Suicide Squad Banana Splits Special Review

Posted March 30, 2017 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written by: Tony Bedard

Art by: Ben Caldwell, Mark Morales, and Jeremy Lawson

Publisher: DC

What the hell did I just read, and who the hell is this for?

I’ll straight up admit that I was only interested in viewing Suicide Squad Banana Splits Special because of the Snagglepuss Chronicles preview. That “heavens to megatroyd” pink cat got my nostalgia sirens screaming something fierce, which is strange since his cartoon was never good. Of all the ‘toon cats, Snagglepuss is pretty low on the totem pole, beaten by Tom, Sylvester, Top Cat, Pink Panther, and probably a dozen others I can’t name off the top of my head.

But something about the idea of turning him into a gay playwright in the 1950’s just screams so wonderfully stupid that I had to try. I just had to. That he has actual social commentary to give and worthwhile writing advice is icing on this strawberry cake.

Basically, I’m cautiously optimistic for the first issue. It’ll be strange, and maybe in a bad way, but it’ll be the only thing like it on the market.

As to Suicide Squad Banana Splits Special, well, it’s about how you’d expect it to be. Four obnoxious, characters and four anthropomorphic animals (who act infuriatingly stupid throughout the 30-page run time) team up to kill some badguys, and the whole thing is wrapped up in a neat little package by the end.

The premise is the Banana Splits are arrested for no real reason and put in prison for no real reason. Something something meta humans, but they can talk and have driver’s licenses, and the lisping dog has proof of insurance for the car. It’s not like he couldn’t talk his way out of whatever bullshit traffic violation the cops were hitting him with. He’s a dog, but he has rights.

If the whole thing is supposed to be funny, it isn’t. The social climate is still too heated to have cops making bad arrests be a joke. It made me cringe, and the “he’s got a gun” followed by panicked gunfire was not a nice touch.

That this unfunny book is tonedeaf is too obvious.

Most of the jokes—or what I think are jokes—revolve around the Banana Splits being too stupid to understand what’s going on. Prison gangs, a one-liner that could be taken as a rape joke, and lots of general yelling and threats of violence fly over everyone’s head. That Amanda Waller wants to recruit and put them in serious danger also seems foreign to them. I mean, the lion drops his gun (or is the lion a girl? I honestly don’t know).

I’ll admit to cracking a smile at the gorilla dressing up like Duke Nukem, but otherwise there’s not much here to laugh at.

The levels of violence are also a strange sight to behold. I’m not exactly familiar with the Banana Splits other than they were people in suits that played music once upon a time, so seeing them at the center of a prison riot didn’t really sit right with me. Their dialogue prior to that scene was always polite and ignorant, making the transition jarring.

The same can be said of the fighting sequences later in the book.

The Suicide Squad show up sometime around the halfway mark, maybe a bit after. They’re…the Suicide Squad. I’ve never liked any of them, and that hasn’t changed here. Harley Quinn is perhaps less insufferable than normal because she doesn’t hog so much damn page space, but the rest are what they are.

Honestly, for such a crazy mishmash of characters, nothing all that interesting actually happens.

I don’t know who this book is for, and I don’t know why it exists. I’m not even sure why I I’m here. Snagglepuss, I guess, but I could have just skipped to the ending like an actual adult. God knows I don’t like the Suicide Squad or care about the Banana Splits. Perhaps deep down I had hoped for something really strange, stupid, and fun, but I’m far too cynical to think DC could actually deliver on that promise.

Here’s to a 4/10 and a warning that I’m the last person you should trust on either of these properties.

About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.