Ring the bell, because the battle has begun! It’s the Suicide Squad, the “Faux Squad” (my name for them… not their official name), and the Fist of Cain… Going into this issue, I kept wanting to say, “It’s going to be a bloodfest,” but I honestly wasn’t sure. Considering the circumstances, this issue needed to be a violent, bloody romp for the narrative to feel realistic. So is it? Well… This happens within the first three pages:
So… I’d say yes.
I’m not an outright supporter of extreme violence, but I feel that there are certain stories that warrant it. Trapping the Suicide Squad in a castle with the murderous cult, The Fist of Cain, is definitely one of those instances. This is going to sound concerning, but considering Sean Ryan’s run felt so PG, it’s refreshing to see this book this violent. If you’ve been waiting for New Suicide Squad to become a little more edgy, then you’re in for a real treat.
I would say that 90% of the issue is action, so it’s difficult to talk about the book without giving away spoilers. While I did find the action to be extremely satisfying (and also scary at times), there are a few moments that left me scratching my head. Waller’s story takes a hard turn for the worst after an intriguing set-up, and Adam Reed displays another shift emotionally. Somebody should give this guy the name of a good therapist. Aside from being crazy, he also appears to be quite bipolar.
When it comes down to it, the issue is enjoyable, but feels like a step down in quality compared to the previous two stories. Don’t let that detour you from picking up this issue though. It’s still worth your money and time, especially if you’ve been reading the series since Seeley and Ferreyra took over.
The Art: In my opinion, Ferreyra’s art is the best thing about this issue. When the man delivers, he DELIVERS! When he was announced for this title, I was concerned that his action was going to look and feel too posed or stagnant. Boy, did he prove me wrong! His action is great, and he draws it with an epic amount of gruesomeness, without making it too over-the-top. Even the look of his characters stand out. I love his Deadshot, and it appears that he loves drawing that character, but almost all of his characters look top notch. My least favorite character he draws is Harley, but I still wouldn’t consider it bad. If you read my reviews, then you know I always feature a page of art with each art section. This time I wanted to share my favorite spread from this issue. It does contain minor spoilers, so I’ve placed it in the spoiler tag.
It’s also worth pointing out that he does EVERYTHING! Pencils, inks, colors… this guy is a machine! Other artists struggle to just complete their pencils on time, so to see him knock this out each and every month… It’s crazy! If Ferreyra’s work interests you, I recommend you follow him on Twitter. He posts a lot of interesting pictures that capture his process.
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
The Good: The Action. Holy crap, this issue is violent! Kudos to Ferreyra for his work here, because he kills (pun intended) these action panels! It’s absolute chaos at times. There are guns, knives, swords, arrows… and all of the fights have a solid energy to them. Just be ready for blood (and blood spatters).
Deathtrap. This is a pretty badass character! As far as his skills are concerned, he’s very similar to Deadshot, except he has this awesome ability to create guns anywhere at any time. It makes for an interesting concept, but the allure of that ability would probably wear off after a few months. Thankfully, he has British wit and humor to make him interesting on a character level. The entire “Faux Squad” has been taken out now, aside from Deathtrap, and I’m crossing my fingers that he doesn’t meet the same fate soon… He’s good enough that he deserves more time.
[caption id="attachment_28531" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Hey, look! It’s Deadpool! I mean, Deathtrap![/caption]
What the hell? The body of Reed’s girlfriend (who he killed in the previous issue) is shown a few times. That was a shocking moment for me when it happened, but this could potentially top it! Once Reed realizes that the Fist of Cain are falling rather quickly to the Squad, he begins a pseudo confession that he isn’t pure for the Fist of Cain because he felt regret for killing her. While saying this, we get a glimpse of her corpse again, then the very next panel, her eyes pop open! WHAT!?! One of her eyes looks weird as well, but I can’t tell if it’s robotic, or super natural in some way… Regardless, this is some craziness, and I want to know what’s going on with her!
No suspense. As fun as this issue is, the one thing that sucks is that there’s no suspense! This has been a problem since day one of New Suicide Squad. All of your team members are high profile villains, so you know that none of them are going to die on missions. If there’s ever going to be a brutal battle, “cannon fodder” is introduced to serve as the body count for that issue. Unfortunately, these are typically new characters that readers have no history or connection with, so when they are killed, you don’t care. There’s no added danger or emotional reaction because everyone expects it. For instance, here you know that nameless members of the Fist of Cain are going to be killed, and you know that the faux Squad is going to be killed. But beyond that, you know that the Suicide Squad won’t get killed… It’s not a terribly bad thing, but it definitely takes away a sense of danger from the story.
Cheetah. Why are they making her out to be so weak? I know I’m not that familiar with the character, but it seems like she’s getting the short end of the stick. Isn’t she supposed to be really fast? I mean, I know she isn’t Flash fast, but I thought she could actually reach speeds similar to that of an actual cheetah (60 to 70 mph). And considering she’s spent decades as a foe for Wonder Woman, you think she’d be able to handle herself a little better with some psychos. I half expected her to race through the castle slashing throats, and instead, she ran through the cast screaming for Deadshot…
Hunky Punk. Seriously? What is this? This is a joke, right? I mean, look at him… And that name! “Hunky Punk!” That name’s going to give him more crap than Harkness receives for Captain Boomerang… I just don’t get this character. I thought this was a throwback to an obscure character that Seeley was rehashing, but when I Googled “Hunky Punk,” no character history could be found. I hoped there would be something nostalgic to save this character… nope. And what is up with this cheesy info page? The whole bit was odd, including Waller’s explanation of discovering who he is.
A family that hates together, stays together. I’m not joking, I laughed when Deadshot gave his “hero speech” to the Squad. There are a number of things that I would bring up when discussing why the Suicide Squad are a successful team… This rousing statement, isn’t one of them.
I get what Seeley’s trying to do, but it’s a bust. We all have that one friend that’s trying desperately to create (memorable/ emotional/ funny/ etc) moments, and they always fail because they’re just trying too hard to put pieces together, practically forcing
a moment an uncomfortable situation. You know what I’m talking about. The ones where you give your friend side-eye, then think, “What in the hell does this have to do with our current situation? Why would he say that?” And then you realize that you and your other friends are all quiet because you’re trying to figure it out, then quickly change the subject to keep things from getting awkward… Yeah, that’s Deadshot here…
- You’ve been waiting for New Suicide Squad to feature a really intense battle.
- You love action packed books.
- You like Deathtrap.
Overall: So far this is my least favorite issue of Seeley and Ferreyra’s New Suicide Squad. I don’t want that to come across as an outright complaint though, because I still think it’s head and shoulders above anything Sean Ryan ever presented. This issue just isn’t as strong as the two previous issues. The action is great, but the rest is lacking compared to usual.