Suicide Squad #6: One More Try

Harley Quinn leads the Squad on a goose chase through Gotham while she deals with her Dead Joker angst.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Suicide Squad #6

So, predictably, I took a big steaming dump on Suicide Squad #1 when it came out, because I had a lot of anger about the loss of my favorite book, Secret Six, and I hate stacheless Deadshot, skinny Amanda Waller and Tim Burton Hooker-Lookin' Harley Quinn, and I wasn't thrilled with Hammerhead King Shark, either.  The only real attention I've paid it since was the whole 'clown car vagina' mess, which further cemented my opinion that writer Adam Glass was trying way too hard to be edgy and cool.  Seriously, why does Floyd Lawton look like some constipated cross between Matt Frewer and Ed O'Neill there?

But, in the interest of fairness, I thought I'd risk another go around with Suicide Squad #6, to see if it's settled into anything better yet after the LOOK WE ARE COOL JUST BELIEVE IT PLEASE debut need to be shocking wore off.  It's the start of a big arc where Harley Quinn is on the run from the rest of the Squad because she's flipping out over discovering that everyone thinks the Joker is dead, thanks to his peeled-off face being found in Detective Comics #1.  We get flashbacks to how her relationship with the Joker began, while the rest of the team bickers and deals with crazy transvestite Harley groupies out to kill them.  Dudes in girl clothes.  Yuk yuk yuk.

First off, I still hate what I hate about this series.  I don't like Deadshot's overly-busy chest-pouchy cyborg look, nor do I like him giving enough of a shit about anything to actually operate as a field leader, I hate Harley's outfit, I hate that King Shark doesn't look like King Shark anymore so soon after I fell in love with the character in Secret Six, and I hate Halle Berry Waller.  Really, the cognitive dissonance about Waller is the absolute worst part of this.  THIS IS NOT THE WALL, GODDAMMIT BITCHY BITCH BITCH WHINE COMPLAIN.  Just when you're thinking you can forgive some things, she shows up and reminds you that you were right not to forgive.

I also hate the "Twitter Twins" Lime and Light, who showed up in Green Arrow and are now on the Squad, but I get the impression I don't have to like them because they're going to be grist for the 'we keep killin' our cast members!' mill that is apparently a selling point of this series.  But anyone who says internet abbreviations like OMG out loud is instantly on my shit list.  The larger point being that if you're reading a book that's supposed to have black comedy in it, but you don't think it's amusing, you're just never going to like it.  It boils down to Glass' sense of humor not jiving with mine, which is an unbridgeable gulf for anybody.  I have the same problem with Brian Michael Bendis and Matt Fraction.  Some people think they're funny.  I just don't. 

It's like the words Glass puts in the Joker's mouth.  "Make 'em laugh, and you have a piece of them.  If you have a piece of them, you have power over them, and then you can bend them to your will."  Even he realizes the importance of humor, and thus, it seems like Glass would understand that if I don't grok his yuks, he's not going to have the power to make me look past the other stuff I dislike about his project.  It happens.  It's subjective.

What I like, however, is some of the art from Clayton Henry, specifically when we're getting into Harley's head as she's going through Arkham Asylum and one of her old hideouts with the Joker, remembering their interrogation-room courtship.  I've been burned out on the Joker as a character for a while, so it's somewhat interesting that Glass is implying that there's some kind of humanity to the Joker beyond the force of nature he's generally depicted as.  Harley says there's a 'downtime,' behind closed doors version of him who is "the real Mister J, not the clown he wants the world to see, but the man I fell crazy in love with."   Thus, there are a few panels here where Henry just really hits the mark perfectly on showing us how sad and broken Harley is right now in dealing with her loss, creating some really emotional moments which are all the more important because they're ensconced in a series about casual murder and general assholery.

Overall, still not a book I'm interested in reading, but not quite the crapfest I expected this book to be for as long as it lasted.  It's okay.  It's just not for me.