Suicide Squad: Kicked in the Teeth Review

Overview

Ah yes, my first ever Suicide Squad book and I started with the New 52 as I had it understood that the New 52 was written in the sense that they assumed the readers didn’t know all of the backstory etc. At time of writing I was already on Batman #3 in the New 52 and was thoroughly enjoying it and wondered how others would be treated. So, here goes!

As usual, it’s the collected editions I’ve purchased with volume 1 containing the first seven issues.

Suicide Squad: Kicked in the Teeth Review

Suicide Squad (New 52) #1: Kicked in the Teeth Review

The book starts with the squad being tortured by people who look look like scarecrows, the villain kind not the inanimate kind. The scene introduces the squad and shows some chat between them and the torturers and a small scene of how they got into this mess in the first place. Harley confirms what I

The Gang Suicide Squad
The Gang

thought and even says a comment about scarecrow. One of the assumed members starts to spill the beans on what exactly Suicide Squad is or rather Task Force X and it comes to a close. The whole thing looks to have been an initiation and members who are shown to be weak or snitches seem to not make the cut. Brutal.

Love the book so far, great art and fast flowing plot with plenty of detail keeps me interested

As expected, there are some Suicide Squad members don’t get on which is a good mix for an interesting dynamic. Complete opposite to the Batman family and one of the reasons I picked up the book – I wanted something different from the usual – maybe get to see the other side for once.

Overall, it’s a decent opener which has to deal with introducing several new characters to the reader. I’ve been left knowing what the Squad have been through to get here and what’s at stake but other than that I don’t know much about them all individual but I can make assumptions.

Suicide Squad (New 52) #2: When the levee breaks Review

Deadshot says himself that only he is an actual ‘professional’ on the team, by that I’m guessing he has actual combat training rather than powers of circumstance. El Diablo is an  amateur with amazing pyro powers, King Shark (great name) wild card who is a half man and half shark, Black Spider, he says, is a  hero and perhaps shouldn’t be there, Harley Quinn is just cuckoo… Deadshot doesn’t actually say anything about Voltaic, I guessed why at this point and I was right later.

So, the first mission would you believe it looks like a stadium full of future nano zombies and they need to bring some law and order to the undead troublemakers. A completely over the top scenario for an over the top gang – the only other times I’ve read about zombies in a DC/Gotham book was in Haunted Gotham and that wasn’t canon but it was certainly ‘out there’.

Looks like there’s some chemistry between Harley and Deadshot which does play out through the book. Looking at the situation and the zombies Harley Quinn is so calm and unflappable. She is  not concerned with the situation at all- completely nuts. “Relax, I have a giant hammer” was one of her lines. To me, the character of Harley Quinn is one of biggest draws to the Suicide Squad books – she’s like a light hearted Joker and a bit funnier at times so I’m not surprised she gets a lot of the writer’s attention, the more the book goes on though the more it feels like it’s Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad rather than just ‘The Suicide Squad’. More on this later. It’s great to have good female leads but not when it’s forced.

King Shark Head rip
So, that happened…

Back to the zombies; the target, the carrier, morphs into god knows what, she’s pregnant to boot. Sweeps everyone away before King Shark comes outta nowhere and bites her fucking head off. Awesome! Then the baby is born. Seriously, this happens.

Deadshot who is the Suicide Squad ring leader and has open line with Waller. He kills voltaic there and then as the fall guy for the sake of the Suicide Squad and through them, himself. Ruthless. Now that the package is there they just need to get out.

Great chapter, loads of action, insane moments and a somewhat of a mystery plot going on. Not the most deep book I’ve read but it is fun, a bit like Deathstroke. If deep is what you are after though you wouldn’t get suicide squad but we shall see.

