Writer: Simon Spurrier
Art: Aaron Campbell, Jordie Bellaire, and Aditya Bidikar
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: February 8th, 2022
In the beginning, it was brutal and almost cannibalistic. The attacks were random and caused very little concern. However, once the threats became less random and more frequent, the world became more scared of a metahuman just as strong as SUPERMAN but with zero humanity and all instinct. So, in order to stop this new threat, a secret government program called BLAZE was created alongside everyone’s favorite SUICIDE SQUAD crew to stop this killer apex predator before it was too late. But, where do you get volunteers for a secret program that will most certainly kill its subjects within months? Well, prison of course! Let’s dive into SUICIDE SQUAD: BLAZE #1 by Simon Spurrier as readers discover what happens when you give low-life’s and lost causes powers on par with the JUSTICE LEAGUE. Maybe Amanda Waller has bitten off a bit more than she can chew this time? I guess we’ll have to read to find out!
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Let’s just open this review by saying this sucker goes nuclear fast! Imagine the normal SUICIDE SQUAD but on steroids. Now, be prepared. The pacing starts off a bit slow with the notion of laying the foundation for these brand new characters. Spurrier uses the opening 10-12 pages to paint the picture of the main character named Mike. And can I say, Mike is the perfect down and out, lonely, loser that Spurrier writes in such a way that most readers will feel connected to. Plus, you can’t help but feel bad for the guy.
However, SUICIDE SQUAD: BLAZE #1 introduces an array of new characters, which is why the opening is so well written. Spurrier focuses mainly on the introduction of Mike. Yet, he weaves in the other four brand new characters while juggling the normal SUICIDE SQUAD journeymen. Alas, Spurrier masterfully uses his page count to not only give readers the information we need about this new threat but also manages to do so while creatively building these brand new characters and their personalities in the process. It’s actually quite remarkable.
Additionally, the story is actually pretty heavy. Overall, the premise isn’t just about a Super that goes off the rails… but a Super that’s “hungry and horny” as the book puts it. Who’s to stop an Omega Level threat that’s become more animalistic than anything else? You can’t reason with it. Imagine someone as strong as SUPERMAN with ZERO moral compasses and utterly primal.
That’s basically what SUICIDE SQUAD: BLAZE #1 is dealing with. Yet, that’s the outer premise on the surface. The inner layers of Spurrier’s onion start peeling back who’s really in control of this Metahuman world DC COMICS as created. It gets down to the nitty-gritty and redefines who people really think is in charge versus who is actually in charge. And let me tell you, it makes a ton of sense. Why? Because it rings a bit true with the current landscape of the way many people see the world today.
Now, what makes this sucker so dang nuclear is how graphic this story is. So please, be prepared for some in-depth illustrations. It’s detailed, it’s bloody, and it’s raw. What’s even more impressive is that Aaron Campbell draws individuals real. These heroes aren’t overly muscular. They’re flabby and have wrinkles. They look like regular people without filters. The main character Mike looks beaten, battered, and sleepless with thinning hair. Individuals’ faces look legitimately scared of this new Super threat. The only real knock I can give the art is actually the coloring by Jordie Bellaire.
At times, it’s a bit too dark. Granted, that certainly added to the twisted tone of the issue. However, it also made many of these scenes hard to distinguish causing this reviewer to double-take many of the highly volatile scenes. Nevertheless, the overall issue was extremely well done so much so that even the more situationally humorous elements were directly related to Campbell’s rendering genius.
SUICIDE SQUAD: BLAZE #1 has all the super-powered potential of a rock-solid DC COMIC with very little downside. Spurrier showcases some of the classic SUICIDE SQUAD crew but adds in a brand new cast that quickly becomes their own. The premise is powerful, inventive, and cluttered with subtle humorous elements that make this series an instant classic. Together with Campbell, Spurrier sets fans up with a seriously monstrous tale.
Readers will experience straightforward, graphic action that will no doubt captivate fans while leaving these new SUICIDE SQUAD recruits as new fan favorites. Yet even with the enticing, outermost superhero layer being so inviting, it’s the sly, under-the-surface narrative plot beats that provide that extra wrinkle making this issue a must-buy. I highly recommend giving SUICIDE SQUAD: BLAZE #1 a good shot. It’ll be well worth your time and money. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!