Darby Pop/IDW Publishing 2015
Created & Written by Matthew Federman & Stephen Scaia
Penciled by Netho Diaz
Inked by Jonas Trindade
Coloured by Thiago Ribiero
When Colonel Fisher ordered me to kill a group of his former soldiers, I didn’t hesitate. Three shots, each through the heart. Quick. Precise. It was the beginning of the end of a system that Fisher and I were going to destroy together. But, thanks to a clandestine US Army medical program, the trio of corpses was brought back to life using experimental nanotechnology, and -- not surprisingly -- this “Dead Squad” was determined to hunt down both Fisher and me. When the battle was finally over, two of theirs were deceased, though only one stayed that way. They made certain that Fisher’s death was permanent. I, on the other hand, was locked away in some forgotten corner of the globe to rot in a “Black Site,” With nothing but time on my hands to consider the events of the past, and plan my future vengeance. -- Ayala Tal
God what a good story this is a single issue dedicated to Ayala and what happened to her to make the character we saw in the first Dead Squad mini-series. Fighting to keep her country and her family safe and becoming one of Israel's most feared operatives by her enemies until a personal tragedy hits and she resigns her position and goes off to seek her own revenge. It doesn’t take long before she’s approached by two different men with two very different agendas one who is unknown to her the other she knows well.
It doesn’t take much convincing from Colonel Fisher to recruit her to his group of dedicated men and women. I love that while tattoo’s have all been widely accepted as part of modern society and their stigma has gone by the wayside we are reminded that in the Jewish religion they are still forbidden, a desecration of the body but it helps Ayala forge a new identity different from the one she had before her life was irrevocably changed. It’s a powerful statement by these guys both in words and the beauty of the back piece we see.
After a rather spectacular escape from her prison she heads to the first company that attempted to hire her. She has gotten to that point where if she’s considered a mercenary doesn’t matter anymore she’s fell to the depths and isn’t coming back anytime soon. Her assingment for Praxis and that’s because she dealt with her targets already. Praxis wants the technology that brought the soldiers back from the Dead and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. They offer her sweet words, promises and lots of money yet from where I sit it seems hollow. They want what they want and in the end she’s another expendable pawn in the game they are all playing.
It does however set up the next story to come down the line with Ayala up against the Dead Squad for recovery of the technology Praxis wants. However nothing is ever what it seems to be and i’ll be interested to see how it plays out and if by some odd chance Ayala ends up on the very Squad she’s be sent to deal with.
With a strong, solid story and wonderful interior artwork Darby Pop keeps showing us they are the future of unique voices telling gripping powerful stories that blend the real and fantastic in the best of ways.