Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1
Written by Rob Williams
Art by Philip Tan (w/inkers Jonathan Glapion, Scott Hanna, and Sandu Florea)
Colors by Alex Sinclair
Letters by Travis Lanham
Review by John Dubrawa
We’re nearly two months into this whole DC Rebirth renaissance and for the life of me I can’t figure out the rhyme or reasoning behind some titles receiving a Rebirth-branded #1 issue and others not. Thus far, it seems that the Rebirth-specific titles have been merely a way to induct brand-new readers into the DCU, while those familiar enough with the title in question are safe to move on to the official, non-Rebirth first issue. Confusing right? All that is a way of saying that if you have ANY familiarity with the Suicide Squad at all, Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 isn’t really a necessary purchase. It’s a solid first issue from writer Rob Williams that caters heavily toward new readers, but those with even a cursory knowledge of the team might find themselves a little restless by the end of it all.
You know the drill–not sanctioned by the government, criminals hired to go on secret missions, bombs planted in their heads, etc., etc. Aside from the heated exchange in the opening panels between Amanda Waller (back to her “The Wall” persona it seems) and freaking President Obama, Williams’ script does little to shake up what’s mostly Suicide Squad 101. Not surprisingly, the team itself is nearly identical to the team from the movie–a smart move on behalf of Williams or DC, whomever made that call–but the issue does feel a bit neutered in the way only three members of that team are represented here. It unfortunately makes this issue feel even more ancillary that way.
Philip Tan provides the interior pencils in a fitting partnership with Williams’ script. His character designs are incredibly reminiscent of Jim Lee, who lo and behold will be rotating out with Tan as artist when the book properly begins. Tan can get a little messy in some of the panels, and his Deadshot is a particularly hilarious mass of muscle upon muscle upon muscle, but overall, this series feels right at home in Tan’s wheelhouse. Of the action we do get, it’s bold and bombastic, and the colors from Alex Sinclair provide a washed-out palette that fits well in the grimy nature of this team. This is exactly how a book like Suicide Squad should look.
Wait and See. It’s hard to resist a new Suicide Squad book when it’s being released the same week as the high-profile movie, but this Rebirth issue isn’t a necessary read for anyone that already has cursory knowledge of the team also known as Task Force X. New readers might find a bit more reason to buy, but without the team even being fully assembled at the end of it all, it still feels like the next issue is the one to really sink your teeth into.