Suicide Squad (New 52) #3: Last chance Review

There’s an anti-hero villain on the Squad’s trail now by the name of ‘Mad Dog’ but it does looks like he isn’t an ordinary villain and gets Black Spider through the ninja smoke. Harley Quinn though evens things up by letting the gas in. The tone of the series so far is one incident after another, issue by issue rather than volume by volume as is the case typically with Batman. Although enjoyable with great art and quick quips by Glass, Dallocchio and Henry it is difficult getting invested in the characters or even a chance to get to know anyone.

King Shark goes bonkers and tucks into some chicken which just happen to be there. Not sure if DC intended him to be a funny character but he is to me

Deadshot Harley Quinn Romance
Getting it on

Harley Quinn and Deadshot get it on when the dust settles which changes the pace and dynamic somewhat, didn’t they in the film as well? I can’t remember.

Deadshot as the leader and in his own right gives Waller as good as he gets, she needed a leader and probably expected this from one of them. But if no one inside the Suicide Squad kept them in line they probably wouldn’t get anything done and to be honest they do get an awful lot done.

El Diablo figures out Voltaic wasn’t killed by zombies, but maybe by Deadshot…will this be a new sub plot? I thought it would but nothing much comes out of this despite it being quite a major event. Deadshot is willing to kill any of the Squad to save himself, you’d think more would come of this but no, another loose end plot line.

Before they get a chance to find answers Mad Dog comes for them, takes Black Spider out of the game and does a runner. Who’s there to save the day no other than King Shark with his massive head.

Deadshot wants to leave Spider to die while El diablo still has redeeming to, a sense of morality comes over Quinn and she helps too. A good moment where the few come together for good despite them being generally villainous. Unfortunately this type of thing doesn’t really happen too often despite it being a pretty good moment of writing.

Turns out King Shark finally got to eat and Mad Dog was on the menu

Just as one mission ends another begins (get used to this) as Voltaic and Black Spider are replaced by Yo-Yo (never heard of him) and Captain Boomerang. Boomerang also usurps deadshot as the leader, Waller probably had enough of his shit.

Great opening mission, sometimes a bit rushed as the infected woman and Mad Dog were killed as soon as they arrived but the dynamic between the teams could be an intriguing one.

El Diablo’s depression can get a bit boring at times and he needs to liven up but he does bounce off well as a character full of selfish criminals. Harley Quinn is what you’d expect with style over substance but the one who ran away as my favourite was King Shark who only said a couple of lines but every time he was on the page he made me laugh.

Suicide Squad (New 52) #4: Bad Company Review

Captain Boomerang and Deadshot don’t get along. Obviously. Waller knows this would happen and I got the impression it was intentional. Never heard of this Yo-Yo but that’s an awfully ability and a bit silly to base a character and their ability over dieting problems.

There’s talk of Joker being dead and skinned alive which means this is happening before Death of the Family and possibly during Court/City of Owls

This issue’s villain is a Grey Lora, and what a pretty mouth she has…Deadshot has dropped boomerang right in it with Grey Lora by essentially grassing him up on a previous kill of his.

Suicide Squad V2
Suicide Squad V2

The man deactivating the bombs sets up a possible scene with Harley Quinn but nothing really happens. Bit disappointed. That’s the trend so far with Kicked in the Teeth – many plots start up but never get conceded, at times it is very frustrating.

Back in Suicide Squad HQ which happens to be Belle Reve, the prison and there’s an absolute riot inside Belle Reve and they (the Suicide Squad) have 18 minutes to sort it. This could be epic and hopefully King Shark gets a line in there

Bit of a start stop chapter, not much development not much progress in the storyline. A bit predictable really

Suicide Squad (New 52) #5: Abandon all hope Review

A lot of over the top killing, metas with no story and lives come to an end in an instant. A bit of a waste just to serve ‘Suicide Squad’ as an ‘edgier’ book. Doesn’t quite sit with Batman books very well but then again it doesn’t have to. Deathstroke is more or less the same kind of stuff.

Diablo Unleashed
Diablo Unleashed

Then again this is the Suicide Squad. If they weren’t like this they wouldn’t be here. The team is starting to fracture with many members been and gone now and it’s only 5 issues in.

