REVIEW: Suicide Squad: Dream Team #1

Suicide Squad: Dream Team #1‘, “Wake Up!”, continues the exploits of Dreamer working with Amanda Waller from the set-up in Action Comics #1060. Nia Nal is joined by a whole new lineup of Task Force X that also includes Bizarro. As with most things involving Waller, Dreamer has found herself in a no-win situation that may lead into bigger story elements later this year.

The standard cover by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas is an action movie group shot of the new Task Force X. With Waller’s head towering in the background; Dreamer, Bizarro, Harley Quinn, Black Alice, and Deadeye comprise the foreground. The only one missing is Clock King, which for a Suicide Squad book, feels rather ominous. Be on the lookout for the foil variant of this one as it’s sure to be eye popping.

REVIEW: Suicide Squad: Dream Team #1

Ricardo Federici’s variant is also a team shot but stylized very differently. Almost as if we’re seeing one of Nia’s dreams, everyone’s in a kind of swirl behind Dreamer. The muted colors and pencil sketch aesthetic also adds to the surrealness of the image.  

REVIEW: Suicide Squad: Dream Team #1

The variant by Sweeney Boo has Dreamer in our sights. Whether she’s being spied upon or targeted for assassination, Dreamer seems well aware and ready for action. It’s a pretty fun cover and a clever way to show off her precognitive powers.

REVIEW: Suicide Squad: Dream Team #1

Gleb Melnikov’s variant has a somber feel despite its bright colors. Dreamer calmly walks away from a crashed vessel appearing sad, lonely, and resolved all at once. There’s not a lot of flashy images happening, but it makes up for it by being emotionally complex.

REVIEW: Suicide Squad: Dream Team #1

Penciller Eddy Barrows, Inker Eber Ferreira, and Colorist Adriano Lucas make up the interior art team.  Having also done the main cover, it’s nice to have the outside and inside art match. Their character designs are rather interesting. Bizarro has a similar look to Frankenstein’s Monster akin to the version Red Hood had in his Outlaws team a few years ago, Dreamer wears a bomber jacket that could be in homage to Rick Flagg or the House of El or both, and Clock King has time pieces on his glasses. They also capture Harley’s overly emotive expressions well and Nicole’s likeness as Dreamer is sometimes uncanny. Their layouts are also very dynamic which keeps your attention throughout the book.  It’s definitely not boring to read.

Nicole Maines, lettered by Becca Carey, really flexes her writing talent in ‘Suicide Squad: Dream Team #1‘.  Having the distinct privilege of maintaining creative control over the character she brought to life on the CW’s Supergirl series, Maines has only be able to give us snippets of Dreamer’s adventures within the printed DCU up until now. Having her be involved with Amanda Waller and Task Force X feels a bit bold for Nia Nal, but Maines pulls it off brilliantly. 

The story deals with the political fallout of the country of Gamorra which also makes this a follow up to Tom Taylor’s ‘Superman: Son of Kal-El’ series. Although the issue is mostly exposition, Maines incorporates it well within the interactions of the characters which keeps the pacing from being too slow. Maines also does an excellent job capturing the various voices and personalities of each character; especially Bizarro and Harley Quinn.

Overall, this was a fascinating first issue with some real potential for greatness. With Dreamer being friends with Jon Kent, the story dealing with Jay Nakamura’s homeland, the inclusion of Bizarro, and Waller being teased as the main villain in DC’s next major event, we’ll be keeping our eyes on ‘Suicide Squad: Dream Team‘.

Although the art is dynamic, it could sometimes feel too busy or distracting, especially in some of the more somber moments of the story. Honestly, my expectations weren’t too high going into this book but found myself thoroughly engaged the entire time. The real take away is the impressiveness of Nicole Maines writing. Some of these characters aren’t the easiest to capture on their own, let alone in an ensemble cast, and she absolutely nails it. I’m genuinely intrigued where this series is headed.

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