest of the storyline is taken up with Black Manta having to wrangle the group into being a team and actually completing mission objectives and not getting killed in the process. He and Harley do some great work together once they learn to communicate.


The plot lags through some of the issues and once some action starts to ramp up, we’re left feeling like…well, who cares? It’s not like the story completely had nothing going for it, it’s just that it wasn’t all together boring or entertaining. The hardest part for me was the wildly varying art. This may be because I read a lot of independent titles that often have one artist. I also probably pay more or as much attention to the art as I do the writing in every frame. I can hardly draw a stick figure or sketch a still-life of an orange, but I know amazing art when I see it. This book has some amazing art, which is probably why when you flip a page in it and see some truly bad frames, it’s very jarring.

this frame
This frame of Deadshot ??
New Suicide Squad Vol. 1
This awesome cover…

When deciding if I should put a title on my pull list, I think about whether or not I’m curious or excited about the next title or if I think it’s going to take another volume to get enough arc for me to care. Sadly, for this title I won’t be putting it on my pull list or running to my LCS to pick up the next volume. It may be just because the whole dynamic of the “not all bad villains” banding together to try to be a team, just didn’t appeal to me. In my opinion, wait until the next volume to buy it…maybe more of story arc will redeem it.


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