It’s been an interesting ride so far and I’m curious to see where the likes of Dead Squad #4 will take readers. It’s a simple concept but, until now, it’s been told rather well. Still, most titles need to push direction at some point so it’s time for Dead Squad to make it’s mind up.
The official description from IDW:
Creators/Writers Matthew Federman & Stephen Scaia (Jericho, Human Target) take Dead Squad #4 down a solemn and surprising road. The Dead Squad’s former commanding officer, Colonel Fischer, turned traitor and snuffed the lives of his own men to cover his tracks. Now a temporarily reanimated Blake, Hooper, and Shane have Fisher in their custody. Will the Dead Squad recover the cutting-edge biotics that might extend their stays of execution? Or will they be thwarted by the next step in Fisher’s plan?
This isue is an odd one. At times, it helps to enhance and move the plot while, at the same time, it tries to dig deeper into the unique situations it presents. I applaud the latter, in all honesty. We’re talking about people who have technically died, so this issue tries to deal with the morality of such. Whether such morality matters when everything else is wrapped in dead bodies is another argument but the only other material I have to go on this is a terrible Steven Segal film called Half-Past Dead and, right now, this comic is winning.
In terms of writing, it does feel as if Matthew Federman and Stephan Scaia haven’t put enougn thought into certain parts. Vargas, for instance, is over emphasised greatly here. For what was originally an aside character, she takes a greater importance here, even though she’s written as a slight sex object – in fact, the whole piece has this over-hyped masculine feel to it and it’s hard to decide whether that’s in keeping or not.
Visually, this issue holds it’s own weight but there really isn’t anything to write home about. Michael Montenat is a great artist and his pencils speak for themselves – Montenant understands human antamoty, but the lack of other exciting things means many pages simply don’t captivate as well as they should. Likewise, Douglas. A. Sirois adds some decent color but the lack of variety – everything is dull – is also a hindrance.
In short, it’s not a bad issue, but it’s not the best either. Fans will likely love it a lot, but it spends more time building up future potential than delivering on it.