Review - Dead Squad #1

"I'm good if you're good."

A Delta Force team is very proficient at what they've been trained to do and that is to kill with impunity. Of course, the targets of those kills should be politically vetted in some sense, but regardless of the parameters of the operation require the members of the organization to make a lot of enemies. Some enemies who may want them dead, not realizing they may be able to come back. That's the situation in Dead Squad #1 from IDW/Darby Pop. The issue is written by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, layouts by Kirk Van Wormer, penciled by Michael Montenat, colored by Douglas A. Sirois and lettered by Troy Peteri.

hree highly-trained Delta Force Operators (Hooper, Blake and Shane) embark on a high-stakes mission to obtain a mysterious serum. But when they are betrayed by one of their own, securing the drug immediately becomes a matter of life, death, and their own resurrection. Since Delta Force is involved, there's also plenty of action and intrigue, all of it coming together for mayhem.

Convincing a reader to believe the characters involved in a story is always a tall order, but Federman and Scaia present the main trio in the middle of a mission. It's clear to the reader that this isn't their first mission, which automatically instills in the reader some sense of grounding as far as the abilities of the operatives go. The action for most of the book is fast and furious, enhancing their reputation as players who can get dangerous missions done. Because there's so much action up front, the pacing flies along, rushing the reader to the ending for what's the set-up for the rest of the series. There's a hint of supernatural in the book (which the title should have alerted you to) and it'll be interesting to see how Federman and Scaia explain that twist.

Considering how much of the issue the "action" scene takes up, Montenat does a great job penciling all aspects of it. Van Wormer laid out a pretty intricate scene rife with motorcycles, highway chases, car explosions and some gunplay for good measure. Characters are easily distinguishable despite all the chaos, even if there is relatively little in the way of detail in the expressions. Sirois' colors skew a little dark, making some of the action a little difficult to follow because of the choice. Overall though, the art matches the action very well, keeping up and giving the reader plenty to grab hold of visually.

Dead Squad #1 is pretty much exactly what the title sounds like: a group of soldiers find themselves on the other side of life and are brought back to life through some strange quirk in science. That's the real plot behind the comic, but the first issue spends a lot of time riding along with the carnage to give the readers a glimpse into their lives. Federman and Scaia have grand ambitions for the main characters and that's very clear by the end of the issue. Montenat's illustrations capture all of the action effectively and concisely, ensuring the reader doesn't really miss a beat. Dead Squad #1 takes some interesting liberties with the tried and true military themes, giving readers a glimpse into the undead.

Dead Squad #1 is in stores now.