My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Suicide Squad, Vol. 4: Discipline and Punish is the only volume of the New 52 Suicide Squad I’ve been willing to roll the dice on for two reasons. One, my home girl Anne seems to have really enjoyed it. And two, because Ales Kot is so stinkin’ fresh. His offbeat style continues to charm the hell outta me.
Couple of minor spoilers coming up folks. This volume picks up with the re-programming of the current members of the squad and introduces a couple of new ones. Deadshot, Harley, and King Shark are all present and accounted for. Amanda Waller takes this opportunity to inject some new blood into the group. I like the odd team Ales puts together in this one with the new additions. The Unknown Soldier adds some seriousness to the team. James Gordon Junior is an interesting choice for the team’s analyst. This is a unique idea that has some potential for the future. And Cheetah is kinda cool. What’s up her controlling bees though? Did I miss something? Gotta say that Harley really shines in this one. The way that Ales writes her dialogue is simply spot on.
Ales introduces the team with a story that jumps around a bit before reaching it’s climax four issues in. The back and forth between past and present works well for me here and the story is pretty entertaining. Sadly Ales only writes four of the issues contained in this one. The remaining two are essentially New 52 origin stories for Harley and Deadshot. Not bad, but not as good as the beginning of the collection.
Patrick Zircher pimps out the majority of Ales run on the title (3 issues) and his stuff is pretty good. Rick Leonardi, Neil Googe, and a couple of others all throw in to complete the collection. Googe. Great name. I really liked his cartoony style in the Harley origin issue too.
I am sad that Ales didn’t get a chance to write more of this title because, like Simone’s Secret Six, Suicide Squad had that special “It factor” while he is writing it. Clicked for me and I would’ve stuck around longer had Kot settled in. Couple of minor quibbles. New 52 Deadshot seems a little more ho hum these days and is missing the trademark mustache. You can change his costume, just don’t fuck with the ‘stache. Also, I prefer my Waller a little more full figured. Girl can’t have a donut once and a while?
All in all it’s probably one of the best New 52 titles I’ve read. Didn’t pick up any of the earlier collections and really didn’t feel lost. I would say a general knowledge of the concept behind the Suicide Squad is all you would really need to get some enjoyment out of this one. Good call Anne.