Today I thought I would look at the Free Comic Book Day edition of Suicide Squad #1. This is DC’s Gold level offering for this year’s event.
Now, this is reprint of Suicide Squad vol. 4 #1 from 2011. The release of this is timed to introduce new readers to the series ahead of the upcoming Suicide Squad movie later this year. Because of that, there’s not much new here. The only real new content here are ads for merchandise tie-ins to the movie.
I haven’t read this issue since it’s release in 2011 so I was surprised to see how close this line up is to the team in the film. Of course the biggest difference is that the movie has replaced King Shark with Killer Croc.
The plot of the issue is that the team has been captured and are being tortured to give up information on Task Force X. During the torture, King Shark is given a pretty good moment that I wouldn’t be surprised if it is given to Croc in the movie. As their captors go from character to character, the reader is shown flash backs explaining how some of them were originally arrested and put into the Suicide Squad. This serves as a really good introduction to these characters for new readers. Later, we are shown how the team were set up on a mission and defeated, hence their current predicament. At the end, the Squad gets out of their situation and are sent off on their first mission.
For a Free Comic Book Day giveaway this book it very effective. It gives new readers all the info they need for the book’s premise and introduces it’s cast. The issue ends in a cliffhanger with the note that the story is continued in a trade. Right after that, on the very next page, is an advertisement for that trade and other Suicide Squad collections. Now the readers will know what to get next if they want to continue reading this series. There are several ads throughout, but a majority of them feature Suicide Squad items so it’s at least appropriate.
The only real downside to this is that it’s a story from several years ago. Again, it makes sense that they reprinted this one, and it’s totally in line with what many publishers do for Free Comic Book Day. DC definitely has a history of doing this to promote a certain comic. However, it would have been nice to see a new backup story or maybe something from a recent issue to fill readers in on what’s going on in the book currently.
Overall, if someone new to the Suicide Squad picks this up because they saw one of the excellent trailers and wants to know more, this will give them info on what the movie is about, and honestly, that’s the point here.