The first of two stories, Pure Insanity finds stalwarts Harley Quinn and Deadshot lumbered with some new teammates on a mission to Russia, and it wouldn't be the Squad if something didn't go wrong. Some twists can be seen coming – dare we say Harley is starting to feel a little over-exposed? – but this is a cracking read. It’s like the blueprint for an ‘80s action film, with scenes cleverly intercut and snippets of characterisation that ensure no team member is short-changed. Black Manta, a villain new to this reviewer, particularly shines. Defective, the second story, is more of the same, equally as action-packed, but there's a definite sense of the writer growing comfortable with his characters, giving them more introspective moments and allowing readers some thoughtful insight; are these villains truly deserving of redemption? Never mind, because here come the ninja man-bats.
Overall, this first volume is guaranteed to have readers flying through the pages. The art is great and there are some superb splash pages that combine the simple and elaborate to stunning effect. It's full of dry humour - there's even a teasing comment about the Joker joining the Squad – and it's good to see that, however slimline Amanda Waller may be these days, she's still the same hard-nosed character as ever. Switch off your brain and rattle through the pages, enjoy the fighting and explosions, then return for a second read, and delve into the subtext that wasn't completely obvious first time around. New Suicide Squad doesn't disappoint, and bodes well for more in the future.
NEW SUICIDE SQUAD VOLUME 1: PURE INSANITY / WRITER: SEAN RYAN / ARTIST: JEREMY ROBERTS, TOM DERENICK, ROB HUNTER / PUBLISHER: DC
COMICS / RELEASE DATE: JULY 30TH