Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization Review

Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization is a 2016 superhero novel written by Marv Wolfman, published by Titan Books.  Based on the 2016 Suicide Squad film, a secret government agency led by Amanda Waller recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions and save the world from a powerful threat, in exchange for reduced sentences.


Positives:

  • Great characters
  • Good dialogue
  • Interesting plot

Negatives:

  • Too many viewpoints
  • Flat antagonists

Plot: The story follows intelligence officer Amanda Waller who forms a black ops team of supervillains and criminals to save the world from the threat of a pair of ancient gods. The story is good, featuring some pretty intense moments. There are great developing arcs for each character as well as backstories.  The climax is really intense and comes to a satisfying conclusion.  However, the ending does feel rushed without any closure with the Flag, June, and Waller. And although it hints at Harley and Joker, it doesn’t provide enough content. (3 out of 5)

Characters: Features a lot of likable characters despite them being supervillains. They have depth, personality, motivation,  and interesting quirks that make them unique. The main protagonists consists of elite hitman Deadshot, former psychiatrist Harley Quinn, pyrokinetic ex-gangster El Diablo, opportunistic thief Captain Boomerang, genetic mutation Killer Croc, and Colonel Rick Flag. The characters have a lot of insight. Amanda Waller is awesome; she’s smart, she’s ruthless.  One thing about the story is how these characters develop as a unit, though they’re clearly not friends, they do become quite an effective team, each lending their strengths and skills in a variety of ways.  Amanda Waller is just straight up awesome and more than once shows that she is much more deadlier than any of the criminals.

The books antagonists are Enchantress and Incubus, two powerful beings who were sealed away for a really long time.  As far as bad guys go, they’re pretty cool.  However, the biggest problem with them are the lack of backstory regarding their past.  It would’ve definitely benefited having these two characters have moments where more of their past and personalities are more prominent.  But what does the book do, just reduce them to flat villains bent on world domination.  Too bad, because the two could’ve been more likable.  Also, there is the Joker, who despite being a total psychopath, actually has a bit more to the character than him wanting death and destruction.  It was great reading how he and Harley have this love/hate relationship that doesn’t get enough exposition.  (3 out of 5)

Writing: Marv Wolfman does a really good job with the writing, especially when it comes to the description. It isn’t overly detailed to the point of distraction but paints a vivid picture of the settings and action. The dialogue is good, characters go back and forth, exchanging ideas and quips. However,  there are way too many POVs. Everyone has a voice, even characters who aren’t relevant. So each chapter can have several characters giving their thoughts. (2 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization is a good read for fans of the Suicide Squad movie and for readers who enjoy superhero fiction.  Despite some of the problems being with the writing shifting between too many characters, the movie focuses on some really crazy but deep characters, great action, a good story, and talent on Wolfman’s part.  Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization gets 3 out of 5.

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