REVIEW: ‘Suicide Squad: Get Joker,’ Issue 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Suicide Squad Get Joker #2 - But Why Tho

Suicide Squad: Get Joker #2 is published by DC Comics through their Black Label imprint.  Written by Brian Azzarello with art by Alex Maleev. The colourist is Matt Hollingsworth and the letters are by Jared K. Fletcher. 

Jason Todd was arrested and put in prison. He was transferred to Belle Reve where he was approached by Amanda Waller. She recruits him into the Suicide Squad and gives him his first mission: to kill the Joker. With a team including the likes of Firefly, Harley Quinn, Silver Banshee, and Plastique, the Squad start hunting. After a missed opportunity, Joker breaks into Waller’s hotel room and beats her with a crowbar. The Joker has the bomb box, using it to kill Firefly.

In Book 2, the Squad is nervous. Hiding out, they know that the clown has their lives in his hands. They take cover in an abandoned warehouse, where they seem to be followed by a large gang of strangers. They are approached by one of the strangers, who tells them that Joker wants to see them. Bound to attend, they journey back into Gotham to a nightclub. Joker is there and is now their puppet master.

There are two halves to the book. One is the group hiding out, unsure of what to do. The second half is when they are summoned to the nightclub by Joker. That tension is pulled taught the longer it goes on. A brief scrap between two groups dissipates the suspense slightly in the middle, but it soon returns with a vengeance. The action comes at the very end of the book and has a very unique attribute to it. At this point, several surprises are revealed in a relentless sequence of events. What is slightly disappointing is bringing the setting back to the nightclub. This place has been seen already, so returning feels repetitive. Even the first location of this issue lacks a real identity.

The characters have changed in Suicide Squad: Get Joker #2, but aren’t exactly better. Azzarello is given much more time with these villains than other writers do in normal, shorter comics. They do have an identity, but many of them still aren’t capturing the hearts of the reader, or driving them to hate the character either. Wild Dog is the closest to doing so, but his dialogue is unpleasant. Silver Banshee and Pebbles haven’t had their abilities demonstrated in a badass way yet either. And with the clock ticking, they may not have long to show it. Even established, brilliant personalities such as Jason or Harley are just flat. Quinn has a moment that defines the tone of this comic, and some readers may enjoy it. But every figure in this book feels underwhelming.

The art is fantastic at character work. Maleev brings each character to life with his gritty style. Some of these costumes are very intricate, such as Silver Banshee or Wild Dog, but no shortcuts are ever taken by the artist. The depiction of violence by Maleev is very fascinating. It is brazen and open, with clean lines presenting it so it is clear what is happening. Yet somehow, the speed at which they happen sometimes leads the reader to do a double-take. Where the art struggles are defining where the characters are. The first part is very confusing. The sense of place is absent and is very disorienting. But also, the locations are dull and lack life.

The colours are awesome. On the characters, Hollingsworth brings them to life. The costumes are full of shades that make them easily identifiable. Red Hood actually has more red, though the lack of his helmet is still disappointing. The atmosphere of a room is actively maintained by Hollingsworth, such as with the purple haze in the nightclub in the second act.

The letters are easy to read in the word balloons. The only piece of difficulty that emerges is from the caption boxes. The colours for different characters are very similar. It is thusly difficult on occasion to know who is speaking when more than one caption box is used.

Suicide Squad: Get Joker #2 improves on the previous issue, but remains disappointing. Azzarello is brilliant at tension, and the suspense keeps the comic teetering on a knife-edge. The frustrating part of the issue is that he has all of the exceptional characters at his disposal yet has failed to use any of them to their full potential. There are some moments of brilliance and the art is superb, and there will be fans of Red Hood or the Joker that will find this comic enjoyable.

Suicide Squad: Get Joker #2 is available where comics are sold.

Suicide Squad: Get Joker #2
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TL;DR

Suicide Squad: Get Joker #2 improves on the previous issue, but remains disappointing. Azzarello is brilliant at tension, and the suspense keeps the comic teetering on a knife-edge. The frustrating part of the issue is that he has all of the exceptional characters at his disposal yet has failed to use any of them to their full potential. There are some moments of brilliance and the art is superb, and there will be fans of Red Hood or the Joker that will find this comic enjoyable.