Let’s shake it up with some titles your might not be reading…
Suicide Squad – review by Rachel Proffitt
Writer: Adam Glass
Artists with cover credit for issues 1-6: Frederico Dallocchio, Ransom Getty, Andrei Bressan, Cliff Richards and Clayton Henry
Amanda Waller must be very happy Batman and his friends are so good at their job.
As issue one of the new, post-Flashpoint incarnation of Suicide Squad opens, several super villains are being interrogated by mysterious men in burlap-masks. Savant cracks and gives the reader a very nice summary of the plot: Super Villains put in prison by various DC superheroes (most notably the aforementioned Batman) have been gassed, taken from their cells, implanted with a chip that can be exploded from a remote location any time, and instructed to conduct various missions for Task Force X, also known as the Suicide Squad. Their liaison is the aforementioned Amanda Waller and as the first six episodes unfold, she does most of her communicating with Dead Shot, a mercenary and Batman villain first introduced in 1950.
Other players quickly introduced include former girlfriend to The Joker, Harley Quinn,; El Diablo, who can create fire and heat by burning off his tattoos, which later regenerate; the spurned, would be vigilantes, Savant and Black Spider; and King Shark, the mutant half man half shark, captured by Super Boy.
The series kicks off with a mission meant to drive home the fact that this squad is there to do the dirty work our traditional super heroes would find distasteful: there is a stadium full of people infected by virus that turns them into something like mechanical zombies. No cure can be produced in time to stop the virus from spreading and doing more damage. Therefore, the first priority is the eradication of every individual in the stadium.
Glass pulls no punches when it comes to making his characters true villains. Only El Daiblo feels obvious and painful remorse for his previous actions, as well as the actions they must take on their mission. The first few issues have several characters rotate in and out of the Squad as infighting, betrayal and the hazards of their missions take a toll on the various members.
Still, slowly Glass finds a way to show some honor among thieves, so to speak. El Diablo helps save Black Spider, Harley Quinn’s back-story reveals her intense connection to The Joker, Dead Shot is shown to have an attachment to a young girl he wishes to protect at all costs. Without falling into sentimentality, Glass gives his readers characters to root for, both because of their unapologetic embodiment of who they are as villains, and because even as villains they have a sense of purpose, love and loyalty – maybe not to each other, but to something.
The artwork varies significantly from artist to artist in the first six issues of Suicide Squad. While I find Dallocchio’s work in some ways the most aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching, there is something about the more muted colors and sharp lines of Cliff Richards that adds an element of horror to the story that I like.
If there is a weakness to the series so far it comes from a lack of consistency. With ever changing members of the squad and missions that are wrapped up in one or two issues, it is hard to latch onto an arc. Of course, the lack of a clear team who will fight together to defeat a clear and present danger may be the very point of The Suicide Squad: this isn’t your older brother’s band of super heroes.
Grade overall: B+
O.M.A.C. – Review by Chris Tresson
Writers: Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen
Artists: Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish
O.M.A.C., or “One Man Army Corps” as he’s known, is written by DC Comics Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen. Keith Giffen is also on art duties but the book does feature in the first few issues, art by Scott Koblish. Issue six has guest art from Scott Kolins.
From what I gather, the title character in this book is a cyborg under the control of a satellite called “Brother Eye“, characters which Jack Kirby created in the seventies and whose original series only lasted eight issues.
I can’t pass fair judgement on this book, but from the looks of things, it’s not a title I would recommend. The character doesn’t appeal to me and the creative team doesn’t either… probably why DC are cancelling this book after only 8 issues.
Nerd Verdict: Bad… Very, very bad. Not appealing in the slightest. Don’t buy this title – the two remaining issues before it cancellation I mean. What the hell, don’t bother with paperbacks or hardcovers of it either. It sucks, even DC think so.
Resurrection Man – Review by Rachel Proffitt
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artists: Fernando Dagnino and Fernando Blanco
Written and drawn by the same team of Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Fernado Dagnino responsible for the 90s incarnation of the character, it is clear that Mitch Shelley, also known as Resurrection Man is source of excitement and joy for his creators.
It’s no wonder. Ask yourself how much fun you could have with a character who can die, but can’t stay dead? One who comes back each time with new powers – the ability to control electricity, to morph into water, to do whatever the hell it is you want him to do this time? That’s right – lots of fun.
