Comics Korner: Dead Squad #2

By patricksmith - November 11, 2014

Dead Squad featured
Dead Squad #2 is ten pounds of exposition in a five pound sack.

Science Fiction Story Rule #1: Science is the rule, not the exception.

To make sure the audience can follow along, you establish the science rules early. You don’t necessarily have to explain the exact way everything works, but you have to give a general indication of what makes it work (The Force, The Mass Effect, The Stargate, FTL travel, The Super Soldier Serum, …Tony Stark). It’s the backbone ofDead Squad 2 Value science fiction, and it’s what let’s you get away with the spectacularly unrealistic aspects of your story. It’s the thing you point at when someone says bullshit. It’s also what can kill the fun of the science fiction story. If it’s too complicated, or the story isn’t worth unraveling the mechanics, you can find yourself with a big pile of exposition that no one is listening to. This might be the case for Dead Squad #2, which piles on the science (It’s nanobots, people), but it’s so it can get back to the action. It’s not the most exciting part of the series thus far, but it’s necessary so we can know why the heroes are able to do what they do. Regardless, the story is still competent in showing how the characters interact with each other, and can get extremely personal when they aren’t on a mission, but it’s not nearly as interesting as seeing them strategize and interact in combat.

The exposition is heavy, but it still flows well, and is easy to follow. The biggest drawback is the complete lack of an extensive action sequence, which is only a problem because of the amazing one to be had in volume oneDead Squad 2 Talking. There’s a decent fight scene in a lab, but it doesn’t have the same sense of urgency or danger.  The volume finds some noteworthy moments in the human reaction to mortality, religion, or the lack thereof, that’s sad and a little depressing, but it really makes the characters’ differences in background and perception that much more significant. It’s not expanded upon in any real insightful way, which is a bit of a letdown but only until Delta goes on their next mission. It was then that I realized that volume two sets the stage and gets all the boring talky (how they alive even though they dead) stuff out of the way so they can get back to the real reason for writing a comic about a group of soldiers who can’t die. The action. Sure they’re still playing the 90’s action game for all it’s worth…

Dead Squad 2 Ibiza

But it’s handled in a serious enough way to come off as a homage instead of a parody (well…maybe a little bit of parody). It’s great action fun, with some astonishingly deep themes, but they just aren’t expanded upon enough to really matter. The characters’ perspectives of death are all very different, which gives a lot of different options for philosophical or intellectual aspects, but it stays focused on the primary goal of making Delta look awesome. The story has a lot of technical aspects to it, that you’ll either find fascinating or boring, but that doesn’t mean that the soldiers of Delta squad are any less “Kung-Fu, death-grip, skydiving” baddass, it just means that they’re still dealing with the whole being dead thing. I guess we can forgive them for not murdering a whole convoy, but just this one time.

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