Thursday, March 01, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 9: Suicide Squad

Back in September 2011, DC Comics made a very bold and unprecedented (even risky) move by ceasing all on-going series, selecting 52 unique series, and starting each of those series anew with issue number one. Many of the series selected were already in existence or had previously been in existence; regardless, every series began at number one. It’s my understanding that one reason why DC did this was to increase their readership by attracting new readers – first issues sell significantly more copies then mid-series issues because, logically, people like to start reading stories at the beginning; so, release 52 issue number ones all at once and you'll get a ton of new readers, right? One big problem that I see with this approach is that most people don’t have the disposable income necessary to purchase 52 comics in a month at $2.99 per issue. At best, most folks might select 2 or 3 series to purchase per month, and if it turns out that after a few months they realize they don’t really like a series they initially selected and want to start reading something else, they must select from an offering of series that are now several issues into their stories. Thus, DC is back to their initial dilemma of people not wanting to start reading a story mid-series. But that’s just a minor impediment, I guess.
When the New 52 started up, I did what I assume the average person would do and I selected a few books to start reading from the beginning. Along the way, I dropped most of them and picked up a few others, but the one and only book that I have stuck with for 6 months now is Suicide Squad. This is one of the series that wasn’t in existence at the time that DC decided to cease all current series, but it had been in existence several years earlier, and its long-awaited return is a welcome one. The Suicide Squad is comprised of a group of supervillians selected by the federal government from the prisoners at Belle Reve Penitentiary. The Squad (also known as Task Force X) is a secret group of powerful villains sent out to take on other high profile villains, and in exchange for the successful completion of their missions, their prison sentences may be shortened. It’s bad guys fighting bad guys, with one group of bad guys disguised as the good guys. Intriguing, eh? The fact that the Squad is comprised of bad guys means that killing members off is a liberty a writer can take without much remorse, and so it happens fairly regularly in any given issue. The main members of this incarnation of the Suicide Squad include Deadshot, Savant, Diablo, King Shark, and the infamous, fascinating, and captivating Harley Quinn. This is a series that is packed with action, suspense, mystery, violence, drama, and twists, and while I can’t speak to all of the New 52 series (considering that I’ve read very few of them), Suicide Squad is definitely one that I would recommend and I’m certain would be enjoyable regardless of which issue you initially purchase.

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