Suicide Squad Get Joker!
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Alex Maleev
Colours: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Jared Fletcher
Publisher: DC Black Label
Release Date: 4th August 2021
Variant Cover Artist: Jorge Fornés
The Joker Must DIE
Tasked with ending the trail of broken, bloody bodies left in the Clown Prince of Crime’s wake, Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad – now led by the Red Hood – must hunt down Batman’s greatest foe in the hopes of putting him six feet under.
The former Boy Wonder and current Red Hood, Jason Todd, agrees to help track down the Joker out of both duty and a lust for revenge against the monster some think killed the second Robin. Now side by side with some of the world’s most ruthless villains – including Harley Quinn, Firefly and Wild Dog – the Red Hood must decide who he can trust and who’s really pulling the strings of the Squad once the Joker turns the tables on Task Force X.
Writer: Brian Azzarello
With the recent release of James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” in cinema’s, DC Black Label has decided to add another layer of marketing in comic form with Suicide Squad: Get Joker!
I’m a sucker for an anti-hero and Suicide Squad has always filled that niche nicely. It calls out to the deep, hidden caveman section of the old reward pathway. Now, pair that with what some would consider the most tragic of anti-heroes, Jason Todd and you can count me in.
This issue sets the scene nicely, leaving the majority of the violence for the last quarter and opening with a 10-page monologue that helps fill in the gaps for new readers without overstaying its welcome. I’m under the impression that pacing can make or break a comic and even though this isn’t as action-packed as some might hope, every panel has a purpose and Azzarello is tying the strings to make the marionettes dance later down the line.
The issue concludes with some good old DC Black Label ultraviolence, a foreboding cliffhanger and a rather strange realisation that the Clown Prince of Crime has the words to Milli Vanilli’s 1989 hit “Blame It On the Rain” memorised… weird.
Art/Colour: Alex Maleev/Matt Hollingsworth
Alex Maleev’s art in this book is very clean and easy to follow. Coupled with Hollingsworth’s colouring, it helps pull readers into Gotham City with the familiar cold and grimy aesthetic.
There is one section in particular, with a neon-lit bar and a little mindless violence that shines through. The dreary backdrop of the city streets steps back, allowing vibrant colours and a more bombastic, stylised few panels that help portray the intensity of the situation the Squad find themselves in.
All in all, this is a Gotham story. Darkness and shadows are key, but they can get a little depressive and monotonous. I had hoped for more flashy, colourful segments in future issues to keep the eyes entertained.
If you are looking for a book that will have you pondering life’s big questions, this may not be for you. Suicide Squad has always been about having fun with the characters and this seems no different. Although there is nothing out of the gate that has me wowed, it’s been absurd enough that I’m interested to see where Azzarello’s Squad end up and I’ll be picking up issue #2 when the time comes.
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