Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Suicide Squad v2: Basilisk Rising TPB

Ugh. I’m sorry, it doesn’t matter what else happens in this collection. The main villain behind the titular Basilisk organization is Regulus. Regulus is one of the worst designed, generic, and 90’s looking villains I’ve ever seen. What little we get of his origin is almost unreadably boring. Seriously, there is a zero issue in this trade that focuses on the New 52 version of Team 7, and I couldn’t read it. The characters all looked and talked the same and their motivations and plot were needlessly vague. Honestly, I couldn’t force myself to read it.

The main storyline isn’t quite as dire. The Suicide Squad concept works well because it is so darn easy to get invested in. A crew of super-villains sent by the government to do some dirty work? Instant classic. Even better, Adam Glass wisely steers away from too many New 52 references. This can almost, but not quite, stand on its own (there are a few too many references to Harley Quinn’s obsession with the Joker’s sliced-off face).

Deadshot makes for a surprisingly effective lead, and the romantic tension between him and Harley gives the book a good dynamic during the personal scenes. King Shark is played for savage comedy like always, and he still excels in the role. El Diablo and Black Spider are too generic to get too much of a read from, but they work well as seat-fillers for the rest of the team. New member Iceberg also fits right in (and seems destined for a quick body bag if you ask me).

The trade includes a pretty interesting race to capture the Resurrection Man. The crossover with that comic is the strongest story, probably helped by the involvement of Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning. That story feels the most populated and histories; the characters actually seem like they have complex motivations.

The Basilisk story is pretty generic; a traitor, secret organization, another traitor. It has been so long, I can’t remember if Boomerang’s relationship with Deadshot is from this series or if it relies on old continuity, but my confusion about what counts and what doesn’t ensured that I didn’t care about seeing these classic teammates reunite. It is simply too much work remembering what “happened” and what didn’t.

The art from Fernando Dagnino is average to good, with some action sequences really coming off nicely but the slower “acting” not coming through clearly. The art isn’t helped by some horrible printing; multiple pages are blurry or scratchy, looking like a bad print job. I could have spent more time trying to interpret those pages, but honestly… why?

This book is cancelled, and I can’t imagine my library is going to order any more trades for this POOR title. I think I’ll survive. 

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