Still no sign of Harley Quinn. No moments from King Shark yet (boo) …and then in the next page he kills Yo-Yo in an instant. Another throwaway character been and gone.

Floyd finally gets to see his daughter but not for long. New squad, hunt for Harley and it looks like it’s going to Gotham!

Is it predictable at this stage? No. But that’s not necessarily a good thing, things change so quickly in Kicked in the Teeth that it can get really jarring. The highlight of the book is El Diablo finally letting his powers loose to incinerate a few people, and about time too. Despite his amazing powers his character is really, really boring and I don’t feel Adam Glass has done a particularly good job with him. Dallocchio and Henry, have though.

Suicide Squad (New 52) #6: The hunt for Harley Quinn, Part 1 Review

No immediate intro to the new squad members, maybe it will come but for a new reader and with it being New 52 I am expecting it or at the very least a reminder of who they are. Lime and Light are two of the, twins, with some powers that I’m not sure what they do. Where’s El Diablo? I had a flick back to see if I missed it but he just isn’t on this mission and there isn’t a genuine explanation why. Lastly, Savant is now on the team – one of the ones from the original 1-2 issues and one of the victims of torture. I’m sure the members get switched around based on the situation ahead but an explanation to confirm this would be nice as a first time reader.

King shark gets his moment. So that’s good.

Flashback to Harley and her plans, my guess it has something to do with Joker. However this is a Suicide Squad book rather than a Harley one, I feel they should give other characters a chance to shine like they have with Deadshot and Harley but no, this now is well and truly the Harley Quinn show.

Harley Quinn Origins
Harleen Quinzel and Joker

She started as a strong willed and intelligent woman (as Harleen Quinzel), she still is, but not nuts back then and now she’s a killer…

Harleen and Joker continue to have a dialogue about the motivations of the Joker, always thought that Joker makes up his origins time and time again and I think this one is just the same. Wants to get inside Quinn’s head and thus tells her what she wants to hear rather than the truth.

Of course at this point having read Death of the Family I know he isn’t dead.

And that really is all there is too be said about this issue. It’s all Harley Quinn.

Suicide Squad (New 52) #7: The hunt for Harley Quinn, Part 2 Review

Waller does an awful lot of work for a head figure, she’s almost an Oracle for the Suicide Squad when at

Joker and Harley Quinn
Joker and Harley Quinn

other times she’s been quite shadowy. She is so worried about being caught then why doesn’t she get someone else to do it

Deadshot warns Savant that it is dangerous to mess with Harley, I bet that’s an omen and he’ll join the growing list of super villain deaths. Turns out it was the other way around!

Waller was deadly serious about these bombs and that’s another villain kill and the Lime and Light twins get into serious trouble and get caught.

We get the conclusion to the Harley Quinn backstory and how she ‘snapped’; it makes it look like with that green substance everyone can be a Joker. Is it his own stash or a functioning factory that produces it. Very unrealistic if it’s the latter. She now has Deadshot and Joker’s sliced face…but a big surprise is coming her way and it really is big…

Summary

The first volume of Suicide Squad’s New 52 run started off spectacularly with non stop action and a great dynamic between the original squad. What happened after that though, was constant stop start plots where a plot would begin and not be concluded over and over again for a very frustrating read at times. The art’s great so what you see is excellent but the storyline (if you can call it that) is all over the place.

Characters come and go without explanation and there is so much death at times it just seems to be done for the sake of it and to keep the reader engaged, for me it didn’t work and after issue #3 I just didn’t feel engaged or even invested once.

As time goes on it’s the Deadshot and Harley Quinn show as those characters are the only ones Glass has given any depth to, the book is meant to be about the Suicide Squad but it didn’t at all after a while.

Overall, the book’s fine but if you’re looking for depth, tension and character development then this isn’t it. I’m not in a any rush to get the second collection so if you never see it don’t be surprised.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Suicide Squad, Volume 1: Kicked in the Teeth (New 52)
Author Rating
21star1stargraygraygray

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