Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Legion of Doom #2

By Josh Dean
July 23, 2011 - 20:06

I have made no secret of the fact that John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad is my second favorite comic series of all time (coming in right after Robinson’s Starman and right before Simonson’s Thor). When DC announced that their new relaunch would feature a fresh take on the Suicide Squad, I was apprehensive. Keith Giffen (a man whose work ranges from brilliant to loathsome for me) tried to helm a Suicide Squad volume 2 in 2001 and it turned out pretty weak. The key isn’t just in killing off b level characters, it is stocking your team with an explosive mixture of heroism, sociopathy, cunning and daring. Adam Glass is the announced writer of the new series and I was completely unfamiliar with his work. Therefore, when I noticed he was writing the Flashpoint tie-in series Legion of Doom, I had to check it out.

So far, the jury is still out. The premise of the Legion of Doom series is that Heatwave (the Flash villain) is imprisoned in issue one for killing half of Firestorm and trying to hijack the Firestorm matrix (long story, just know he wants to burn as many people and things as possible). Cyborg puts him away in the Hall of Doom (like in the old Superfriends cartoon) which is a flying prison that contains a ton of the Flashpoint timeline’s villains. At the end of issue one, Heatwave has smuggled Plastic Man into the prison inside Cluemaster and wants to use the stretchy one to break out. This issue opens with Heatwave standing over the smoldering corpse of Zsasz from the Batman comics. Heatwave has a plan and it will lead him into confrontation with Animal Man, the Atomic Skull and the Atom before all is said and done.

There are a couple of encouraging aspects to Glass’s mini that make me think he can make a readable Squad comic. Firstly, Heatwave and the other villains are all sufficiently badass. There is lots of violence and very little mercy in their conflicts. The Squad kind of thrives on such violence. Secondly, Glass seems to have a good grasp of a wide range of DC characters. Amazo, Slipknot and Sportsmaster all turn up and are used fairly well. The only thing that bothers me is whether Glass can bring in characters of haunted nobility like the original Col. Flag or Bronze Tiger. Men who fight alongside purely evil men because they believe the goals of the Squad. There is a flash of this in the characterization of Animal Man as a hero reluctantly coerced into enforcing the status quo as a kind of trustee. However, some characters get little to no motivation for their actions (Plastic Man is just quickly painted as nuts) and that hurts the tale a bit.

Rodney Buchemi is kind of a nondescript, meat and potatoes style artist. I’m sure I should be able to recognize more of the inmates even without costumes on but there is a sameness to their figures that makes them all just kind of beefy and identical. Backgrounds are non-existent for the most part. It all seems kind of hurried and not entirely convincing. Jose Marzan Jr does a great job with the inks, however, playing with shadows and deepening the lines enough to give the art some drama (especially with lots of small fires making multiple light sources a problem).

Since the only announced members of the new Squad are Deadshot, King Shark and Harley Quinn, I imagine Glass will give them lots of cool butt-kicking moments. I imagine the new series will be exciting and well plotted. I just hope he can deliver the heart and the brains that Ostrander provided that elevated the entire concept of the Suicide Squad. As a standalone bit of Flashpoint, this is pretty much pure, violent fun.

Rating: 6 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

    RSS       Mobile       Contact        Advertising       Terms of Service    ComicBookBin

© Copyright 2002-2023, Toon Doctor Inc. - All rights Reserved. All other texts, images, characters and trademarks are copyright their respective owners. Use of material in this document (including reproduction, modification, distribution, electronic transmission or republication) without prior written permission is strictly prohibited. Toon Doctor ® is registered trademarks of Toon Doctor Inc. Privacy Policy