“Convergence: Suicide Squad” #2 is a book that looks fantastic, no small thanks to Tom and Sian Mandrake. For fans of the original “Suicide Squad,” they’ll probably find themselves wishing that Mandrake had penciled a few issues of the series back in the day. However, while Frank Tieri tries his best, this is a story that probably needed either more pages or less characters in order to properly function.
The first half of this miniseries introduced a veritable who’s who of villains, from classic “Suicide Squad” members to newer ones that had never joined the original incarnation of the Squad. The problem is that almost all of those characters have no real role to play in the issue. Instead, the vast majority are relegated to one or two panels, as they get to punch or zap someone briefly before moving on. For this cast to feel even remotely meaningful, it would have required a little more time spent on each one. Ironically, it’s characters who were never associated with the Squad — like Star Sapphire and Cyborg Superman — who get the majority of Tieri’s attention. That’s a little frustrating, because they’re not the ones that most people would have bought this comic to follow.
Tieri’s plot does work in a combination of some of the little details — like the way that the Squad breaches the satellite’s defenses — and in the larger strokes of the plot. Double-crosses and back-up plans were often the name of the game in the original “Suicide Squad” and Tieri brings that to life here without making it feel forced or out of character for any of the characters in question. Some of the ride getting to the conclusion feels a little rushed, but the actual wind down works.
The Mandrakes’ art looks just as great as it did last issue. There are lots of beautiful portraits of the characters, with Tom Mandrake’s graceful, sweeping pencils melding with Sian Mandrake’s soft and subtle colors. Every page is really well laid-out; Mandrake thinks through how the eye should move from one image to the next and knows when to set panels off from one another or rip them free from the framework of the rest of the page. The range of motion in Mandrake’s characters is great, too; moments like Star Sapphire swooping in for a rescue work because of how well the character looks like she’s moving, coupled with that delicate violet trail of energy that Sian Mandrake adds to Tom Mandrake’s depiction of the character.
“Convergence: Suicide Squad” is a bit of a rarity for a “Convergence” miniseries, in that it feels like it could use more pages, rather than coming across padded. With that in mind, though, it’s a perfectly reasonable conclusion to the miniseries; the end works well, and the art is great. If Tieri and Mandrake got to work on a new “Suicide Squad” comic, I suspect the kinks could be worked out fairly quickly. All in all, a successful showing.