“Your team crashed into arctic waters, several of their pressure suits are compromised, one of the drop ships’ rockets is circling wildly…with three of your people trying to RIDE it toward their target?!”
With helpful narration from a supporting character, DC’s Suicide Squad #2 gets off to a crazy and entertaining start. Written by Rob Williams and featuring art from both Jim Lee and Scott Williams, this issue is all action as the Squad races to get to the Black Vault. Unfortunately, this is also the biggest downfall of the issue; it’s a quick read with little in the way of surprises or variances outside of the series’ established norm.
I was really excited to read this issue thanks to the hype of Rob Williams returning to Suicide Squad, Jim Lee on art duties, and the momentum from the movie’s release. Ultimately, this issue had the same narrative beats as every other issue of Suicide Squad that I have read, whereas many other DC Rebirth titles are finding new and inventive hooks, I was hoping for more than average with this title. The last page villain reveal was especially frustrating, as the character is overused and always says the same line. I audibly groaned when I read the last page dialogue, and coupled with the Mary Sue-like emergence of a character facilitating the Squad’s entrance into the Black Vault, the ending of the issue was disappointing. I felt like the entrance into the Black Vault was similar to the exhaust vent design failure in the Death Star, it was too convenient by half.
Now don’t get me wrong, there were some entertaining moments, and I’m hoping the creators can build off these in the future. First and foremost, I’m a sucker for seeing protagonists stuck in a hard spot with nary a way out; I just HAVE to know how they get out and accomplish the mission. It’s here that Suicide Squad definitely entertains. With the entire team stuck in freezing arctic waters, below the ocean with pressure suits rapidly filling, that’s an intriguing hook.
Second, this book was funny. “I can boomerang anything”, along with a few xenomorph jokes, definitely kept me amused. Captain Boomerang was the comic relief keeping the Squad grounded, and he was the only character who stood out in this issue.
Thirdly, as the Squad faced wave after wave of Russian naval forces, Harley Quinn and Katana demonstrated their potential for mayhem. Harley, using humor and bullets, lots and lots of bullets, and Katana using her blade, reminded me of some stellar Matt Fraction/David Aja Hawkeye action. Harley’s quips provided a nice counterpoint to the graphic violence, and it was refreshing to see her thoughts on neoliberalism.
Finally, the best part of the issue was the Captain Boomerang back story. Not being familiar with Captain Boomerang, his self-told tale of past exploits and how he came to a life of crime, while dressing and acting like James Bond, was an awesome homage to the titular spy. Full of humor, action, and questionable events, this was definitely the highlight of the issue. Unless you like Perth, Australia, but I’ll let Captain Boomerang tell you more about that.
Suicide Squad #2 does not offer much in the way of new developments that even casual readers of the DCU aren’t aware of. It’s a generic Suicide Squad affair and rather ho-hum after the first few pages: a main character gets killed, a villain appears in the last frame and spouts the same groan-inducing dialogue we’ve all read at least 30 times before. Other than the Harley Quinn/Katana action scene (with help from Captain Boomerang), the standout of the issue was the Captain Boomerang back story. If you are a fan of Captain Boomerang (I found him to be the most entertaining of the Squad) and James Bond, then you will love the character introspective. If you are a fan of the series then keep it in your pull box for a while longer, as the series shows promise, but it has not lived up to the hype yet.
- Captain Boomerang
- Harley Quinn and Katana tag-teams
- Average plot with extremely fast pacing
- Groan-inducing villain monologue
- Star Wars exhaust vent-like resolution to getting into the Black Vault