I Love it when a Plan (Mostly) Comes Together
I don’t think this assertion is that odd, but in general I, big o’ll “fight” issues have never been my style. Sure if the art is good that helps things but big long fights always seem to just get boring after a while. Suicide Squad #2 “Trial by Fire” is a big o’ll fight for 17 pages, the Suicide Squad is taking on the terrorist group Jihad. It is however, not just a big giant fight, it is the multifaceted execution of a mission. The concurrent nature of all the tiers gives “Trial by Fire” a sense of urgency and connection that a singular fight would lack and allows for no wasted pages as Ostrander jumps from one squad mate to the other as they achieve or fail their part of the master plan.
Luke McDowell’s art gets to shine in the action some very cinematic paneling. However, when looking at the art for the Rick Flagg Jr. Rustam fight on page 15 it would be considered rather un-cinematic in the traditional sense due to its violation of the 180-Degree Rule. McDowell dose not reestablish the relative positions of Flagg and Rustam, instead he jumps across this imagined 180 degree dividing line every panel after the first two. It creates symmetrical patter of Down Page Left followed by Up Page Right to me it, turning Flagg and Rustam sides of a yin-yang symbol as the leaders of two government sponsored hit squads. The opposing angles draws the reader to the center of the page while also forcing them to changer perspective and go with the flow of action, even as it reminds them they are in fact reading a comic book.
McDowell and colorist Carl Gafford once again hit upon the yin-yang symbolisim in the Bronze Tiger-Ravan fight on page 18. McDowell leaves the frames without background allowing for Gafford to alternate between a purple-ish red and blue for the first four frames, with the onomatopoeia getting the opposing color of the frame. Visually it creates a nice contrasting flow with the idea that Tiger and Ravan are each hitting back. At first I took the onomatopoeia coloring as repressing a certain characters strike but it dose not. The pattern is broken once Ravan’s back is crippled and the Tiger is victorious.
Ostrander writes some fantastic capital ‘D’ dialog for the two. Upon meeting, Ravan opens with “Greetings and praise o stranger. To have come this far before I sensed you marks you as a master. It is an honor to fight you. May I know your name.”
“Name me the Bronze Tiger. I honor your skill. I will remember your passning, shall we begin?”
With the exposition out of the way, Ostrander begins to sow the overall tone o Squad, a mixture of B-movie melodrama and gallows humor. Once again Captain Boomerang gets a couple of nice comedic moments, his dispatching of Jaculi being the highlight. He throws the third tier speedster off the Jotunheim wondering if he’ll do as Flashie dose and spin his arms real quick to safety. Jaculi does not with a well placed “splat” onomatopoeia meets his end, a fine use of comics as a medium for humor.
The Squad’s first issue compressed 10 pages into just over 90 seconds of “real time”. No such compression exists in issue two however the variety of planes to jump to and fro creates singular action that drives this big o’ll fight issue to a explosive conclusion.