Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth

Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth - Adam Glass, Ryan Benjamin

Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth centers on a group of villains unleashed to do the government's dirtier assignments for a shorter prison sentence. To keep the team under control, each member of the squad has a nanite bomb injected in their necks. Problem with villains, such as Harley Quinn, Deadshot, El Diablo, Black Spider and King Shark, is that sometimes a death threat isn't enough to keep them in check.

Suicide Squad is primarily Deadshot's story, with the comic trying (and basically failing) to set him up as an anti-hero. Despite being the leader of the group, Deadshot is entirely self-serving and has no compunction about treating everyone he encounters as expendable. Based on the gimmick of the series, this part works. What did not work was the painful attempt to make Deadshot an empathetic character. I guess we're supposed to root for him because he has a soft spot for something vulnerable and innocent, but it didn't gel for me. At that point, it was yet another painful cliche in a storyline that had been riddled with them.

What I did enjoy about the collection was Harley Quinn. She plays a pretty minor role during the first half. Basically, Harley was there just for some chuckles, occasional cheesecake poses and to bang Deadshot. During the second half, the plot shifts to the squad having to hunt her down and I enjoyed Harley's small moments in this part. Like how quiet and serious she got when suddenly motivated. It was a nice contrast to how she was just doing her own thing and having fun on the team in the first half. I have high hopes that something great will be done with her character down the line, but I fear that she'll be relegated to the background once the Joker makes an entrance.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the series will get better further in, so I'll definitely be picking up the next volume.