Dead Squad #5 is the end of the opening ‘origins’ arc, although it instantly teases the next comic so it’s certainly confident in itself, but is that justified? And more importantly, is it earned from the readers?
The official description from IDW:
It’s a battle on the high seas as Blake, Hooper, and Vargas confront Fisher and his renegade army. With the biotics reprogrammed to kill rather than resurrect, Fisher now holds the greatest tool for assassination the world has ever known. With little time left, and little hope of saving their own skins, the Dead Squad must put a stop to their former commander’s plans, even if doing so means spending all eternity in the Inferno.
I don’t dislike Dead Squad #5 but I don’t love it either. It’s good, enjoyable even, but there are a few moments that simply feel like an 80’s movie cliché.
In terms of writing, for instance, this issue rushes into the main, final confrontation and easily squares people up with respective rivals. Vargas has to face another woman because of some plot reason and Blake ends up in a knife fight because.. well, reasons. Through in some quick and easy romantic coupling and this issue does a few things to annoy me. Is Vargas a strong woman in her own right, or a love sick puppy? Still, this isn’t enough to ruin the entire issue, as I almost feel this is what writers Matthew Federman and Stephan Scaia were going for.
Visually, the artwork holds up, although its not ground breaking. An oil rig isn’t the most exciting location when Michael Montenat has to depict various blank rooms, made all the more inspiring by the grey colours – save for a few explosions – of Douglas A. Sirois. You know what… this definitely is trying to be an 80’s action movie if it has oil rigs and explosions.
In short, this is an enjoyable enough issue if you’ve made it this far, although it feels very much like a set-up for future adventures now the concept has been established.