Comic Book Review: Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1

Amanda Waller is en route to Bell Reve Penitentiary with an important scientist in tow. His work can help sift out inmates of the prison who have unique super powers and abilities which would benefit as draftees for the Suicide Squad. The military plane is struck by an unknown force and crash-lands. As the survivors of the wreck scramble to safety, they realize they’re being hunted down by one of the test subjects the scientist experimented on for his research. Amanda must find a way to keep the scientist alive and deal with the innocent victim of his horrific research.

Writer Jim Zub takes his second stab at bringing DC characters to life with Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1. Having only penned a short story for Legends of the Dark Knight before this, he does a phenomenal job of bringing the newly revised Amanda Waller of the New 52 to vibrant life. He pulls readers inside her head and shows her as a headstrong leader who doesn’t rely on anyone but herself to get the job done when it gets right down to it. Waller is definitely not the behind-the-scenes desk jockey we’ve so often seen in past episodes of Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice.

Brazilian artist Andre Coelho brings writer Jim Zub’s words to vivid life through panels full of detailed and clean illustrations beautifully colored by Andrew Dalhouse. Coelho’s work is streamlined and pointed as exemplified by his magnificent use of both thick and thin lining. You can tell he takes pride in breathing realism into these characters.

Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1 is rated T+ for some reason. I didn’t notice anything different or more graphic and intense than anything I see in regular Teen-rated books like Detective Comics and Action Comics. There’s quite a bit of violence and some language, but nothing out of the ordinary.

I found Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1 to be an entertaining read. It does a great job of injecting a dose of humanity into the character I think she’s denied in many of the incarnations we’ve seen in the past. She isn’t set up as this tyrannical entity that constantly thrives to work either against or in competition with the Justice League and other morally-structured super-powered organizations. I could see Waller being able to carry her own monthly series if enough interest was generated by this one-shot.

Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1 is available now in print and Kindle editions.