Suicide Squad #2 and Gary Frank on Harley Quinn

It’s been a crazy busy time, hence no updates here. San Diego comic con was huge fun but it dug a week in my schedule, it was the summer holidays – try working with a full house of kids, and a new puppy who poos and wees everywhere – and there’s been a lot of work on various things. Been meaning to update since, well, issue #1 of Suicide Squad came out. But, forget that now, because today:

SUICIDE SQUAD #2 is out. Yes, and it’s pretty:

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Jim Lee’s been one of the most dynamic artists in the superhero field for so long, it’s easy to take for granted just how amazing images like the one above are. What’s also easy to take for granted is the stellar work of Jim’s inker, Scott Williams, and his colourist, Alex Sinclair. One thing I’ve been able to see first hand during the process on putting together Suicide Squad is the pages coming through at their various stages. All three of these guys are unbelievably good. Visual storytelling and glorious sheen.

It’s a treat working on this comic.

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That’s a page of Jim’s pencils.

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From the same sequence. Scott’s inks over the top.

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Same page, with Alex’s colours.

All before my pesky, distracting words get put over the top. Speaking of which:

‘The Black Vault’ Part two. ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’. Every issue in this first arc is named after a Ramones song. It just felt thematically right. And as for what’s in The Black Vault? You find out with our final page cliffhanger. Which is a biggie. A game-changer for this story, I think.

And there’s a big twist just prior to that too.

Part of the intent with these first two issues was to deliver on what the Suicide Squad is. The ‘promise of the premise’ as they say in the screenplay-writing books.

Impossible mission – dropped from space into an arctic sea and then you have to break into an heavily guarded hi-tech underwater prison. Fatal stakes. A team of scumbag villains who would kill each other happily given the chance. Total dysfunction. And somebody gets it. It’s the Suicide Squad, right?

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Croc’s ace. We like Croc here. Big fans. Hidden depths. Or he just wants to eat everything. Either way.

Tip of the hat to Nate Piekos on letters too. Amazing how certain lines pop off the page when a letterer does his job really well.

Also included in Suicide Squad #2 is Boomerang, Agent of Oz. An eight-page personnel file that turned out great. The script manages to be both funny, mildly offensive (hey, it’s Captain Boomerang) and with a good bit of pathos in there. I like a bit of pathos. Killer Croc would probably eat pathos.

And Ivan Reis did a beautiful job on this. Gorgeous clean storytelling, aided by inker Oclair Albert and colourist Marcelo Maiolo.

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Love how Ivan draws The Flash. You get pages like that through and it reminds you of being a child reading these comics.

Genuinely really proud of Suicide Squad #2. You always see the compromises and the things you haven’t quite nailed, but this is a good one, honest. Aided hugely be some very talented collaborators.

What else is going on? UNFOLLOW #12 is coming 5th October. The end of our second arc, and it’s very much the season finale where a lot of what we’ve been building to arrives. In spades. Mike Dowling and Quinton Winter are mean, mean people and they make me write that nasty stuff. Honest.

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Matt Taylor’s covers on Unfollow have been a constant treat. Check out #13. Akira’s story.

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Cor.

#13 is one of our guest artist issues, and I’m thrilled that Simon Gane’s joining us for that. Si’s a friend who lives not far from me, and his work on Image’s They’re Not Like Us is killer. As is his travel sketchbook, which is a thing of beauty. Truefact: a drawing Si did of Gordes in Provence made me actually go there. Such is his power.

DOCTOR WHO: THE 11TH DOCTOR is vwooorp, vwoooorping towards its second season finale, pace increasing, My, Si Spurrier and Ian Culbard’s two-part Time War/War Doctor storyline has just finished. Loved working with Ian on this. And in the Volatix Cabal I think Si and Ian created a truly creepy set of Who villains.

Oh, and I’ve written the Christmas Judge Dredd for 2000AD. In August. Festive. Hopefully we can announce the artist on that soon. But it should be a Christmas annual-style treat.

Right, back to work.

<UPDATED> I’ve just seen that my Harley Quinn Personnel File with Gary Frank has been announced. It’ll be appearing in SUICIDE SQUAD #4 and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Gary’s pencils are a thing to behold. Can’t show them yet, but here’s the cover for #4 – another stunner by Jim and team.

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Here’s the solicit:

In this story, a mission to dispose of old chemical weapons becomes personal for Harley Quinn when those weapons turn out to be Joker toxin! Now Harley must confront the demons of her past while a Joker-ized Rick Flag tries to take her out once and for all.

It’s a KATANA Personnel File next issue, drawn by Philip Tan. Philip’s done a lovely job on this.

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There’s a tease for you.

 

 

 

 

 

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