Now, add in some conveniently timed amnesia to knock him off balance a bit, put Heaven and Hell on the trail of his “long overdue” soul, and give them some competition in the form of a military industrial complex with two (perhaps too) sexy bounty hunters who have sold their humanity in favor of immortality and have a bone to pick with our hero, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a surprisingly compelling story.
It is not a perfect series. There is a bit too much narration, our hero is sometimes painfully slow on the uptake, and the physical portrayal of the women borders on offensive. Still, this is one I will keep up with. There is enough to recommend it to make up for the flaws.
Deathstroke – Review by Chris Tresson
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artists: Joe Bennett and Art Thiberte
Here we have Deathstroke. This was one title I wish I’d have picked up at issue one. I’ve liked the character for a while and it’s a real shame I didn’t pick it up.
For those of you who don’t know anything about the Deathstroke character here’s a little bit of info:
Slade Wilson AKA Deathstroke the Terminator made his debut in 1980, he was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. He’s an assassin, one of the best assassins in the whole of the DC Universe.
That’s pretty much it. Any questions? No? Moving along then…
The series so far has been written by Kyle Higgins with art from Joe Bennett and Art Thibert, with covers for each book from the amazing Simon Bisley! The book looks like it has been well received and well written so far… But that is set to change. As of May, Rob Liefeld takes over the writing and art duties for the title. Issue #9 will be Liefeld’s first issue on the title… Great. It’s not enough that he got one title cancelled, he’s going to try to make this one fail too!
Nerd Verdict: Great.
Until Liefeld gets a hold on it at issue #9, then it’s going to slip down in my estimations. I’ll give him a fair chance, but I’m not expecting anything great. Higgins was awesome on it though, so if you aren’t reading it, try to catch up on it and read Kyle Higgins last two issues. Then let’s see if Rob Liefeld can do a decent job of it afterwards.
Stormwatch – Review by JP
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artists: Miguel Sepulveda and Al Barrionuevoh
I have talked about Stormwatch quite a bit since the reboot. I was a virgin to the title with the New 52, but know of the characters and was excited to try something different from the Justice League crowd. When it comes to the characters, I was not disappointed. They are interesting, different and their powers are fun to try and interpret (there is quite a bit of that in the first six issues.) Moreover, there are limitless ways you can take a super secret group that, at least in name, have been around for centuries. I have said as much in podcasts and previous reviews.
Unfortunately, I have not been thrilled with Cornell’s plotting of the story. It is a little all over the place and there is so much going on in each book it tends to loose its effect. The art by Miguel Sepulveda and Al Barrionuevoh has been sufficient if not spectacular, and they deserve to be commended for the scope of some of the spreads. I mean, most of this is happening in space. The highlight of the book so far is Jack Hawksmoore talking to the persona’s of the different DC cities. Gotham was particularly awesome.
It is probably not the best book out there, but the characters are awesome, and there is so much potential in the book, it is crazy. Also, starting with the next issue Peter Milligan will be taking over writing duties. As much as I like Cornell as a writer, I am very excited about what Milligan can do with this book. Milligan understands odd relationships, as he has displayed with his work on Justice League Dark so far. I would say this is one that you should pick up. It will not be for everyone, but everyone should give it a try.
Grifter – Review by Chris Tresson
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artists: Cafu, Jason Gorder, Scott Clark and Dave Beaty
Cole Cash is Grifter. a fictional comic book character, a superhero in the Wildstorm Universe. He is best known as a member of Jim Lee‘s Wild C.A.T.S. and has since been revived as part of the DC Universe. In his New 52 series, Grifter he is a former U.S. Army Special-Ops soldier who deserted and became a con-artist.
The book has been written by Nathan Edmondson so far but the art team has changed since the first issue. The book’s original art line up was Cafu and Jason Gorder. Cafu did the first issue by himself, then Jason Gorder got on board for issues two and three. Scott Clark and Dave Beaty have since taken over from issue four and it looks like they are doing a good job. I haven’t read any of the issues but I have seen preview pages from DC, and I thought it looked ok. The artwork was the thing that really interested me about the title, it’s quite good!
Nerd Verdict: Good.
I can’t honestly say any better than that because I haven’t been reading the title. But from the previews I have seen it looks like a good book and I haven’t heard any complaints about it, so it may be worth a look.
Make sure to come back all month long for the rest of this comprehensive review!
Check out part 1 here and part 2 here.
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