Review – Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth

Suicide Squad: Kicked in the Teeth

Though I found the opening issue of Suicide Squad to be something of a guilty pleasure, I quickly found I wasn’t alone in my tentative praise of the book.  Though I didn’t pick up the second issue, Suicide Squad‘s reception was relatively positive, and when I learned that it was the first New 52 title to break the inevitable downward sales trend and action start selling up – for the curious, it’s picked up about 4,000 steady new readers since February – despite not having any crossovers, I was interested to see what the book was all about.

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DC New 52 – One Sentence Reviews, Part 27

Here’s the next batch of reviews, hot from the oven.  Enjoy their gooey goodness.

As usual, each comic is scored out of five.  From here on out, I’m only going to update the leaderboard once a month – at the end – to show which are consistently excellent, which are on the rise, and which are circling the drain (excluding reviewed one-shots and mini-series). 

Warning, there could be spoilers ahead, although I try to avoid them.

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DC New 52 – One Sentence Reviews, Part 22

A debilitating toothache has made it hard to read, let alone review, comics this week, but I persist.  Apologies if some of the below isn’t my best work.

I don’t know if painkillers are leveling me out, or what, but I seem to have dished out a lot of 4s this week (and no obvious failures).  Either these titles have achieved a fairly high level of quality across the board or I’ve completely lost it.  You decide.

As usual, each comic is scored out of five and at the end I have a cumulative leader board to show which are consistently excellent, which are on the rise, and which are circling the drain (excluding reviewed one-shots and mini-series). 

Warning, there could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).

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DC New 52 – One Sentence Reviews, Part 18

Once again – with gusto – here are my New 52 One Sentence Reviews.

Each comic is scored out of five and at the end I have a cumulative leader board (averaging the scores of each title) to show which are consistently excellent, which are on the rise, and which are circling the drain.

I have also reviewed the mini-series issues but they aren’t included in the leaderboard.

Warning, there could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).

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NewU Reviews: Week 2 of the DC Relaunch

Batwoman #1

Just like last week, I’m going to provide a plot synopsis and review for each issue that came out this week.  I’ll talk a little bit about my general feelings about the relaunch thus far, and how week two did overall.  Finally, for those who like awards, I’ll give out awards to The Must Read Book of the Week, to The Most Pleasant Surprise and, finally, to The Biggest Disappointment.

Click through to find out more!

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Review: Secret Six #17

Beginning only moments after last week’s Suicide Squad #67 ended, Secret Six #17 is the second part of a three-part “Blackest Night” tie-in that follows a three-way conflict between Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad, the Secret Six and the homicidal Black Lantern Suicide Squad.  The fight began last issue, and it gets complicated in this one – as Waller and Multiplex burn down the house of Secrets, Belle Reve turns into a bloodbath.  The Six and the Squad are too busy fighting each other to notice that the dead rise until it’s too late.  Simone and Ostrander pack the issue with quick, clever character moments in between fast-paced action segments that vary in style from a brutal martial arts battle between Bronze Tiger and Catman and a futile confrontation between Bane and the superpowered team of Count Vertigo and Nightshade.

Kudos go to colorist Jason Wright, who, alongside artist J. Calafiore, have crafted the most memorable and realistic images seen yet in Blackest Night‘s emotion-o-vision.  Seeing Deadshot on the ground, veins of powerful emotions surging up through cracks in his near-sociopathic emotional armor is a clever image that also fits with everything we know about the character.  Secret Six #17 ups the tension dramatically from the previous issue, maintaining a breakneck pace as it dashes towards next month’s conclusion.  Exciting, well-characterized and fun, it’s just another issue that suggests that Secret Six is one of the best books on the shelves today.

Grade: A-

– Cal Cleary

Suicide Squad #67

Secret Six #16

Review: Suicide Squad #67

The month of January will see the latest, and most ingenious, of DC’s “Blackest Night” cash-grabs as they go after that ever-elusive audience that absolutely despises what Big Event Mentality has done to an industry that can’t even approach affording it (so, uh, me) by reviving a selection of critically-beloved fan-favorite titles that were cancelled (or ended) some time ago.  This begins this week with Weird Western Tales #71 (which I will not be covering unless someone at DC wants to send me a free copy… please?) and Suicide Squad #67.  Co-written by John Ostrander and Gail Simone, Suicide Squad #67 has precious little to do with Blackest Night, and is all the better for it.

Instead, Ostrander and Simone use it to kick off a new Secret Six arc, featuring a three-way battle between the Suicide Squad, the Secret Six and the ‘Homicide Squad’, the Black Lantern members of each team, out for blood.  Though it seems like this could get chaotic and cluttered, especially given the size of each team and the B/C-list nature of its characters, but Simone and Ostrander handle it well, keeping things light and extraordinarily exciting, with the usual dark touch of humor.

Calafiore does excellent work on art, capturing the eerie intensity of the Black Lanterns and the easy violence of… well, every character in the book.  The book’s many action sequences are quick and exciting, and Calafiore does an excellent job setting up the pace and keeping the action moving.  It may not be important to the events of the main mini, but it is nonetheless a thoroughly satisfying tie-in, keeping things quick and trusting the audience to catch up.

Grade: A-

– Cal Cleary

Read/RANT

Secret Six #16