Comic Books

Weird Science DC Comics Podcast Spotlight: Suicide Squad Rebirth #1 & Harley Quinn #1

Weird Science DC Comics Podcast Spotlight: Suicide Squad Rebirth #1 & Harley Quinn #1

Jim, Eric and Reggie get together to talk about two new Rebirth books coming out this week…Suicide Squad Rebirth #1 and Harley Quinn #1. Find out what they thought and if you like what you hear, tune in to the full weekly podcast that releases every single Sunday Night.

Suicide Squad Non-Spoiler Film Review!

Suicide Squad Non-Spoiler Film Review!

Written by Jason Brigger

Director: David Ayer

Writers: David Ayer

Starring: Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Will Smith and Viola Davis

Suicide Squad explodes into theaters on Friday, August 2, 2016 and hopes to change the fortunes of Warner Brothers and DC Films after the marginal financial success of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  The prior films did not win over film critics and left a much divided fan base in their aftermath and while Suicide Squad is not everyone’s cup of tea, it is better than the DC films before it.

In short, Intelligence Officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) takes a nonsensical idea of assembling a team of the most dangerous supervillains and give them top-secret missions to complete that the normal person would not touch, let alone succeed.  The U.S. government is worried about the increase of meta-humans in the world and decides “why not?” which is flawless logic, and supplies weapons to Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and other villains all under the guardianship of Rick Flag (a very buff Joel Kinnaman).  This “Suicide Squad” must learn to work together and not kill each in order to stop a mysterious mystical entity.  Oh, did we mention that the Joker (Jared Leto) comes along for the ride as well?

The Good:

-The Squad.  Yes, the audience will be introduced to a lot of new characters in this film but despite the lack of adequate backstories for all, it’s a hot mess of fun.  Never before has a group of villains been this much fun to watch and with the majority of the characters appearing on film for the first time, the film feels fresh, something the DC Film universe desperately needs at this time.  The characters of El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Harley Quinn, the Joker, and Deadshot all receive well written back stories and the audience will feel vested in their character arches throughout the film.

-The Joker.  Any fear from fans of the Joker are left in the dust as Jared Leto delivers a performance that is just a level below that of Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight.  This Joker is a littler darker than previous versions and some die-hard fans may be upset that this Joker is more mob boss than serial killer but at the end of this film, it leaves the audience wanting to see more of the Joker, which for the franchise, is a good thing.

-Harley Quinn.  Margot Robbie turns a possible one note character into a superstar in one film.  Robbie is masterful as the Joker-smitten psychiatrist turned psychotic anti-hero.  Ayer’s writing allows fans new to the character of Harley Quinn to understand her broken psyche while still giving the purists enough references back to her animated roots to enjoy.  While Quinn provides most of the comedic relief of the film, she also is written as a truly dangerous person that is looking for anarchy above all else.  Warner Brothers should be commended for the casting of Robbie in this role and a role that Robbie has truly made her own.

The Bad:

The Enchantress.  Suicide Squad falters by providing “street-level” and “gritty” villains battling a mystical witch, who just doesn’t seem to fit in the story.  The Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) would be a fine villain fighting the more mystical superheroes in the DC Universe but in a film that is more realistic, she just doesn’t fit.  The Squad is better suited for facing off against a mob boss or a domestic terrorist rather than a mystical being and her even more mystical and out of place brother, Incubus (Alain Chanoine).  It also doesn’t help that the alter ego of the Enchantress, June Moone, is in a relationship with Rick Flag that just doesn’t feel authentic to the film.

-Too Much Will Smith.  Smith’s character, Deadshot, is a complex and interesting character but the “too much of a good thing” applies in this film.  My biggest worry was that the film would become a “Will Smith Film” and at times, the film certainly does transform into his film.  Smith “mugs” for the camera way too much and for an ensemble film, is too front and centered and limits the screen time for other more deserving characters.  Smith may be the biggest star attached to the film but Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Hernandez’s character of El Diablo come across as more deserving of screen time.

The Middling:

– The Story Itself.  The cohesiveness of the plot is not the strongest as the audience only sees the Squad have one mission to complete throughout the film and unfortunately that mission is very reminiscent of the more recent Judge Dredd and The Raid films.  I would have liked to have seen the Squad bond through a montage of several missions prior to facing the main villain but in the film’s defense, the story and the film becomes better in the film’s second and third acts.

-The Lack of Character Development.  While Ayer does a commendable job for the well-developed stories of some characters (see above), the backstory for Killer Croc (Adewale Akinuoye-Agbaje) and Captain Boomerang is far less compelling.  Besides a criminal rap sheet for Killer Croc that is shown to the audience at the beginning of the film, the audience never really understands what he is or why he became that way in the first place.  While the backstory is a little better for Captain Boomerang, the character never really advances past a one note villain that much rather drink than engage in the action of his fellow teammates.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, too much backstory was written about the mysterious bodyguard for Flag, Katana (Karen Fukuhara).  Katana is definitely a fun and kick butt character but too much information was given for a character that should have been left unknown.

Final Grade: C+ (A Little Above Average)

Suicide Squad is not a great film but is a fun action/comedic film that is DC’s best film to-date that will leave the audience wanting to know more about the cast of characters in the Squad.  While Suicide Squad could have used a little more “tightening up” on the script and even a better main villain to defeat, the groundwork is there for a franchise that has the ability to improve in later films.  The film is reminiscent of the great Deadpool film released earlier this year as Suicide Squad is something completely different from what the audience has come to expect from Warner Brothers and DC.  If the studio can build off the uniqueness of this film, the DC film universe has a good opportunity to improve and build a bigger audience, something they need at this time.

You can catch Jason Brigger on the geek-centric podcast, The History of Bad Ideas, as new episodes are released at www.webegeekspc.com every Wednesday or subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps.  You can listen to their latest episode right here: http://webegeekspc.com/history-bad-ideas-podcast-ep-135-winona-show/

Weird Science DC Comics Podcast Ep 82: DC Rebirth Week 8, Hunks and LP’s

Weird Science DC Comics Podcast Ep 82: DC Rebirth Week 8, Hunks and LP’s

Week 8 of DC’s Rebirth is upon us and Jim, Eric and Reggie are here to tell you all about it.  Overall, it was a good week with Batgirl and Red Hood kicking off their new series and some of the others going strong.  Of course, the guys have a couple issues along the way and it all turns into a nearly 8 hour gabfest.  Enjoy! More

Weird Science DC Comics Podcast Ep 81: Rebirth Week 7, Door Slams and Hobbit Holes

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Weird Science DC Comics Podcast Weekly Spotlight: Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps Rebirth #1 and The New Super-Man #1

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It’s weekly spotlight time with Jim, Eric and Reggie talking about Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps Rebirth #1 and The New Super-Man #1.  Enjoy and if you like what you hear, tune into our very long weekly podcast that goes up every Sunday Night…it’s kind of worth it.

 

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The History of Bad Ideas Podcast, Ep. 132–Nickel’s Dragon!

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Weird Science DC Comics Podcast Ep 79: DC Rebirth Week 5, Rick and Morty and Self Checkout Woes

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Weird Science DC Comics Podcast Ep 78: DC Comics Annuals, Dark Knight, Rebirth and Taglines

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Weekly Spotlight: Flash #1 & Justice League #52

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Weird Science DC Comics Podcast Ep 76: Reviews of every DC Comic…The Touch Too Much

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