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Suicide Squad: A review in two parts

Suicide Squad: A review in two parts published on
Suicide Squad Group Wallpaper
The cinema Squad. (L-R) Slipknot, Captain Boomerang, Enchantress, Rick Flag, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Croc, El Diablo. (Front) Katana

Part 1: Before

Is this do or die, make or break for the DCEU (DC Extended Universe), so far the films have failed to impress. Man Of Steel was a disappointing mess of ideas, Batman Vs Superman well here are my thoughts. The Squad has a lot riding on it especially after DC/Warner Bros. pulled the plug upon The Arrowverses fledgling Squad.

The TV Squad. Bronze Tiger, Shrapnel, The Wall, Deadshot (L-R)

This fledgling Squad had hinted at Harley Quinn, Arrow has also featured versions of Katana and Captain Boomerang, though not as part of the Squad, and Deadshot as well as Amanda Waller and also included Bronze Tiger and Shrapnel in the team.

Clearly DC/Warner Bros. think they have a dynamite script on their hands to effectively tell The Arrowverse to pull the plug upon these recurring characters but the signs have not been great so far. There has definitely been a feeling that the cast have had fun whilst making the film, tattooing each other, with SKWAD and other behind the scenes antics including Jared Leto staying in character as The Joker, sending ‘gifts’ to his cast mates including live rats to Margot Robbie, but now reports have started to surface that there are/were two competing edits. And at the time of writing the film has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 29% and imdb has it at 7.7 out of 10, based on 16543 reviews/opinions even though the film hasn’t been released worldwide yet.

As always I’ll go in with an open mind but the trailers that were released during the films promotion were uneven in tone making it unclear what sort of film we will be getting and I draw particular issue with the sexualisation of Harley Quinn during one trailer where it appears an entire airforce base stands around and watches her get dressed.
Suicide Squad PosterPart 2: After

The film you get is far from the one that the trailers lead you to believe you are going to get, The Jokers prominence in the advertising leads you to believe that he is the main antagonist, sadly he’s a secondary character at best. Leto is fine in the role but it’s nothing special personally and the behind the scenes antics must have seriously got on the tits of everyone involved given the 20ish minutes of screen time The Joker has.

I found the tone of the film to be very uneven, obviously given either the character or the actors prominence then it wasn’t exactly a no brainer that Deadshot and Harley were going to be the most significant members of the group. They command the majority of the screen time for the group but everyone gets a moment or line that allows them to shine. Except Slipknot, which is a shame as I really like Adam Beach, he was great in Smoke Signals and Flags of Our Fathers.

But that is the issue with the advertising, no clear indication of what the film is really about which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this day and age where trailers give away the majority of the plot and usually a big twist or reveal. As I’ve said the trailers lead you to believe that the film is about one thing but then it’s about something completely different and we are used to scenes featuring in trailers that don’t make the final cut but in the case of the SKWAD the majority of the trailers fail to make the film or are edited to within an inch of their lives.

The soundtrack is littered with rap, pop and classic rock tunes that play over huge chunks of the film, pretty much every character has song that plays over their introduction and becomes incessantly more annoying as the film progresses. As does the constant slow motion, I’m pretty certain that modern blockbusters would be about 10-15 minutes shorter if scenes played at their regular speed.

It’s not all doom and gloom, it’s just that the film is so ‘meh’, so much wasted promise. It’s loud and brash and has moments of pure joy, Will Smith is clearly having a blast playing a badass and I love the ‘gangster’ feel to Killer Croc from Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje along with Diablo’s barrio street thug turn from Jay Hernandez but for the love of god will someone please tell me why studios keep putting Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang) in stuff.

The flashback/forward within a dream sequence!

