Sunday, January 22, 2012

Suicide Squad #8, I got your cover art solicitation right here! Awesome doesn't even begin to describe it.

“The Hunt for Harley Quinn” aftermath! As the surviving Squad members attempt to recover from their disastrous Gotham City mission, we learn a dark secret that has been festering in the team since issue #1: a traitor stalks the Suicide Squad! The saboteur’s mission: Assassinate Amanda Waller, expose the Squad and leave Task Force X in ruins! The fuse is lit to the first great mystery of 2012: Who is the Suicide Assassin?
This is hands down one of the coolest covers I've ever seen and certainly the best one this year so far. It really captures the whole feel of what the Suicide Squad is really all about. Notice how the scene is laid out in a circle pattern as if to suggest all the mistrust, betrayal, instability, mutual loathing and yet interdependency is what keeps it together even though it's the very same thing that threatens to tear it apart. All of which is a situation that keeps going round and round, hence the circle. Then there's the blood. It's all around them and in fact they almost seem to be emerging from it. It's just an all around beautiful cover from the stand point of being artistic with the metaphoric references as well as visually dynamic.

King Shark may not be featured on the cover of Suicide Squad #8 but at least I found some of this cool fan art of the DC relaunch hammerhead version of him. As far as I know this is a first of it's kind since all the other King Shark fan art I ever come across is of him as a great white. I also think this is the first fan art I've seen from the Suicide Squad relaunch that wasn't Harley Quinn related. This rendering (done from start to finish in photoshop) is by talented illustrator Walter Ostile. As you can see he has a very distinctive style which in and of it's self goes a long way to making your mark in the art world. If you want to see more of his work go to:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Here's Black Spider back in my very first comic at age 6 . Now he's in The Suicide Squad 33 years later

So I just remembered about this photo of me from when I was around 6. What you're looking at is some sort of trade paperback that included the story from Detective Comics 463. This TPB is basically my earliest memory of any kind of comic book I ever opened up. Unfortunately I don't remember what ever happened to it. Back then (mid to late 70s) Black Spider a.k.a Eric Needham was an ex junkie who spent 6 years in jail and came out as a Hell bent vigilante determined to rid the streets of Gotham of criminals, especially dope peddlers. That brought him into conflict with Batman who as you know doesn't believe in killing criminals. You can get a better look at what I was browsing at by magnifying the image above but also at this link: Today, 33 years later in the DC 52 relaunch as most of you should know by now Black Spider is part of Task Force X. And that's one of the things that's always made this book so fun to read because Task Force X was often made up of a non-garden variety of "criminals" which made for so much of the strife within the team through out it's history.
If you've read Suicide Squad #2 then you know Voltaic never got to issue his "receipt" to Black Spider. Instead, by the end of the issue Voltaic got a bullet in the head by Deadshot. Also in issue #2 Deadshot refers to Black Spider as a ninja. At a glance one might think that he's The Squads new Bronze Tiger. But aside from them both being black guys who are martial art bad asses with troubled pasts they don't really have much in common. Like I said in the previous posting (Suicide Squad #5 review) Black Spider is much more of a Punisher like character. In issue #3 it's somewhat implied during a conversation between Diablo and Black Spider that Spider may have had a family that met with tragedy but that has yet to be revealed. But one thing is for certain is that he has an almost pathological hatred of criminals just like Frank Castle. During the chaos of the Belle Reve prison riot in issue #5 Black Spider used the opportunity to kill the other patients in the infirmary despite him still recovering from a broken arm and concussion. And it didn't stop there because the infirmary basically became a temporary "roach motel" (they check in , but they don't check out) for any other felons who wandered inside. Black Spider is just one more thing that's made this such a great book so far. Thank God The Suicide Squad dodged the first round of cuts from the 52 line up so obviously the book currently has a descent sized fan base. Let's just hope they can keep this title around a little bit longer so we can see where the writing this ass kicking crazy train called The Suicide Squad relaunch.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Suicide Squad #5 Review: Diablo BBQs Belle Reve , King Shark eats somebody again & the hunt for Harley is on!

