Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Convergence: Suicide Squad #2 Review

Written by: Frank Tieri
Art by: Tom Mandrake and Sian Mandrake
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 13, 2015

Explosive Endings

The first Suicide Squad issue was the highlight of the Zero Hour week for me last month.  I am a sucker for the real Amanda Waller and boy, did she stand up...and laid a pool of her own blood.  I know I was supposed to be concerned about the Suicide Squad going up against Alan Scott and his Kingdom Come cronies, but going in, all I cared about was if The Wall would indeed die and who the hell was responsible.  Well, Frank Tieri answers all the questions, but does that make this a great finale?  Let's find out...

This issue starts with Amanda Waller looking all badass as everything explodes around her.  It's a quick start that draws the reader in and ends with a cool full heroes versus villains page that could have easily been the cover to some huge crisis event itself.  We then go back in time to see the beginning stages of the Suicide Squad as they prepare for their battle...but is it against Alan Scott or themselves?

The rub of any Suicide Squad issue is never just the mission, but also the tension between the team members themselves.  Why else would Tieri throw Deadshot and Deathstroke on the same side?  It's a volatile mix that bubbles over very quickly.  While the rest of the Squad looks on, the two assassins trade insults and blows and it's my favorite part of the issue.  After Waller breaks it up, her and Carol Ferris discuss their shared disdain for Cyborg Superman and then we find out they are on a spaceship heading towards New Oa.  I had no idea and finding out threw me off for a second.  The next couple of pages didn't help me gain my bearings either.

Lex Luthor is piloting a yellow spaceship taking the Squad to New Oa.  It's a funny little shoutout to a time when Green Lantern could be defeated by things like mustard and yellow paint, but the dialogue between Lex and Waller was confusing and the scene ended in an abrupt and confusing way.  I'm not sure if Lex fired on New Oa or they crash landed (though I think the later is what did happen), but it leads to a cool faceoff between both sides.

Everything up to this point was pretty good and while I love a good knock down drag out fight, this one was uninspired, confusing and abrupt.  It all leads to Cyborg Superman somehow using robot tech to disable his brain chip and attacking everyone, Lex showing his true intentions and the real enemy showing his face.  Yes, we find out who double-crossed Waller.  On a side note, why did it seem like Alan Scott and Waller were old friends who still had feelings for each other?  Their interaction felt very strange to me.

One of the things that I've complained about during this whole Event is that nobody really dies so nobody really wins.  Well, people die in this issue...a lot of people.  Some of the deaths will be very satisfying to Zero Hour readers, but the issue ends in a way that didn't sit well with me.  I don't want to spoil the big ending, but to me, it was the cowards way out.  I know it shouldn't effect how I feel about this issue, but knowing what happens in Convergence (Deimos' new speech), the ending felt even more unnecessary.  However, it was one of the few Convergence tie-ins that had a real ending. Things do get wrapped up so I guess I should give Tieri credit for that.

I really liked bits of this issue, but overall, I was left with a sour feeling.  The setup of team friction was abandoned once the fight started, there wasn't enough characterization of the "other side" and the ending felt too rushed and forced.  Also, why did Tieri gather such a large Squad when a bunch of them were going to be ignored?  Seriously,  if I was Poison Ivy or Count Vertigo I'd be on the phone with my agent right now.

I really liked Tom Mandrake's art last issue, but the art in this issue was muddy and the action scenes were a bit too confusing.  He had a bunch of characters to deal with and does a good job (except for Barbara Gordon), but nothing really wowed me.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue was one of the few Convergence tie-ins that had a definite ending and while I wasn't a fan of what happened, I give Tieri credit for doing it.  The reader finds out everything they wanted to, but the issue itself felt rushed and forced.  Unfortunately, the art doesn't save it and we are left with an issue that was okay, but disappointing coming off such a good first issue.


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