New Suicide Squad gets a new writer in February, and he's not afraid of being influenced by what he's seen of the live action movie coming up next year. In fact, he's hoping to turn fans of the movie — who might pick up the team's comic book series — into ongoing readers.
Beginning with February's New Suicide Squad #17, Tim Seeley and artist Juan Ferreyra will be taking the team on a heist for a story that the writer says is a "nice, clean, encapsulation of the concept" that new fans can pick up and love.
The dark world of New Suicide Squad — with its team of villains on covert government operations — also plays to Seeley's strengths. The writer is already well-known for his horror-themed comic Hack/Slash from Image, and his recent superhero work books within DC's Batman universe like Batman Eternal and Grayson.
With New Suicide Squad, Seeley will take the villain presence up another notch, adding more characters and sub-teams to the roster, while also tying into the espionage world of DC, which he's been exploring in Grayson.
Newsarama talked with Seeley to find out more about his plans for New Suicide Squad, his not-quite-as-sick-and-twisted take on Harley Quinn, and what readers can expect from his run on the book.
Newsarama: Tim, as you start your run in February, are you shaking things up a bit? What are the big-picture goals?
Tim Seeley: I think my job is to do a perfect "evergreen" Suicide Squad story — a nice, clean, perfect encapsulation of the concept and attitude of a book about supervillains forced to do dangerous missions for the U.S. government!
I want to do something you could give to a fan of the upcoming movie, they'd fall in love, and then read comics forever and ever.
Nrama: It's interesting you bring up the movie. Is the new direction influenced at all by the 2016 live action Suicide Squad movie?
Seeley: Not directly. No one at DC expected me to line the comic up with the movie. But I figured there were plenty of reasons to let the vibe of that initial trailer influence my story.
Nrama: Who makes up the Suicide Squad when you take over in New Suicide Squad #17?
Seeley: My squad is Deadshot, Harley, el Diablo and Cheetah. Or "Squad A" anyway.
Nrama: Squad A? So will the roster change during your run?
Seeley: There'll be multiple squads! There's so many cool villains, I can't have just one.
Nrama: You've been writing within the world of DC spies in Grayson, where we've seen Midnighter as well as several covert organizations show up. With Suicide Squad among those groups, are you hoping to build cohesion within the espionage corner of DC?
Seeley: Absolutely. We'll see lots of ties!
Nrama: Will the Vic Sage storyline be completed before you take over, or is there a chance you'll be working with that character?
Seeley: Vic's story is all Sean Ryan's!
Nrama: What do you expect to see from artist Juan Ferreyra on the title?
Seeley: Yeah, Juan and I have worked together previously (on Batman Eternal and on my Sundowners book) and I know we have similar interests. I also know he likes to play around with comic book panel storytelling, so I tried to give him opportunities to explore his genius!
Nrama: How would you describe your first storyline?
Seeley: I'd call it a "heist."
Nrama: What's your take on Harley Quinn? What's it like for you to get your hands on this character, and what are you hoping to do with her and highlight about her?
Seeley: Harley is definitely a favorite of mine. I was there for her debut on Batman: The Animated Series, and I've been watching her meteoric rise to popularity for years.
My take on her is a little less "sick and twisted" than previous Squad versions. I like her as more tragic than sinister. It's also a weird "full circle" for me to write this version of Harley whose look is clearly influenced by characters like my own Cassie Hack from Hack/Slash.
Nrama: What about Amanda Waller? We've been seeing her working in the field with the Suicide Squad. What are your thoughts on the character and what role will she play in your comic?
Seeley: Yeah, she'll definitely get some field time. She's a great character, and I want to get beneath her tough skin.
Nrama: Having done quite a bit in the Gotham-associated world of DC, how would you compare that to what you're hoping to do with New Suicide Squad?
Seeley: I consider it a pretty similar job — tell really engaging fun stories in a well-established and popular mythology. I'll add a lot of my own vision to it, but I'll also make sure I honor what's great about what came before.
Nrama: Anything else you want to tell potential readers about your upcoming plans for New Suicide Squad?
Seeley: It'll be a great ride — an exploration of morality and crime in the midst of a big-ass action story.