Thursday, April 19, 2012

DC 52 Suicide Squad readership demographics and where to go from here with this book

Who's reading the new Suicide Squad from the old DC Universe?
This break down isn't based on any hard evidence this is just my estimation and needless to say there's some room for debate on these percentages. However, I think the majority of current readers of the Squad are old school fans and even for those that are enjoying the book I think it's safe to say what they are all going to want sometime soon.
Now I have to give credit where credit is due because the producers of the Suicide Squad relaunch have gambled on a pretty risky formula with everything from Waller's weight to the Task Force X roster. Although as far as the fuss over Harley's costume was something I don't think DC ever saw coming. And so far they've handled it all pretty well with some great story telling and good character development. But at the end of the day the majority of the readers are gonna want to see something close to the original Squad together again along with or with out some non-original members in the mix. With out that crucial ingredient being added soon I think most people will eventually walk away from this book. I'm sure DC wants the Suicide Squad relaunch to stand on it's own legs and not be dependent on too much cross over from the old DCU but I would urge DC to remember that "the customer is always right". In this case we're the customers.
I'm sure some of the current readers like myself would also like to see Checkmate finally show up especially since Waller made a reference to that sister agency in issue#2 . Some good characters came from that title such as Sasha Bordeaux. Besides you can't have a DC Universe that has Kobra (now called Bisalisk which I think is kinda lame) and not Checkmate. That's like having Cobra and no G.I.Joe or a french fries with out mayonnaise if you're from Holland (yeah, I know).
Throwing a bone to Secret Six fans by having Bane, Catman (but with a new costume please!) or perhaps Cheshire come aboard would probably be a good idea to. I really liked Cheshire in the Villains United mini-series and she's awesome in Young Justice (which I still watch and love). She's sexy and I love her whole smart ass shit talking it reminds me of my Youtube videos. But is there room on Task Force X for both Cheshire and Harley Quinn? Would they play well together? Plus, that's a real handful even for Waller. And as for the Harley Quinn fans who don't like her being in the Suicide Squad I say fuck em they're a bunch of assholes.

Speaking of bringing original Squad members back into the fold I found some cool stuff on Deviant Art recently. Not only is it a good stand alone piece but it would make for a great cover too. This artist really has a good eye for layouts and I would know given that I used to work in publishing as a graphic designer. Preview art for issues 9 and 10 suggest a DC 52 debut for Werner Vertigo. Let's hope that's the case and that this will be part of an ongoing trend of the old school Squad characters making their DCU relaunch debut.

You can see more of this guy's work at his Deviant Art gallery:


  1. Honestly I like the new Squad. Do I like em better than the original, why no sir I don't. But what I've come to find out is TaskforceX is three main groups - Checkmate, Suicide Squad and Project Cadmus that branch off and or is connected to other cloak and dagger groups, Argent, G.O.O.D. and we know from the pages of Danse Macabre that Waller is Mockingbird and runs the Secret Six as well.

    So how do we make everybody happy?

    1.Bring back Secret Six

    2.Keep the new Suicide Squad with Deadshot pulling duty on every team.

    3.Introduce new 52's

    the Bronze Tiger:Queens Assasin

    TaskforceX - Rick Flagg's team

    Taskforce Elite- Bronze Tiger's team

    Black Manta and the Legion of Doom

    4.Original members of S.S. cameo in every book and were keeping Harley in the new Squad

    1. yeah that could all work. thanks, i can see you put some real thought into that comment.

  2. Nice post Dave! Personally for any book that falls outside Gotham or the roster of the Justice League, I think an added part of it's success is how other books reference it's existence. I think that's one of the downfalls of DC.

    Every book creates it's own shadow covert ops squad, where to really build the Squad's importance, it would be better if the majority of those wee extensions of Taskforce X and Checkmate. Otherwise you water down the care factor for the books especially created concept, and rob the Squad of both reaching new readers (and pushing that sector of your pie graph up) and seeming more integrated into the fabric of the DCU.

    Not meaning to go the tried and tested road, but Marvel really does do it right. Sure they have a frillion and ten taskforce's, but AIM, HYDRA, SHEILD, and even The Friends Of Humanity to an extent are so well referenced outside their core titles, they always seem at the top of the ladder.

    1. That is true.
      Even if you never read a Shield issue, you have to have read about them somewhere in another Marvel title.
      That doesn't happen that way in DC making things less conected. DC hear Dan! there is room to improvement here!

  3. i had to read your comment a couple of times (slowly) in order to make sure i was following it correctly were not used to comments that are so cerebral here. i think you're mirroring the sentiments about how the Squad needs to get back to having more original members in order to really resonate with old school SS readers as well as new ones? plus those old DCU Squad members define better the new SS as to how it relates to the other teams, organizations and characters of the new DCU?

  4. Not so much. My point is to be successful other books need to acknowledge the Squad/Taskforce/Checkmate's existence better. Otherwise you are just feeding off the same readership.

    Why isn't Waller threatening Jim Gordon to get Gotham under control or she will, if other books respect the Squad and it's branches instead of creating their own covert agency each time, more readers will come to respect it too.

    1. my goodness Dan, that was profound indeed. obviously i had not thought of it in those terms. perhaps we may see a little bit of what you're talking about with the next couple of issues when the Squad "crosses over" to the Resurrection Man title. but at any rate thank you for those insightful comments!

  5. I agree with Dan, especially with the reference to Marvel doing it right. Every other Marvel book lives with awe and respect of Shield. If not downright fear. They're in sync. DC doesn't do this nearly enough and its why their universe feels a little out of whack. It's also why you don't have to buy every issue of every title, but I think it makes the smaller books suffer and makes the entire universe suffer as a whole. Marvel might be a pain the backside but at least it's a cohesive backside. Kind of...

    I think there are two kinds of Harley fans, actually. Those that love her as a Joker appendage and those that love her as a sex symbol. I think there's a bit of a war going on between the two of them.

    1. well i'd like to think that DC is taking notes here but i wouldn't hold my breath on that. thanks for the compliment on my latest fan art creation too.