Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Annual #1 Review

Cooking Up a Mess of...Something

Written by: Tony Bedard
Art by: Ben Caldwell, Mark Morales and Jeremy Lawson
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: March 29, 2017

I can't say that I am a huge fan of either the Suicide Squad or the Banana Splits.  I have enjoyed some Suicide Squad stories, but the Banana Splits are only good because of their kick ass theme song, in my opinion.  That being said, I am interested in seeing what kind of story Tony Bedard can fashion with a group of crazy animal musicians whose show made me feel like I was on acid as a little kid.  So, is it any good?  Let's find out...

The issue opens in Los Angeles with the Banana Splits being pulled over by the cops.  Now, I understand that the police are a little thrown off that their traffic stop involves talking animals, but it turns into a fire fight very quickly.  Not only that, but it seems that the Splits have garnered the attention of a certain lady down in Baton Rouge.

Meanwhile, it looks like the Suicide Squad is facing the usual hard times out on a mission and it becomes very obvious, very quickly that the Banana Splits are going to be thrown into action.  We do get to see their indoctrination into Belle Reve...kind of a scared straight start that turns into a full out prison riot that turns into one of those heroes walk together down the hallway looking badass moments.  So, if this scene felt a lot like the Guardians of the Galaxy, it continues that vibe when Drooper falls and almost shoots off Bingo's foot.

Before you can bat an eye, the Splits are off to locate and help the Suicide Squad.  The two teams meet up and we are shown the threat...which doesn't really seem that bad and has a pretty goofy name.  Speaking of goofy, we get a tiny Banana Splits origin story that I think was supposed to make me didn't.

Snorky then comes up with a plan to stop the big bads...and they do.  Again, I guess it's supposed to be a ton of fun, but it's all too quick and forced to really make any sort of impact, even a funny one.

The issue ends with the Splits coming up with a new sound and I chuckled and grimaced at the same time.  Some might have a bit of a problem with the explanation, but seeing the Banana Splits coming "Straight Outta Belle Reve" was an okay way to end the story.

This is one of those books that isn't bad enough to get me mad or good enough to impress just is there.  The art and story are a bit above mediocre and at the end of the day, we have a good looking, yet forgettable book.  A side note...I wish DC would have included a character page at the beginning of the issue telling us more about the Banana Splits.  

There is a Snagglepuss backup by Mark Russel and Howard Porter that serves as a preview to the upcoming Snagglepuss Chronicles and if you are a Russell fan (especially of Prez), I think you will enjoy this.  Russell hits all the Snagglepuss notes ("Heavens to Murgatroyd!) while throwing in his typical satire and social commentary.  Plus, Howard Porter's art is so good it has me looking forward to a book I actually had forgotten was going to be a thing.

Bits and Pieces:

I wasn't expecting much going into this issue so I wasn't too disappointed.  There isn't much going on to get fans of either property excited and it all ends up being a pretty forgettable Annual.  However, I did enjoy the Snagglepuss backup and am suddenly looking forward to his upcoming book.


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