NEW SUICIDE SQUAD #2 by Sean Ryan, layouts by Tom Derenick, finishes by Scott Hanna, Mark Irwin, Norm Rapmund, and BATT with colors by Blond has a lot of fun doing what it needs to do.
First off, geez that’s a lot of inkers for one 20 page comic book. Anyway, I thought the first issue was well done and enjoyable, but was a bit worried it was a fluke. So I was pretty surprised that I ended up liking this issue even more than the last.
First of all, it was just well written. I found myself grinning throughout the issue. The writing was actually funny with some pretty solid jokes throughout. All the characters read with distinct personalities and voices as well, which is a nice little accomplishment considering that out of the five members of the team there are basically two sets of doubles. One of my favorite little distinguishing sequences happens while the team minus Deathstroke are trying to escape on a subway. Harley and the Joker’s Daughter are both sitting down looking sullen. The next panel is of the characters in the same position, but the lights have gone out and the only really visible parts are the characters’ eyes and teeth. Harley’s expression has changed to one of anger and Joker’s Daughter to one of glee. My favorite little character beat though is when Deathstroke, cornered by a giant Rocket Red, is offered a “lucrative deal” by the Rocket Red, takes a panel to think about it, shuts off the radio in his mask and says, “I’m listening.”
I also really enjoyed the pacing of the issue and where the story is going. The first issue had the Squad breezing through enemies until the last page cliff hanger of giant Rocket Reds showing up. Often times in comics a cliffhanger will turn out to be nothing at the start of the next issue, but here the Reds change the whole dynamic. The Squad gets absolutely decimated and it quickly becomes a run for survival. It’s actually really exciting stuff and provides the opportunity for a lot of great dialogue between those in charge of the Squad back at the base or wherever giving orders and the actual members with boots on the ground. The issue ends with one member taking two significant bullets and then getting blown up by a Rocket Red. I find myself legitimately looking forward to seeing what happens.
The art in this thing is just dull. There’s nothing that stands out about it at all. Nothing to give it its own identity. It’s just run of the mill super hero art at it’s most basic. It doesn’t even manage to be DC house style either. Having four inkers sure doesn’t help matters. Aside from that, at one point Joker’s Daughter decides to start copying what Harley Quinn says and does. It works in one panel sequence because the soldier’s reaction is different, but in another the soldiers they are fighting are exactly the same and instead of coming off as a joke, it instead feels like just an excuse to just copy and paste panels.
I had a lot of fun reading this issue. I just wish I had had as much fun looking at it. If either the artist develops a unique style or any sort of visual flair or they get an artists who has those, I just might find myself loving this book wholeheartedly. And I’d like better costumes for Harley and Joker’s Daughter while I’m at it.
Pick up this one if you like people getting shot, mercenaries following the money, everything going wrong immediately.