Writer Sean Ryan's debut issue of NEW SUICIDE SQUAD was loaded with action and this second chapter doesn't slow down one bit. Right from the begging until the very end, we're hit with massive robots, explosions, and a ridiculous amount of people getting punched really, really hard. Sure, there's a plot point or two set up along the way and the hatred Harley Quinn feels for Joker's Daughter continues to grow, but overall, this book is all about big explosions and big punches -- so far, at least. And you know what? Considering the book is only $2.99, I'm cool with sitting back and embracing some crazy popcorn entertainment. If that's not your thing, though, you should obviously look to the classic Suicide Squad runs. But for everyone else, prepare for pure madness and action.
That said, there is a bit of development in between all of the shooting and fighting. Steps are being taken with Deathstroke that have me legitimately interested in where the character will go and whether this will have any lasting impact in his upcoming solo series. The latter seems doubtful, but for now, it's an interesting beat and one that definitely has my curiosity. And, as stated above, the dynamic between Harley Quinn and Joker's Daughter is the only one that's really getting a bit of focus. Deadshot seems like he's just looking out for himself and it's great seeing Black Manta step up a wee bit (I really hope he gets extra attention soon), but the only dynamic with potential appears to be between Quinn and Joker's Daughter. As expected, Quinn still loathes her and, I don't recall if there were any signs of it in the last chapter, but Joker's Daughter takes a somewhat interesting turn in this one. It's not enough to make me suddenly care about the character, but it's adding fuel to the fire and I'm thoroughly interested in seeing how Quinn will eventually respond to this treatment. As we all know, she's a big wild card and here's hoping she steals the spotlight in the near future.
Seeing as there's a grand total of four inkers, you can bet the visual ride is a little inconsistent at times. Some pages feel more polished than others, but aside from one stocky image of Deadshot, there isn't anything that really takes away from the action-packed journey and visually, it's a consistently exciting ride. Artist Tom Derenick thrives with close-ups and he does a fine job making sure these characters look every bit as cool as they should and the punches and shots are every bit as brutal as they should be. Blond's colors are commendable, but when explosions are going off, the colorist makes sure they're panels you can't help but stare at and appreciate. Seriously, even Michael Bay would gaze at those.
Deadshot, the man who's on the team because of his uncanny and lethal accuracy, was conveniently unable to pull a deadly shot on a man in close proximity. The reasoning behind this? Just so he can be injured and left behind for the big cliffhanger. I don't mind the attempt at putting Floyd Lawton's fate up in the air (even though I seriously doubt he'll be killed off), but there are better ways to have him left behind. Why not have a soldier one of the teammates punched remain conscious and they're the one to shoot Lawton in the leg? Just moments before that Floyd shot a dude right in the face, so there's no good reason why he'd pull his shots against this fellow or shoot like an amateur. This likely won't bother some, but as a Deadshot fan, I thought it was seriously underestimating him.
Minor gripes: Cutting away to the Russian base felt like it was building up a team that could actually offer an interesting challenge, but then they're effortlessly dispatched and were basically total fodder. Because of that, I can't help but feel like the page focusing on these characters would have been better spent on showing us on what makes these characters on the new Task Force X roster worth caring about. Because, as of right now, we've yet to see any especially compelling material with them and that's something this book needs to begin incorporating. I get the scene was there to shed a little more light on the story, but so far, this story doesn't require extra elaboration and seeing how the characters react is way more interesting.
Vic Sage and Amanda Waller's inclusion is basically limited to them being left in the dark and not happy with it. It gets pretty repetitive and you can't help but feel like, even though they're not physically there, they're hogging the spotlight in some of these scenes and not allowing the characters we want to see lead the dialogue. Lastly, there's one point where Deadshot's helmet is randomly damaged, so I'll just have to assume that happened off-panel?
The title of the story ("Pure Insanity") tells you everything you'd need to know about this new volume with the Suicide Squad. As of right now, you're not going to get a detailed look at who these deadly combatants are, it's just scratching the surface of the potential with these character dynamics, and the plot is feeling pretty standard. These negatives have left me with very mixed feelings on this issue and honestly, I found myself debating between 3 and 4 stars for quite some time. Overall, there isn't much substance here -- at least not yet -- but despite that, it's still a lot of fun. If you simply want to see these characters constantly running, narrowly escaping explosions, and humiliating goons, you'll get what you're looking for. It's essentially what you'd expect from a blockbuster movie: non-stop spectacle that isn't very challenging and a ton of fun. Hopefully the creative team is just giving this book and explosive start and has more elaborate plans as the story progresses! This dose of crazy action is fun right now, but eventually, they'll need to focus on the characters and not just how they act in a fight.