DC Comics 2021
Written by Robbie Thompson
Illustrated by Eduardo Pansica, Dexter Soy & Julio Ferreira
Coloured by Marcelo Maiolo
Lettered by Wes Abbott
Squad in Hell! “Hell and Back” Part 2! Stuck in Hell, the Squad’s only chance for survival is…Ambush Bug?! While one Squad deals with its newest fourth wall-breaking member, Peacemaker and his crew fight for survival as they hunt for the Swamp Thing!
In case you missed it the opening here recaps what happened over in Swamp Thing and then we get to see Waller. I keep waiting for the reveal on what is going on with Amanda Waller and what Earth she’s from and why she’s so hellbent on behaving the way that she is. With the growing list of villains being a part of the Squad things are getting more and more interesting and Waller is the lone exception of what works about this series. Regardless, for me this is a precursor for Task Force Z, the dead members that are back and will star next week in an adventure that will be led by The Red Hood. I think it is kind of silly to have Ambush Bug being a member of the Squad because for all her vaunted prowess there’s no way even Waller would be able to control the Ambush Bug. There’s one explanation that I cannot wait to hear.
This is being told in some extremely interesting ways. I kind of miss when things were black and white, the bad guys went on missions, some died, some lived and then onto the next one. All this layering of misdirection, intrigue and missing motives to be happening at such length is getting to be a bit much but here I am, still reading and still waiting so something is being done right. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter is remarkably well done.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen is exceedingly well rendered. The layers open up these avenues that we’re dying to see explored and they all add great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is achieved increasingly well. The pacing is excellent as well and it really moves us through the pages beautifully.
I am rather enjoying the interiors here very much. The linework is clean, crisp and strong and along with their varying weights and techniques we see the detail within the work take shape is exceptionally well rendered. I’d like to see more backgrounds being utilised, Hell is a great landscape to really explore so that’s a missed opportunity. How we see the composition within the panels bringing out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is extremely well achieved. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show some remarkable sets of eyes for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a great understanding of how colour works.
The Squad still remains a fan favourite mainly because of the idea behind it, that and Rick Flag Jr. being a huge part of its comeback in my humble opinion. It really was one of if not the best thing to come out of Legends. That it continues to survive to this day with its rotating cast of characters highlighting D-Listers galore shows that great villains aren’t their powers but how they are utilised.