I don’t consider myself an art snob, but I think comic books owe it to their readers to deliver very good to great art in every comic. Comics that are supposed to serve as special introductions or milestones should especially be wary of such a requirement. While Ken Lashley’s cover for “Suicide Squad” #0 by Adam Glass with art by Fernando Dagnino is exciting and energetic, albeit wildly exaggerated, the first page is a mishmash of disappointingly boring panels featuring non-descript characters doing non-descript things. Turn the page and there’s Amanda Waller, who may or may not be wearing gloves — the colorist is pretty sure she is in all the panels, even if she wasn’t drawn with gloves in all those same panels — who apparently has the ability to kick a man’s face off in such a manner that it looks like a sledgehammer passing through an overly ripe watermelon in addition to being the most stunningly tall woman in the world.
The adage is that a human figure should be eight heads tall, so Amanda Waller should frequently have feet where here knees are depicted. At various points throughout the story, it could be that the human body is supposed to be eight breasts tall as Waller’s breasts are as big, if not bigger, than her head in more than one panel. In other panels throughout “Suicide Squad” #0, she exhibits a Plastic Man-like ability to alter her anatomy and physique.
Dagnino’s work isn’t all bad. He has some strength in his creation of patterns, detail for backgrounds and occasional feature-packed panels. It may be that he is trying to keep pace with a script that is all over the board. After all, Waller is able to sit down minutes after beating the heck out of two people and take part in a casual conversation at a small table. Of course, there are some horrible storytelling choices, like Waller shoving a woman’s face through a pinball machine, only to have that person wipe it off with a towel before appearing with minor scratches on her face mere pages (and only an hour by the story) later.
Plus, many little gimmicks had me wondering if this issue was somehow connected to a Wile E. Coyote cartoon as Waller and crew seemed to be able to conjure up weaponry and other equipment from thin air, like the ACME supplies used against the Road Runner. Waller suddenly has a Bowie knife or similar weapon appear from nowhere (she clearly isn’t hiding it on her person given the way she was drawn throughout this issue) and is also able to brandish firearms from thin air, not to mention the sheer magical way Regulus appears out of nowhere to become the tangible threat for the issue.
Adam Glass does provide the reader with ample proof that Amanda Waller is a badass. What Glass doesn’t do, however, is present a reason to care. Waller wants to be left alone, but has a change of heart when a threat rolls in. Once the threat materializes, Waller proves to be ruthless, but the threat itself is never really addressed. There’s more than a little bit left undone by the final page of this issue, but none of the loose ends are interesting.
I lost touch with “Suicide Squad” rather early in the run, so I was curious what was waiting for me in this issue, especially since I had given the first issue four stars a year ago. This issue truly disappointed on all counts.