In the run up to the film it was also unclear where this film would fit in with Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, for anyone wondering, it is post BvS with a few flashbacks thrown in. The Batman scenes personally just add confusion to how long Batman has been active or inactive for his appearance in BvS to be such a surprise to Clark Kent, especially in light of director David Ayer stating that each member of the SKWAD has a personal vendetta against The Bat, only two of the villains are seen interacting with Batman and one is apprehended by The Flash (Ezra Millar). I hope that boy gets a solo feature as he’s been in as many films as Batfleck at this point.

Another aspect that I really liked was the Dirty Dozen/Magnificent Seven not everyone survives to the end, though in this case their are obvious exceptions to this. Some we know going in are obviously going to survive through star power alone, whilst others are apparently going to be getting their own solo feature and others you think are going to survive don’t.

In Conclusion

DC/Warner Bros. have got to pull their act together, Marvel are leaving them for dust. Whilst the MCU isn’t exactly perfect and doesn’t always flow fluidly it still holds together after a decade whereas the DCEU is a car crash of forced continuity and ideas after only three films. Whilst Suicide Squad didn’t suck it didn’t live up to the hype, that same hype that supposedly had studio executives giving BvS a standing ovation and signing Affleck on for a multi-picture deal with a shit load of creative control going forward. But for the love of god someone please show Zack Snyder the door or maybe Harley’s oversized mallet now that Harley Quinn Smith has her baseball bat.

Where the hell are the Inhumans?

Where the hell are the Inhumans? published on


So the Inhumans MCU film was originally announced as having a November 2018 release date, placing it in Phase 3, then as new titles were announced, Ant-Man and The Wasp and Captain Marvel, the Inhumans was then pushed back to July 2019 before finally being pulled from Marvel Studios upcoming slate altogether in April 2016. This effectively rules the film out of Phase 3 which will end in April 2019 when the fourth (Untitled) Avengers film, previously Infinity War: Part 2 is released.

Chloe Bennet as Daisy “Skye” Johnson a.k.a.Quake

It seems a strange move for Marvel to remove the Inhumans from the roster as they have been heavily involved in the plot-arcs for Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. during seasons 2 and 3 of the show with Daisy “Skye” Johnson a.k.a.Quake (Chloe Bennet) eventually revealed to be an Inhuman. Although there has not been a massive amount of crossover between the TV shows and the films beyond references to events from the film and the occasional cameo, Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Marie Hill (Cobie Smulders) there was a definite feeling that the show was laying the basis for introducing the Inhumans into the cinematic series.

With the various rights to characters and titles tied up in more red tape than a villain in Spidermans web the Inhumans were a great way around the MCU not being able to feature mutants but still being able to feature super-powered characters outside of the cinematic releases and in doing so it also meant that the term, Inhumans, would not be so alien to the wider public. After all its the casual fans, the non-diehards, those who are only really familiar with the cinematic versions of the characters who are helping to push the films B.O. over the $1Billion mark on various occasions.

Marvel publishing are also featuring the Inhumans quite heavily in their periodicals with three  ongoing titles, Uncanny Inhumans, All-New Inhumans and a solo series for Karnak even if the releases for the solo series has been a bit erratic. At the time of writing only 4 issues have been published between December 2015 and August 2016, a pretty poor release rate considering it is both Marvel and Warren Ellis. So it seems a very strange move on Marvel Studios part to suddenly pull Inhumans from its release schedule with no future release date planned.

There may be some light at the end of the tunnel, Marvel Studios have announced that they plan on releasing three titles in 2020, May, July and November, it would also seem that these films will mark the beginning of Phase 4 for the studio and at present Marvel have made no announcements as to what those films will be. Following the disaster that Fantastic Four was for Fox Studios in 2016 there may some hope that one of those three dates may be reserved for the first family of comics and hopefully the Inhumans with sequels to possibly Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 or Spider-Man 2 taking up the remaining spot.

Who knows, hopefully we’ll get an Inhumans feature in the next few years, especially as various actors, Chris’s Hemsworth and Evans and Robert Downey Jr’s contracted appearances will soon be up, especially in light of two Avengers titles in 2018 fulfilling those obligations and RDJ’s paycheque increasing with each successive feature.

