Ever since I started to read comics from the early age of 8, I’ve been fascinated with villains. Sometimes even more than the heroes! For me, the villain defines the hero, after all, what would Superman be without Lex Luthor or Batman without the Joker?
While I love those types of villains, the truly nasty, evil ones, it’s the villains with a code that really excite me in comic books, and DC Comics have these in spades. ‘Villains’ such as Captain Cold, Black Adam, Deadshot, Catman, Sinestro etc are all characters I love because in the past under the guidance of such creators as Geoff Johns and Gail Simone they were shown to be more than just maniacal fiends to our heroes. They are extremely deep characters who, for all intents and purposes, are villainous but with good reason for being that way while also having their own code, meaning if need be they would also perform heroic acts.
This brings me to DC’s premier Villains book, Suicide Squad, or more specifically the new 52 reboot of the book. When the announcement came that there would be a new incarnation of the Suicide Squad in the launch of the new 52 line of books from DC I was overjoyed, having been a huge fan of the original John Ostrander run in the 80s. Despite not knowing much about the new creative team I purchased the first trade paperback and while it wasn’t my Suicide Squad, it was an enjoyable read. Due to budgetary constraints, I put it on the back burner with the intention of always going back to it at some point.
Then something happened with issue 20.
Since I wasn’t getting the book at the time, the creative team change of writer Ales Kot and artist Patrick Zircher coming onto the book passed me, but then I caught the reviews. News broke that it was an amazing debut by Kot and Zircher and also featured the return of..
James Gordon Jr, a character that had featured in Scott Snyder’s run on Detective Comics whom I loved! Think ‘Se7en’s John Doe mixed with ‘LOST’s Ben Linus and you’ve a good idea of the character. So I ran out to buy it and was very, very impressed. So much that I added the book to my pull-list, followed Kot on twitter and ordered a few of his past works. Over the next few months, each new issue was a home run.
Yes, all was grand until solicitations for October came out and it showed that writer Matt Kindt was writing issue 24 of the title. At first I thought this was just to give Kot a break as Kindt was also writing the point issue of Suicide Squad tying into the Forever Evil mini-series, but further investigations on twitter got me worried. Kot, announced that fans should expect clarification on the matter soon and indeed we didn’t have to wait long as the next day Kot tweeted that he was indeed off the book –
“Dear readers —
Since the solicitations for October’s DC titles came out, I was repeatedly asked if I am no longer writing Suicide Squad. Yes, Matt Kindt is writing SS #24 and I am no longer writing Suicide Squad. Matt’s “3 Story” is one of my favorite graphic novels I read in the last few years and I look forward to reading “Mind MGMT” when I finally find the time to buy the first hardcover collection, which you can find here. Matt Kindt is a very capable storyteller who is doing exciting things in the comics medium and I wish him great things.
I killed my deadlines, I wrote my best, and I have no regrets whatsoever. Thank you for the ride, for your support, for everything.”
– Ales Kot
I was so disappointed. Immediately I jumped to the conclusion that it was again due to editorial at DC as we have had a huge amount of talent walk away during the New52 because of differences of opinion with editors. While Kot is too much of a professional to say anything, his comments and such do seem like this is the case. That sadness I was feeling soon turned to anger.
So yes, everyone should buy issues 20-23 of Suicide Squad, as it was one of the most edgy, well written books on the shelves. Whether you want to continue with the book after #23 is up to you, but I am cancelling it from my pull-list. I’ve long been dismayed by what’s going on at DC present day, but this was the last straw. If it wasn’t for Geoff Johns and Scott Snyder pumping out the quality of work that they do, I’d stop buying any DC book in protest, after all, it seems like the only voice we have.