REVIEW: The Phantom Squad #3

Perry Greene has some problems. The self loathing is one thing. The other is the fact that, yet again he has been drafted for battle.  This times it’s by the mysterious swordsman and assassin Cell to help track the extremist organisation Fakhri Fadi, who have only gone and complicated things by hiring a sniper expert called Gold-Eye whose motives are seemingly not a clear-cut as you’d expect.

Not having read the previous issues, I am very grateful for the “Previously on…” page. Still, even fore-armed, I don’t think I was ready for the chaos that was shown on the following pages.

Cedbill has written a book that centres on action over everything else. Now there is nothing particularly wrong with that, but when the action slows down there needs to be something to hang the characters on. Here, we have the perception based night terrors, which to be fair, at least for me, were the most interesting part of the book. With its action heart being worn proudly on the comic pages, it’s almost expected that the dialogue is toast with a heavy helping of cheese. I am sure that fans of this type of book will enjoy the dialogue for what it is, but at times it can come across as writing by numbers.

Luigi Crisk provides the artwork, including inks with a style that tries to capture everything in one panel. This unfortunately leads to perspective problems and loss of details. The fact that Perry looks like season 1 Arrow doesn’t help. What Crisk does do well is facial elements when they are the only focus in the panel. As “familiar” as Gold-Eye may sound and look, Crisk displays some good definition when Gold-Eye is the only thing to look at. The same can be said of the night terrors section, with some thought being given to layouts and colourist Marco Pagnotta utilising a stripped out scheme instead of the over the top colors used for the majority of the book.

Looking at the book got me thinking: always a dangerous proposition. In my house, we love the newer Hawaii 5-0 series. We like it over the multitude of CSI or Law and Order’s that seem to populate the cop show genre because you can put it and not have to think about that much. This is exactly how I feel about this book. Whilst it isn’t my sort of book, I can see that Cedbill, Crisk and Pagnotta have put the effort in. It may be easy to compare this book to Watchmen or some other classic and find it lacking. But if the aim was to create a brainless action book, then they have done it really well!

Writing – 2 Stars
Art – 2 Stars
Colors – 2.5 Stars

Series – Phantom Squad
Arc – Broken
Issue – 3
Title – “Yeah The Bad Guys Know Us And They Leave Us Alone”
Writer – Cedbill
Penciller/Inker – Luigi Crisk
Colorist – Marco Pagnotta
Letterer – Nikki Sherman
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