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Suicide Squad Vol. 2: Going Sane (Rebirth) (DC Universe Rebirth: Suicide Squad) Paperback – June 13, 2017
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“…this is the Suicide Squad you’ve been waiting for.”—Wired
“The perfect jumping on point for new fans, the curious, or long time Suiciders."—Nerdist
“Fast-paced and exciting.”—IGN
About the Author
Rob Williams has written for DC Comics, Marvel, Dynamite Entertainment and many others. He is the author of the Vertigo graphic novel THE ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR as well as the creator-owned series UNFOLLOW. His DC Comics work includes MARTIAN MANHUNTER and the forthcoming SUICIDE SQUAD with Jim Lee.
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Story: Going Sane is a short story at the beginning of the book, covering the first three issues, I think. Picking up from where volume 1 left off, the SS has brought the Black Vault to Belle Reve, and suddenly everyone starts going insane. First Flagg, then Waller, and Katana. As madness breaks out, only one person is truly left okay...the Quinnpin of Crime herself, Harley! It seems that the Vault causes the sane to go insane, but has the opposite effect on the already looney! It was interesting to see Harley, if only temporarily, gain her sanity back. There's some great writing here from Williams being spoken by Harley who says that no one can possibly stay sane in this world forever. Harley takes somewhat of a tour of the prison and sees some wild crap, like "walking in" on Killer Croc and June Moone!!! WTF?! That Black Vault really brings out the crazy! All the while Hack is trying to figure out why the lights keep going out and there's some plot elements here I don't totally understand, but a formerly vaporized Squad member was apparently saved (to some extent) by Hack turning him into digital information. During all the chaos, Hack and Harley (that sounds good, doesn't it?) manage to team up to stop Zod, who really didn't do much in this book. He's talked about like releasing him would bring about the end to all life on Earth, but he just kinda taunts and is there. Then again, we DID see him do some cool stuff in volume 1. Harley soon returns to her naturally crazy self, claiming that all the inhabitants of Belle Reve have driven her mad! It's a short story, but just like volume 1, we then move on to character profile issues, each highlighting a certain Squad member and telling a sort of origin story for each of them. Here, we get Hack's and Croc's. We also get one issue showing off a neat part of June Moone, when she meets up with a demon from her past. I didn't think it would be, but the April Fool's Day special was the real gold of this issue. Harley is set up to become once more a therapist, but to the supervillain community. We get some good cameos from small time Bat family enemies like Ratcatcher, and Killer Moth. We get to see Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and Entrantress. As Harley is doing her therapy, she becomes bored and realizes she needs the bad, the part of her that loves to create mischief. But, an anonymous tip to the Justice League breaks up Harley's party, and she has an epiphany. Soon, all is revealed as the person who set her up kidnaps her for nefarious purposes, and we see a new side of Harley that really, REALLY makes her a more sympathetic villain. That last issue was pure gold.
Art: Jim Lee is a legend in the comic book industry, but I don't feel as though this title is making the best use of his talents. His art here is not bad by any stretch, but it's lost the awe that many of his previous works had. Probably due to having less splash pages and double page spreads. Jim Lee can do the most amazing things in comic book art, but with a twice monthly shipping schedule for a man known to be "deadline challenged", it seems like Lee isn't that far off from rushing to finish the art for this title. I can't expect to see impressive double page spreads like in previous works. Lee really ought to be the artist for one of the Earth One books, something that really doesn't have a deadline, or for a major event comic, one that's been planned and written for several months so he has enough time to produce the most jaw dropping art he can! The final issue makes good use of the trope of art style changes mid-story. Sean "Cheeks" Galloway takes over for half the issue with his Jeff Smith "Bone" cartoony style art. I'm not really a fan of that style, but it fits so darn good with what's going on! The transitions in and out of Galloway's section are sudden, but smooth enough. Carlos D'anda, who I've been a fan of since seeing his concept art on the Arkham Asylum video game, does the Killer Croc back story. Stephen Byrne, son of John Byrne?, does a fantastic job on Hack's backstory. It seems like this title is a good one to show off the talents of many different artists.
Overall: I wish the main story would have been more in depth, and longer, but there was so much to like about this book, and it made me laugh out loud a couple times, which a SS book ought to do. Rob Williams can be a funny guy, but still write a story that has weight and stakes. I also loved the setup for JL vs. SS with the Killer Frost issue. This title counts on us, the readers, to care a lot about these characters, and how can we not? Rob Williams makes a good, and in my opinion, successful attempt to flesh out these characters more with a small story about their pasts. This makes them more human and "knowable". I can definitely connect with Croc being made fun of and even beaten up because there's something different about him. I like the way Williams writes these characters. I feel like they're acting and speaking as they ought to. I'm gonna have to pick up volume 3! Can't wait to read JL vs. SS!
The fact several chapters of this grapic novel are named after Ramones songs is an especially nice touch, such as "Teenage Lobotomy" and "Beat On The Brat". Too fun!
Waller, the "iron lady" behind the team of anti-heroes, wants to enlist General Zod to the Suicide Squad. She brought him from the Phantom Zone to the underground facility, where she has him sedated. But even though she's fighting the effects of the madness herself, it's critical that she finds a way to turn off the yellow sun before Zod awakens.
Killer Croc and June Moone are engaged in lustful and amorous relations, but Harley Quinn interrupts because she needs the help of June's alter ego, The Enchantress, probably the only one powerful enough to save the day. Or is she?! She and Harley are up against not only the maniacs running amok, General Zod's Kryptonian powers, but also demonic forces that are unleashed.
Great title! Both the writing and the artwork are superb. It definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. This would make a great sequel to the Suicide Squad movie.
Writer: Rob Williams.
Artists: Jim Lee, Stephen Byrne, Carlos D"Anda, Christian Ward, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Francesco Mattina, Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, Scott Williams, Jonathan Glapion, Sandra Hope, Matt Banning, Richard Friend.
Colorists: Alex Sinclair, Stephen Byrne, Gabe Elteab, Jeremiah Skipper, Christian Ward, Hi-Fi, Sean "Cheeks" Galloway.
Letterers: Pat Brosseau, Rob Leigh, Josh Reed, Dave Sharpe, Travis Lanham.
Covers: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair.