The advertised “Man-Bat vs Suicide Squad” showdown was not quite what I expected it to be. I expected a look at the new Suicide Squad as revealed in the new Suicide Squad #1 comic book that came out this month. Since about half the team tends to die off in the first issue of a Suicide Squad series, I thought maybe they’d show us a little more about the team members who recently left us. Instead, Dave Wielgosz gave us a look at the Suicide Squad from before Infinite Frontier, Metal, Tom Taylor’s disastrous run, and set firmly in the era when the Squad was last allowed to shine. I never thought I’d be so happy to see Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and Killer Croc again (and sure, Harley Quinn is there too if you want to go slumming), but I was literally overjoyed when I realized that this was the team I was dealing with.
Kirk Langstrom is hiding out at an old family vacation home in the country where he feels he can work in private, but the Squad has been sent him to capture the Man-Bat after the destruction he caused in the last issue. We get some flashbacks of Kirk and his wife and a bit of monologuing about how he’s not going to give up on his work, but the main focus of this issue is action, with Deadshot shooting to annoy (because he’s not allowed to kill), Captain Boomerang trying to make Deadshot look bad by doing a better job with his skilled weapons, Killer Crock doing the Crock thing of smashing and bashing, and Harley… well, she’s Harley. She’s mostly useless until she can walk in towards the end and take control once everyone has flattened everyone else.
I will admit that there’s not a whole lot of development to the plot in this issue, but the character beats we get are good and make sense and it’s always entertaining. The art from Sumit Kumar and Romulo Fajardo Jr. is energetic and exciting. I will admit that some scenes look a little goofy as Kumar seems to draw on a bit of stylized manga inspiration for the anatomy of large figures trading punches, but it’s still powerful and dangerous looking, and that’s really what matters.
Man-Bat #2 is $3.99, and I don’t feel bad paying for it. Unlike other comics on the stands that make me question if I really am I comic book fan anymore, books like this remind me of the escapism I found so exhilarating all those years ago. The action, excitement, and all out fun that comic books used to offer is available again in series like this, and as long as it can deliver issues like this, I will continue to recommend it.