Rating: 3.5/5 – The “Suicide Squad” of Battleworld!
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
I’ve liked almost everything that has come out of the Secret Wars event. Having the entire Marvel Universe be somewhat continuity free has allowed creators to place long standing characters in new situations and new worlds that aren’t bogged down by the past. Red Skull number one is another wonderful example of this. Although it could best be described as the “Suicide Squad” set in the Marvel Universe, it’s still a fantastic read that makes up for an art style that didn’t necessarily connect with my tastes.
Luca Pizzari’s art seems as though it’s penciled rather quickly. That’s not to mean that it’s rushed, just that it looks as though the time taken to render the characters and settings is second to the storytelling. It looks as though Luca’s pencil stays close to the page which gives his art a very active look, but loses a lot of clearly defined details. Pizzari draws a team of six and I was thankful that each of those six characters has their own signature look, otherwise it would be tough to tell them apart since faces don’t seem to be Pizzari’s strong suit. The colors by Rainier Beredo are also dark which for the story fits, but still adds to an overall lack of detail since most of the zombies we see later in the issue don’t stand out.
On the writing side, Joshua Williamson takes that “Suicide Squad” theme and has a group of villains hunting down the Red Skull’s body. Dr. Doom wants the proof of the Red Skull’s demise and a team is put together to do so. Williamson touches on the fact that the Red Skull defied Doom’s rule early on and had been banished and killed in the wastelands, but rumors of him still being alive is causing Doom fits. A team is assembled that includes Moonstone, Jack O’Lantern, Magneto and more. It’s a fun group of villains that plays off each other well as they venture past the “shield” and into Zombie and Ultron territory. Williamson leaves us on a cliffhanger that I absolutely loved, and has me looking forward to the second issue.
Although the art wasn’t for me, the storytelling and characters involved were for sure. Seeing Jack O’Lantern teaming up alongside of Lady Deathstrike isn’t a team-up I’ve ever imagined, but it works and makes me wish for more stories like this set in the main Marvel Universe. This is a concept we’ve seen plenty of times before, but not as often in the Marvel Universe so it still feels new. These Secret Wars spinoff titles continue to impress and Red Skull is yet another title I can’t wait to read more of. Bring on the bad guys!
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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