Tuesday, 1 March 2016

New Suicide Squad, Volume 2: Monsters Review (Sean Ryan, Philippe Briones)


I wonder how much attention DC pays to readers’ reviews - probably nowt much but they seem to have addressed two of the main complaints some people had about the first volume of Sean Ryan’s New Suicide Squad in this second book. First, there’s just the one artist throughout - Philippe Briones - as opposed to 8(!), and second, there’s just the one storyline instead of a few. Weirdly, those changes have resulted in a far inferior comic.

A splinter group of Ra’s Al-Ghul’s League of Assassins imaginatively calling itself The League has stepped out of the shadows and is forging a new world order of its own. Task Force X, aka Suicide Squad, comprising Deadshot, Black Manta, Captain Boomerang, Reverse-Flash, Parasite, and Harley Quinn, have to stop them. Aaaaannnnd… break! 

What took me out of the story the most - which in itself isn’t terrible - was the contrived and stupid way Ryan writes the characters. There are some super-powerful characters on the team that could easily take out a group of assassins by themselves (Reverse-Flash for example) but then there wouldn’t be a book so Ryan has to come up with dumb ways of weakening them to tease out the plot. 

Reverse-Flash - a guy who’s so fast he can literally run on water - gets hit by a pulse gun of some sort and is out of action. Nobody, assassin or not, should be able to hit this guy when he’s moving at speed! And Parasite - this dude’s taken out by a freeze gun instantly. Parasite - the guy who goes up against Superman! And then on the flipside of that approach there’s everyone’s favourite, Harley. I believe her character when she’s firing grenades from a rocket launcher - I don’t when she’s taking out a room full of ninjas with a blade. I like her too but she’s not Batman! 

Briones’ art is fine but nothing special. It’s very DC house-style, ie. forgettably standard superhero comics illustration. I liked Juan Ferreyra’s covers though. 

Even if the second volume of New Suicide Squad was disappointing after such a strong first book, I’m still interested in seeing what Sean Ryan will do with the series. A new team member is added at the end which could improve the series or torpedo it entirely but either way I’m gonna come back and see for myself - I believe in this Sean Ryan guy. For now. As for Monsters, unfortunately the squad fail to hit the target for me in this weak second outing.

New Suicide Squad, Volume 2: Monsters

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