Sunday, 12 March 2017

Suicide Squad, Volume 1: The Black Vault Review (Rob Williams, Jim Lee)

I’ve now read enough of the Rebirth line to know not to get my hopes up for anything and, yup, Suicide Squad Rebirth is another dud! 

This iteration of the team is the line-up of the terrible (yet OSCAR-WINNING!!! And for makeup? Bullshit that garbage had better makeup than Star Trek Beyond!) movie: Deadshot, Harley, Boomerang, Killer Croc, Katana, Enchantress and Rick Flag. They gots to steal some powerful MacGuffin called The Black Vault and fight a Russian Suicide Squad and General Zod.

Rob Williams’ choice to have the team go up against a Kryptonian like Zod was really stupid. All it underlined was how useless and poorly conceived Task Force X are. I can understand Enchantress to a degree because magical characters are useful, but the others? Why the hell would anyone think a team comprising Harley (an insane supermodel with guns), Deadshot (a marksman), Boomerang (a dumbass who throws boomerangs), Rick Flag (an ordinary US soldier), Katana (an insane supermodel with a sword), and Killer Croc (brainless muscle) could possibly stand up to global super-powered threats?!

The entire time these (mostly) non-powered characters were fighting a Superman-level powered being, I kept waiting for Zod to rip each one of their heads off at super-speed! It’s not at all convincing to see characters like these fight someone of Zod’s calibre and somehow hold their own! And the resolution to their fight was contrived drivel.

Most of the characters are boringly one-dimensional. There’s a new character called Hack who isn’t interesting in the least (she HACKS computers, geddit?? Oh, the IMAGINATION that went into her creation!!!), the Russian Suicide Squad were a joke, and Zod was just angry. I didn’t give a damn about the silly retrieval mission storyline. Also included are backups about some of the characters’ origins that are just as dreary: Deadshot’s doing it for his daughter, Boomerang’s a fuckwit, Katana’s tragic, and Harley’s silly and heroic for no reason. Awful, just awful.

I enjoyed Jim Lee drawing the main story, particularly the HALO drop scene, though I don’t understand how Zod got to be so giant – he’s suddenly Prometheus Engineer-size! The backups also feature an impressive roster of artists: Philip Tan, Jason Fabok, Ivan Reis and Gary Frank, who all contribute amazing-looking pages. 

Suicide Squad, Volume 1: The Black Vault is such a dull read. I liked Rob Williams’ recent work on Martian Manhunter and his Vertigo series Unfollow is brilliant, but he can’t work his magic on The Trite Squad. Drink a few Red Bulls before reading this to stay awake!

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