Ah! Praise baby Jesus! This is much better than issue #1! If you remember, I had some unkind words for the previous issue because nothing happened. We had twelve pages of a story, and barely got a set-up, so I grew concerned that there would hardly be any plot progression with each issue moving forward. If you shared that concern with me, then you can take a big sigh of relief! The main story in this issue kicks things into high gear, and sends the story into over drive! The back-up story is also a solid turnout!  When I caught myself enjoying the main story so much, the pessimist in me thought, “Oh crap… Watch the short story turn out to be a mess.” Thankfully, that’s not the case. It’s all good in the world of Suicide Squad this week!

 

“The Black Vault Part 2: Blitzkrieg Bop”

Previously, Amanda Waller sent her Squad to Russia on a mission to retrieve some type of alien artifact… and that’s about it. I mean, on top of the heavy-handed dialogue of Waller calling the criminals trash in every possible way over the course of two pages, Williams also made it so that the team would have to do a space drop into a body of water so they could get into their target building. It was a little much, and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

This issue, changes things immediately though! We quickly abandon the over-the-top plot points, and get straight to the mission. There’s action, followed by more action, a few laughs, some plot progression, action, action, plot progression, and finally, a huge cliff hanger! Huge! Everything happens so fast, and it’s done so well, that by the time I reached the end of this story, I was genuinely sad. I wanted more! I even let out a verbal “no…” (for more than one reason).

If you read last month’s issue and decided to skip this issue, I highly recommend that you reconsider! Williams and Lee are cooking up some fun stuff, and if Suicide Squad #2 is a sign of things to come, you won’t want to miss it!

The Art: For the first issue, I made the comment that I thought Lee’s art was messier than usual. Well, that’s not the case here. His pencils look cleaner, and his layouts are much better as well. It’s as if everything took a giant step up in quality with this issue. The story improved drastically, and Lee delivered the quality that we’ve come to love and expect from him!

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Breakdowns for “The Black Vault” can be found in the spoiler tag.

Spoiler

The Good:

Fresh meat. I love the idea of introducing the NSA into the Suicide Squad. If you don’t believe me, you can ask Jay, because he knows. I’ve written the NSA into one of my story outlines for a potential book. Here, we’re introduced to another strong, female character named Harcourt. She’s requested to become involved with Waller’s Suicide Squad, but I think we all know there’s something more to her, and she’s the perfect adversary for Waller! I’m curious to see the role she plays in upcoming issues!

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Slice & Dice. You want to know why I love Katana? This is why I love Katana!

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No words need to be said. She’s just going to do her thing, and do it with excellence! There’s also an amazing character in there too, but for now, I’ll settle for her just being a total badass! It’s still an improvement considering her previous incarnations.

I see a trend. Look, I thought it was funny in issue #1 when Croc threw up in his space suit, but seeing him throw up again after teleporting is great! Honestly, I think I laughed even harder this time, and I hope that Williams continues to find ways to make Croc throw up!

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Boomerang. Holy $#!%!!!!! I did not expect this!

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So… It looks like we can say bye, bye to Digger because that wasn’t a beam to teleport him somewhere, those were lazer eye beams from…

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I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I think we might know who the villain will be for the Justice League vs Suicide Squad story…

 

The Bad:

Yeah… I don’t really have anything…  No, seriously. This was a great, entertaining, high-action issue! I didn’t even mind that the story was only twelve pages, either. If the creative team can continue to progress the plot like this, then I’ll continue to look forward to this title!

 

“The Black Vault” Overall: Yes, this is another short narrative, but it’s high energy from page one through to the last page. There’s grit, great action, incredible plot progression considering the restraint in pages, and a shocking conclusion that will definitely leave you anxious and excited for the next issue! Suicide Squad just moved from the bottom of my list to the top of my list!

“The Black Vault” Score: 9/10

 

 

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“Boomerang: Agent of Oz”

In a change of momentum from the previous issue’s short featuring Deadshot, Williams abandons the darker, more serious narrative for a total camp fest. Let’s be honest, this story is about as serious as Boomerang is, but it’s a basket of ridiculous fun!

The story structure is similar to Deadshot’s. Waller is evaluating Digger, and her focus appears to be on what made him become Boomerang. There is a slightly serious undertone here, but 95% of this narrative is an over-the-top James Bond-esque story of how Digger transitioned from an Australian agent to a criminal who received a notorious beat-down from the Flash.

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Despite how ludicrous the story is, if you enjoy the smarmy texture Boomerang adds to his missions, then you’ll love this! I mean, with characters like the Drop Bear and Sheila Upforit, you should have an idea of the tone. It’s Digger “Boomerang” Harkness as an international man of mystery, and it’s a ton of fun… You know, until Waller brings her usual reality check!

Oh, and there’s more barfing!

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The Art: Ivan Reis covers art duties for this short. It’s almost like we’re running through a who’s who of New 52 Justice League artists, and in my opinion, that’s fantastic! I’ve never seen Boomerang look so grand or dapper, and it was a real treat to have someone of Reis’ quality bring such a ridiculous story to life!

“Boomerang: Agent of Oz” SCORE: 7.5/10

 

Suicide Squad #2 Recommended If:

  • You miss that “anything can happen” feeling from Ostrander’s Suicide Squad.
  • You like rescue missions.
  • You’ll pop open a beer for a Boomerang short!

 

Overall: Whatever negative thoughts you had about Suicide Squad coming into this issue, go ahead and just throw it out the window. It doesn’t matter anymore! Maybe Williams and Lee knew they’d have to deliver a game changer at this moment because of their story structure, or maybe this issue really is a natural result of story progression… Either way, Suicide Squad #2 delivers in ways I never expected it would! Buckle up kids. This book is a crazy, wild ride!

Oh, yeah… And there’s a Boomerang short… Don’t forget about that.

 

SCORE: 8.5/10