With Suicide Squad hitting the big screen in 2016 and the increasing popularity of Harley Quinn, I’ve received many questions on where to start with team of villainous misfits. There’s a few places that can you can start but, the one I always recommend is the New 52 era of Suicide Squad which transitions into the current series. It’s the one that’s the most widely available and one which looks like the movie has taken most inspiration from.
To make this recommendation easy I’ve created the Suicide Squad (New 52 Era and Beyond) Reading Order Guide which lists all the trade paperbacks and issues available to read and a general order to reading them.
Before I go any deeper into the reading order guide it’s probably best to explain what the concept of Suicide Squad to those unfamiliar. The best way of explaining it is that it’s all about a group of villains which have been blackmailed by the government to go on suicide missions. The government doesn’t want to risk sending their own people on dangerous missions, but is happy to send villains as they’re seen as disposable and no one is going to be really sad if they die.
It’s got plenty of action and has a wide cast of characters, some of which you might be familiar with from the promotion of the movies and some a little more obscure. This includes characters such as Harley Quinn (who will be played by Margot Robbie) and Deadshot (who will be played by Will Smith) along with lesser known characters such as King Shark and The Unknown Soldier. As many of them come and go, Suicide Squad works as a great way to be introduced to wide selection of DC Comics villains and makes for interesting dynamics in each story.
In this era of Suicide Squad, there are two places you can cleanly start. The first is the start of the New 52 series (aka the 2011 series) and requires no previous reading and the other is New Suicide Squad. The latter follows on from the former but is a clean start and is a good place to start if you’re looking for a shorter read.
Suicide Squad Volume 1: Kicked in the Teeth
Collects Suicide Squad #1-7
Written by Adam Glass. Art by Clayton Henry, Andrei Bressan, Ransom Getty and Federico Dallocchio.
Suicide Squad Volume 2: Basilisk Rising
Collects Suicide Squad #8-13 and #0 and Resurrection Man #9
Written by Adam Glass. Art by Jesús Saíz, Andres Guinaldo, Carlos Alberto Rodriguez Vazquez, Fernando Dagnino and Federico Dallocchio.
Suicide Squad Volume 3: Death is for Suckers
Collects Suicide Squad #14-19
Written by Adam Glass. Art by Sandu Florea, Henrik Jonsson and Fernando Dagnino.
Suicide Squad Volume 4 Discipline and Punish
Collects Suicide Squad #20-23, Justice League of America #7.1 and Detective Comics #23.2.
Written by Ales Kot and Matt Kindt. Art by Neil Googe, Carmen Carnero, Sami Basri, Rick Leonardi and Patrick Zircher.
Suicide Squad Volume 5: Walled In
Collects Suicide Squad #24-30 and Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1
Written by Matt Kindt, Sean Ryan ad Jim Zub. Art by Jim Fern, Jason Masters and Patrick Zircher.
New Suicide Squad
As mentioned earlier, you can jump right into New Suicide Squad if you want, without reading the previous series. While it follows after the previous series it isn’t required reading to understand this current series.
New Suicide Squad Volume 1: Pure Insanity
Collects New Suicide Squad #1-8
Written by Sean Ryan. Art by Tom Derenick and Jeremy Roberts.
New Suicide Squad Volume 2: Monsters
New Suicide Squad #9-12, Annual #1 and Sneak Peek story
Written by Sean Ryan. Art by Philippe Briones.
New Suicide Squad Volume 3: Freedom
New Suicide Squad #13-18
Written by Sean Ryan and Tim Seeley. Art by Philippe Briones and Juan Ferreyra.
New Suicide Squad: Futures End #1 has been collected in Futures End: Five Years Later Omnibus.