Regardless of what you like or dislike about the Suicide Squad relaunch one thing you can't say is that there is ever a dull moment in this book. The Squad is sent off to put down a prison riot in Belle Reve. Through out the course of the prison riot the body count continues to rise as Deadshot puts a bullet in most everything that moves, a seemingly catatonic King Shark all of a sudden eats Yo-Yo as Diablo really cuts loose for the first time in the series and BBQs half the inmates. And let's not forget Black Spider who despite being laid up in the infirmary manages to beat the shit out of and kill several inmates. He does so with what I would describe as a "Punisher" like determination and hatred of all criminals. Which makes sense since he too was a criminal hunting vigilante.Aside from all the killing we learn some interesting things in this issue. Waller apparently is either married or has a live in boyfriend and Deadshot seems to have a foster daughter. And speaking of Waller, when the riot is finally put down it doesn't take her long to figure out that it was Harley that started it some how and subsequently managed to escaped during the whole fiasco. They surmise that she's probably off to go find The Joker but quite naturally Waller has no intention of letting that happen as she cobbles together a new Suicide Squad to go after her. I suspect it's a safe bet Harley is done with the Squad as a member so all her fans out there can rejoice at long last. Of course I'll miss Harley but it'll almost be worth it to not have to hear all the bitching and moaning any more from these people on the internet.
My thoughts:
Just think of the best concert or party you've ever been to in which you had the time of your life. That's pretty much what this issue was like although it was unfortunate to see Yo-Yo get killed so soon. Black Spider was bad ass and probably could be considered the Punisher of the DC Universe while Diablo so reminded of Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction. If you don't like this book then I hope you get eaten by King Shark too. There's a nice little DC Comics All Access feature at the end of this issue with some cool production back ground information and the promise of plenty of more surprises and excitement # 6 and 7. I probably should have known this already but on an interesting side note it turns out Harley's new costume design was by Jim Lee.
Recently I decided to drop everything else I was picking up from DC every month. There's other good stuff out there but Suicide Squad was the only thing I was really looking forward to from one issue to the next.

Bronze Tiger vs. Iron Fist
who would you put your money on?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Suicide Squad: A Watery Grave & Captain Boomerang's "Flash back" in Brightest Day #7

I made some dollar bin finds yesterday. The Watery Grave 3 issue story arc in the 1995 Superboy series involved Superboy teaming up with the Suicide Squad in order to infiltrate and destroy the under water head quarters of a high tech crime cartel known as The Silicon Dragons. The team is made up of only two Squad regulars (Deadshot & Boomerang) along with Superboy foes Knock Out and King Shark. There is also the addition of the criminal known as Side Arm and finally there is the team leader Makoa form the Honolulu police department. We also get appearances by Waller during the mission briefing and briefly toward the end of the story.
The mission is the usual fiasco even from the beginning as the team fails in it's attempt to covertly enter the base leading them into an open confrontation instead right away. The temperamental Side Arm turns on Makoa who is in turn killed by Kind Shark due to the explosive belt he is wearing that is tied to Makoa's life signs. Boomerang later is revealed to being in league with the Silicon Dragons and is promptly shot by Deadshot which causes sever injury to his hands. Ending things Knock Out and King Shark seemingly die as they grapple causing King Shark's belt to go off.
It's over all a pretty good read although nothing seems to be going on here that's crucial to the Suicide Squad as a continuity like certain key issues of Checkmate. So it's not really a must have unless your inclined to collect pretty much every SS appearance ever published. But for a buck or two it's certainly worth while to have this in your collection.

The other dollar bin find I made was Brightest Day #7 that features a duel story line that ties into the Brightest Day saga and Captain Boomerang's origins. Now I'm sure most of you know of or have Suicide Squad #44 which was an issue totally devoted to Boomerang's life story from his abusive child hood to being a career criminal.
This Brightest Day issue isn't going to tell you much more then the before mentioned Suicide Squad issue will but it does expand on a few things and goes a little more in depth. And a couple new things it includes is a recap of his time with the Rogues which was a point in life that he describes where he never felt as "at home" as he did along side them. Unless your a hardcore Boomerang fan I wouldn't say this issue is a must have but it does make a nice addition to your collection of Suicide Squad tie-ins and well worth it if you find it for a buck or two. You should be able to magnify all of these images for better viewing.

Just had an after thought upon seeing Dan's comment (IADW blog) today Sunday Jan. 08. Over the past couple of months I've found Villains United #1,2,3,4 and 6 in dollar bins. It all started with me grabbing #1 on a whim and I thought it was a great read along with some stellar art. but now I'm on the hook for trying to get my meat hooks on #5 but thus far it's proven to be elusive even in regular back issue bins.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bronze Tiger & Deadshot by Eddie Nunez, SO FRIGGIN AWESOME!!!

looking at his Eddie Nunez rendering of Bronze Tiger & Deadshot one does not have to give any thought to if they like it. You realize it like a jolt of electricity or like jumping on a bicycle with a missing seat. And I actually mean that in the most positive way. I like how Nunez made up Deadshot in a combination of his "urban" costume and his classic one. But look at the "group shot" image for the challenge I set forth to you all.

Please, don't just blithely wonder off after looking at this posting with out leaving some sort of comment. After a couple months of looking this fan art over by Mike Belcher I finally decided to post it to see what others think of it. I suspect some will either like it or dislike it right away but I'm betting most people will have a hard time figuring out if they like it or not at a glance. I have my own thoughts on the matter but before I share them let's hear a little bit from you all first.