2020 may be the year for the Inhumans, audiences took to Guardians in a surprising way and there is definite hope that the same will happen for Doctor Strange (2016) and Black Panther (2018), Marvel Studios over the past decade have proven adapt at producing smart and intelligent features with up and coming talent both in front and behind the camera and the Inhumans mix of high fantasy and science fiction could attract an eclectic cast.

Inhumans Title Card

Continuing story lines: Part 2: Penny Dreadful

Continuing story lines: Part 2: Penny Dreadful published on

For a lot of people their first entry into the world of comic books is through material derived from comic book sources. Be it Batman through the Adam West series of the 1960’s or the X-Men universe through Fox’s Animated series from the 1990’s. But this isn’t a one way street, many TV and movie franchises have expanded their universes, and additional revenue streams, from telling additional stories whether canon or not in this medium.

One of the most famous examples, until recently, was Dark Horses Star Wars Expanded Universe stories. But Star Wars isn’t alone in expanding its universes via the comic book medium. During the 1990’s, the now defunct, Topps company licensed The X-Files from Fox, before DC and now IDW produced parallel and continuing storylines.

The list of televisual and film franchises that have continued on after the series wrapped or have been cancelled has been covered by numerous people across numerous sites all around the web. But what I’d like to do here is cover series that I feel could and should continue in the comic book world.


Okay so there has been a bit of a gap between this post and the previous post, Stargate, the good news on that is that since then American Mythology have begun putting out Stargate: Atlantis comics. The delay in part is that there isn’t always anything that I would happily continue reading in comic form once it’s ended/been cancelled and not everything translates particularly well. Who the hell was buying IDWs CSI comics in the mid-2000s?

Penny Dreadful however would be a perfect fit for comic books, it does after-all follow a similar thread to Alan Moore’s LXG, literary characters now in the public domain joining forces to fight threats both of a supernatural and of a human nature. A fourth season in comics would be great, John Logan the series creator has been adamant that by the mid-point of season 2 he planned to end the series at the end of season 3.

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives

Personally this doesn’t quite ring true to myself, there were too many new characters and possible plot threads introduced during the course of season 3 for the show to just end there. Whilst I accept that Vanessa Ives, portrayed by Eva Green, storyline had run its course Logan and the production company have given us a world far to rich to let it end with her death.

Whilst the characters and story lines of Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and Lily/Brona Croft (Billie Piper) may also have reached their inevitable and intertwined conclusions there is certainly no reason that they could not appear at various points in the future.

Wes Studi as Kaetenany and Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler in Penny Dreadful (season 3, episode 9). - Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: PennyDreadful_309_
Wes Studi as Kaetenay and Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler

There is however, I believe, still life and stories to be told concerning the characters of Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) and Kaetenay (Wes Studi), particularly given the revelation concerning Kaetenay in the final episodes of the series. The elder statesmen dynamic between him and Sir Malcolm with the young buck in Ethan had potential, especially if they returned to North America.

The supporting character of Ferdinand Lyle (Simon Russell Beale) leaving after 6 episodes to help a friend investigate Imoteps tomb in Cairo opened up another possible avenue for the writers. As does the introduction of his friend Catriona Hartdegen (Perdita Weeks) a particularly skilled gun fighter and fencer who more than holds her own during the shows climactic battle with Dracula and his minions. The introduction of Dr. Jekyll as a colleague of Dr. Frankenstein’s was also a character that could have been expanded upon in later episodes especially with the, off screen, death of his father bestowing upon him the title of Hyde.

The character that I’ll miss the most and who was truly the heart of the show however was The Creature (Rory Kinnear), every scene he was in elevated the show and the performances of those who interacted with him.

Rory Kinnear, the shows heart and soul.
Rory Kinnear, the shows heart and soul.

Over the course of three seasons Penny Dreadful, scared and entertained in equal measure and I for one will miss it’s presence in the schedule.

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