SUICIDE SQUAD: GET JOKER! #1/ Script by BRIAN AZZARELLO/ Art and Cover by ALEX MALEEV/ Colors by MATT HOLLINGSWORTH/ Letters by JARED K. FLETCHER/ Published by DC COMICS
My hopes were not high going into Suicide Squad: Get Joker! How could they be with a cover depicting a Jared Leto Joker? But the old adage about not judging a book by its cover art proved apt. The interior is far worse and that’s largely due to the biggest warning sign of all.
Four little words; Written By Brian Azzarello. The man who somehow found a way to make The Killing Joke movie even more misogynistic in its mistreatment of Barbara Gordon than the original comic.
Azzarello writes like a 13 year old boy trying to sound like an adult and the best thing I can say about his script for Suicide Squad: Get Joker! is that it did not leave me feeling like I had to apologize to women everywhere. Unfortunately, there is no wit and little craft to this story, which is centered around an edge-lord Jason Todd leading a new Suicide Squad on a mission to kill Joker, on the orders of an oddly skinny Amanda Waller, who is even more oddly obsessed with scatalogical references. Oh, and The Joker cosplays Alex from A Clockwork Orange at one point.
This comic notably drew fire from Wild Dog co-creator Terry Beatty because of Azzarello’s decision to transform the character into an anti-government extremist and January 6th Capitol insurrectionist. The damnable thing is that this is the closest Azzarello comes to giving any of the supporting cast a personality. He also somehow manages to write a Harley Quinn who is not funny, smart or crazy and is only identifiable as Harley Quinn because of her costume.
The art by Alex Maleev isn’t bad, but there’s little life to the action sequences. His character designs suggest far more personality than Azzarello’s dialogue. Matt Hollingsworth makes a game attempt to add some visual interest to this mess, but it is, to borrow a Texas idiom, like painting a cow pie.
In the end, I am thankful that I have James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad to look forward to later this week, because after reading Suicide Squad: Get Joker! I find myself in need of a reminder just why I generally like the Suicide Squad concept. Avoid this book like the plague and go treat yourself to the original James Ostrander run or Tom Taylor’s Bad Blood if you want to read a good Suicide Squad comic this week.