Mind Capsules – Squadron Sinister #3 and The Shadow #2

Squadron Sinister #3
Squadron Sinister #3

Writer – Marc Guggenheim
Artist – Carlos Pacheco
Inker – Mariano Taibo
Colours – Frank Martin

Squadron Sinister is a book that is exactly what it implies – a team made up of super-powered beings with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Perhaps it is because of that very fact that Marc Guggenheim’s story is so captivating. There are no heroes here, only villains with each one doing their best to be more devilish, more malicious than the other. They scheme against the other territories and they plan against each other personally and sooner rather than later all of those designs will come to a head. Carlos Pacheco’s artwork looks amazing and is better than it has been in ages. He gives the book a fantastic energy whether it is during the action or during the underhanded dealings that permeate the tale. For his part, Guggenheim weaves a delightful and fun story featuring the Squadron that has been missing from Marvel’s publishing plans for far too long. There have been many books and teams that featured villains as the leads over the years, but none quite like this and it is a real joy to read. The characters are extremely interesting, especially Nitehawk who you would think to be the most unassuming of the bunch and yet he is the most devious of the bunch, orchestrating most of the team’s woes. What he plans to do might seem obvious at first, but judging by the way he has done things so far, he might just have something else up his sleeve. Another very intriguing part of the book is how this is a team that has deigned to wipe out the rest of the analogues who closely resemble them. Though they have done a good job of it so far, there are bound to be some more of these dupes around and with the team in such a fractured state, will that be an open invitation for others to come and lay a stake to what they have already carved out? So far Squadron Sinister has been a truly great read and one of the best books to spin out of Secret Wars thus far.

4 out of 5

The Shadow #2
The Shadow #2

Writer – Cullen Bunn
Artist – Giovanni Timpano
Colours – Marco Lesko

The Shadow feels a little guilt-ridden over the death of his friend Harry Houdini and as such, even though he has punished the men responsible, has decided to continue protecting what was his including his wife and the secret of the Last Illusion. The Society of United Magicians will do what they have to until they gain that secret and have called in a ringer, a magician by the name of Ethan Sands so that they might discover it. The pace of this book slows down a bit as Cullen Bunn provides a bit of backstory, both for The Shadow and his relationship with Houdini and some history on the Last Illusion and the man who discovered it. It is a very interesting tale that Bunn weaves and you can see why the Society would want the secret to that spell so badly, but so does The Shadow and if there were any men he would not want it falling into the hands of, it would be those very men. Ethan Sands looks to be a dangerous sort of fellow, not someone to be trifled with and not should he, but when he goes up against our hero, it will be quite the battle. You would think that The Shadow being friends with Harry Houdini would be somewhat odd, but when you look at it, they complement each other quite well as both use trickery to obscure the facts. The Shadow his identity and Houdini the truth behind what seems like magical feats. So while the issue might be light on action, it does have some compelling words by Bunn and some really good pencils by the talented Giovanni Timpano as well as the continuing mystery of the Last Illusion to tide us over until the next book.

3.5 out of 5

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