Dead Squad: Hell and Back TPB
Published by: IDW Publishing/Darby Pop
Released on: June 10, 2015
Writer: Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia
Artist: Michael Montenat
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Three elite soldiers, Shane, Blake, and Hooper, get duped into engaging fellow American soldiers in gunbattle and in doing so become they rouge soldiers; tricked into being traitors. When confronting their commanding officer, he has them killed for their trouble. They can thank an ex-Israeli solider-turned mercenary, Ayala Tal, for sniping their sorry butts right there in an empty sports stadium. We can bet they’ll meet up with her again. Wait, but how? They’re dead. Nope…
They are brought back to life by a serum that looks like the same juice used in The Re-Animator movies. And not only does it give them life again, it also heals them super fast. Only one drawback it seems: they have 30 hours to continue living unless they find some “biotics” that a fella named Fisher has. Who? Fisher, the same guy who had them killed. And of course get back at him for what he did to the trio.
Tough to get through, Dead Squad is a by-the-numbers actioneer that offers very little by way of anything interesting or new. With a host of unlikeable characters and dialogue that’s clichéd and predictable, one would hope for at least the visuals to carry the story but they’re pretty boring too. Save for a few sections where the color design makes from some interesting panels, and a little side action of one of the character’s fear of Hell, the artwork is merely serviceable. It does its job, and Montenat can certainly draw action sequences, but it’s pretty generic looking.
You’d think that within the five issues which make up this story there would be some things to point out and give some praise here and there to, but there isn’t. Dead Squad: Hell and Back is a boring story, with mundane dialogue and art that just doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s tough to give this book any sort of recommendation other suggesting to avoid it altogether.