Death of the Family Review: Suicide Squad #14 By Adam Glass and Fernando Dagnino
by Joe Smith on November 16, 2012

Review:  Suicide Squad #14

Published by DC Comics

Written by Adam Glass

Art by Fernando Dagnino

The Plot

There is a flashback of Deadshot fighting against Regulus and he shoots himself in order to take down Regulus.  It is the present day and we are at Deadshot’s funeral, which has Harley very upset.  The funeral is interrupted by the Joker who is quite sadistic with Harley.  He coerces her into assisting him with the plan that is seen at the end of Batman #13.  Waller and co. are debating as to why the Joker didn’t kill them while in a vulnerable position at the funeral.  Dr. Visyak shares some information with Waller about a body part that used to belong to a recently cancelled character.  She then visits Iceberg and informs him that he will undergoing some deprogramming.  After that, we see King Shark undergoing the deprogramming process, which is driving him crazy.  He is then visited by Yo-Yo who deduces why he is truly involved.  El Diablo is in another cell and he ultimately makes a decision that appears to consume him.  Waller then sees Black Spider who surprises her with his views pertaining to recent experiences.  Following Harley’s participation in Batman #14, she is now encountered by the Joker once again and we are left hanging on the last page.

The Breakdown

I’ve only read about 6 of the 14 issues of this series so I’m not completely in the loop with the whole Regulus battle.  This issue made it plausible for why Harley was acting on the Joker’s behalf in the Batman title.  I was curious after reading Batman how she was able to participate while being a member of the Suicide Squad.  There is also a possible explanation given for the Joker’s behavior towards Harley.  He has been more vicious and cruel towards her in the Batman title and we begin to learn more as to why he’s acting this way.  It appears as though Regulus has really turned the team inside out.  I found this to be interesting as the Suicide Squad isn’t exactly a functional group to begin with.  I liked how Waller quickly deduced why they weren’t taken out by the Joker and how she maintains control of her team.  This issue was efficient at making the Joker continue to be a major threat to everyone.  His cruelty that was introduced in the Batman series was shown more in depth this issue.  This is what I was interested in while reading this comic.  The art wasn’t spectacular, but it was good.  However, this issue was mostly about dialogue and there weren’t many opportunities to shine.  Dagnino did provide us with a very good rendition of the Joker and had his physicality down pat.  The Joker is basically capable of one facial expression right now with his face being strapped to his face.  Nonetheless, Dagnino gave us some different looks on the Joker by utilizing different angles and shadows to do so.  Also, I’m still loving the Joker wraparound cover.  It was an enjoyable read for me.

BUT…

Not a whole lot happened besides the Harley Quinn/Joker encounters.  However, in the book’s defense I am not a regular reader of this series and this issue still had the dust settling from a major conflict.  If Deadshot is actually dead then that would be a drawback for me picking up issues after this crossover.  I’m not sure how readable this team is and I’ll be looking for people’s opinions on that.  This is because I’m not that familiar with the entire lineup and in a team book, the lineup has to be able to sell me on the idea of buying it.  Just looking at the flashback, I’m still not a fan of Deadshot without the ‘stache.  Perhaps he can’t the handle moustache responsibility that comes with wielding moustache power.  Actually one of the things that soured me during the first issue was Deadshot’s gawd-awful mask.  I didn’t really care for Regulus’ costume design, but I’m just not a fan of head garments in general.  One of the side-effects of the ‘90s for me.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

If you’re reading the Death of the Family arc then Buy It.  However, if you’re not then I would recommend you to Shelf Read It.  There isn’t a lot that happens in this issue, which limits me from being able to recommend this title.  At the same time, I’m not up to speed so I can’t recommend someone to Ignore It either simply because I’m ill-informed on this title.  I’d prefer for someone to judge for themselves on whether or not they would want to pick up this title on a regular basis.  I was interested in the Joker’s motives for treating Harley the way that he is.  Dagnino has given us a different interpretation of the Joker, but it’s still consistent with other artists’ renditions of the character.  I’ll be back for the next issue.



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