B-Squad Volume 1

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2019

Member Reviews

This was the most unmemorable thing I've read in a while.  I read it last night and barely remember it today.  It felt really dated, sort of a Suicide Squad where they somewhat spoofed Gremlins.  The jokes were really flat.  The story was only 30 pages, followed by 30 pages of unrelated, unfinished filler material.  Do yourself a favor and give this a pass.
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Meh. I can see how this could be a good graphic novel, but only if you read more than one volume at a time. There just wasn’t enough to this super short volume to get me invested in continue to read on. The whole premise is that one of the characters dies in each volume, but I really feel like you need to see more than just the one that was in this to get a sense of the macabre comedy of it. As it stands, I will not be continuing this series.

Received via Netgalley. All reviews and opinions are expressly my own
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B-Squad purports to be an offbeat action comedy, leaning more towards comedy than action. It takes the approach that a group has an identity beyond that of its individual members, and to demonstrate this the series will kill off one member each volume, with the member selected randomly by a dice role. I had concerns about the arbitrariness of this murder pact interfering with narrative flow, but that was balanced out by excitement over a light-hearted action romp, so I picked it up. B-Squad is ok, but it fails by trying to be too much and not succeeding fully at any one thing. The comedy is too goofy/silly for my taste, but mileage varies in comedy far more than in most things. The action never felt gripping, and the plot seemed to suffer from comedic derailments and a wandering back-and-forth over the “true” villain before it ended up not mattering in the end. The narrative arc was further slowed down by interspersed infographic pages that, on their own, provided neat info but didn’t functionally contribute to the story in any way. I wanted to like B-Squad, but it really seemed to fall short.
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Well, if anyone wants an abject lesson at pissing a reviewer off, it's this shite.  The concept reads well – we get a Suicide Squad of unknowns doing weird missions on behalf of a Professor Xavier rip-off, and we're told from the get-go that character survival is not to be a given.  The book wants the power to kill off the heroes, and/or bring them back, and at least one will die every issue.  Anyway, the first said mission proves to be to go to a Cambodia presented via mock-up travel guide, to help mugwai, the cute furry critters we know spelt slightly differently elsewhere.  But it's just the most shoddy nonsense – the whole thing reads like we're missing speech bubbles, or even panels, or even whole pages.  One of the characters is French Stereotype Guy, so 'e talkz like ziss, which of course would be prime material for killing off first (as long as it's a two-for-one with Annoying Rasta Twat) , but shamefully none of the characters get beyond barely registering with the reader, no matter how broad they are.  The use of non-diegetic narrative (in other words things like the travel brochure to speed up our background reading) is a waste of time, and so very little happens.  What's more, nobody bothered to spell-check it before presenting the preview files, and the filler that pads the issue out to almost book-length was nowhere near finished, either.

It's hard at times to tell how much is deliberately shit and how much is supposed to be wacky – we certainly get hip puns and jokes (the Scottish punk variant of the mogwai, someone going Rambo at the end) – but the baddies calling themselves the "66% per cent" – I mean, come on.  Did anybody actually read this tripe?  I tried to, I really did, but five minutes after clicking away for this I had forgotten everything about it except the nasty semi-racism of it all, and you could put a gun to my head and I'd fail to tell you who it was that got the ceremonial task of being sacrificed.  To repeat, I did try and read this, but nobody else should.
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A semi-interesting tale of a squad of almost sad sacks posing as a crack team of mercenaries. A-Team they are not, bot B-Squad is funny as they fumble their way to a conclusion. The question is will any survive to make it to volume 2.
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There were a few things that I liked about this book but there weren't many. I liked the artwork. It was very cartoon-y and campy which was what I was expecting going into this from the description. I liked the idea that the plot was based on as well. That one member of the team dies on each mission and gets replaced by a new member is an interesting concept. However, that is where the good things end for me. I'm not sure if this comic was spoofing Gremlins or not (I couldn't find anything anywhere saying that it was satirical or not so I was assuming it wasn't). But I found it really strange that their creatures that they were hunting in the jungle were called Mugwai which is only one letter off of the creatures in Gremlins, the Mogwai. That isn't where the similarities end though. They also procreated rapidly and shouldn't be fed after midnight and bred in the rain (don't get them wet anyone??). Which is pretty much the same lore as the Mogwai from Gremlins. I was just really confused most of the time about what was going on and how the creators were allowed to cut so close to another franchise. I also really didn't like the fact that when they found these creatures one of the characters said that they were very inbred and then another character called them retarded. Inbred does not equal retarded!!! That's not what that means!! Inbred means (to quote from Dictionary.com) to breed individuals of a closely related group repeatedly. Really in this day and age you're gonna call something retarded?? I don't think so. There are any number of other words that they could have used in that situation but no you wanna break out the R word. That's just lazy writing right there.

The fantastic artwork in this comic is the only reason that it is getting two stars from me. Without that it would have easily been a one star. I understand that these things are subjective and every person will have a different opinion but there are a few things, such a using a derogatory term for furry little creatures, that I think most people will agree on as being not a good look. I honestly wouldn't recommend this book unfortunately.
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Well I didn't like this one. The overall style (writing/illustrations/story/plot) wasn't for me in any way. Too simple, easy jokes and nothing really news or original! Some might enjoy it, that's why I gave it two, but  didn't!
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