Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Suicide Squad #2

 So bad it's good....?

 Eh, maybe just so bad that it's bad, yet mildly entertaining.

 The second issue of DC's "Rebirth" relaunch of SUICIDE SQUAD picks up where the first left off, with The Squad drowning right outside of the mysterious Russian prison that houses their target, an unnamed "Cosmic item" that the United States government wants at any cost.

 Given the abbreviated page count that the main story is allotted each issue, I was surprised to see that the mystery object is not only found in this issue, but also completely revealed. The reveal is a bit of a fanboy "Squee!" moment, and it was probably enough to ensure that I come back for the next issue, if I get a review copy, or the collection, if I don't. How The Squad can possibly deal with this is beyond me.

 Jim Lee's art is nice, if you're into his work, but the writing is still atrocious. Rob Williams gives each character the bare minimum of personality, and he, oddly, manages to strip the personality from Captain Boomerang, who has always been the most out-there character on the team. Williams writes like someone who has only heard of Australia via Crocodile Dundee "Shrimp-on-the-barbie" commercials circa 1985. Take a listen (A read?) to some actual Captain Boomerang dialogue:

"The whole op's a right Wallaby's Colonoscopy!"


 "Yeah, so my Father, he was the great American soldier, right. Hard as a proper Road Warrior."

 Awful, awful stuff. Williams seems to only use characters when they suit his purpose, so you have The Enchantress and Deadshot standing around in every panel, doing nothing, Croc does something useful, but then when Harley and Katana have to step up, Croc joins the others on the sidelines. Williams seems capable of utilizing no more than one character at a time, so there is no meaningful interplay of any kind, and the characters act like avatars in a one-player video game, with Williams toggling between them as their particular skill sets become useful to the plot.

 As in the first issue, we get 13 pages of Jim Lee art, followed by a back-up story, this time revolving around Captain Boomerang, illustrated by Ivan Reis. It's a decent story, but a throwaway one. DC, and the fans, would be better served if this book was an oversized monthly, with 20+ pages of Jim Lee art and one back-up story.

 The basic plot, and the Jim Lee art, is enough of a draw to keep me mildly interested in this title, and the cliffhanger was a killer. I'll probably stick around and see where this goes, but I sure wish that DC had given the writing reins to John Ostrander. The Squad deserves better than Rob Williams.

 DC Comics provided a review copy.