Written by: Cedbill
Art by: Luke Stone
Color by: Patrik Mock
Phantom Squad throws us right into the action as we are introduced to our protagonist, Cell, and he is about to confront the Paris police on top of the Eifel Tower. Surrounded, out gunned and severely outnumbered there seems to be no escape for the masked man. What comes next can only be described as a beautiful ballet of blood, bullets and swords. Phantom Squad #1 really shines in its action sequences, writer Cedbill excels in these moments with excessive gore and over the top moments that really sell our costumed assassin’s prowess, power and brutality. The two action sequences we are given are Phantom Squad #1’s best moments. Even though they are extremely unrealistic and pointlessly bloody, these scenes are widely entreating, jaw dropping fun. It’s certainly enough t grab the attention of any reader but is it enough to hold it?
The action and premise of Phantom Squad are without a doubt reason enough to check out this comic but if you’re looking for more you may be disappointed. Cedbill does a great job and building and executing action but the character development in Phantom Squad #1 is almost none existent and when it is it feels forced and unnatural. This is especially apparent when we are introduced to our other protagonist Perry Green. An ex special forces officer Green is recruited by Cell to help him carry out his overall mission; taking down the extremist terrorist organization Fakhri Fadi. Green’s character development starts off on a bad note as we are introduced to him as he seduces a woman just after hearing about a bloody massacre at the Eifel Tower. From there we learn a little about a potentially dark past but other than that we learn little about both characters. Cedbill is working with a ton of potential and we hopefully carry that over to the characters and who they are in future issues.
As mentioned earlier the action in this book is fantastic and that couldn’t have been achieved without the pencil work of Luke Stone and the colors of Patrick Mock. These two create work that is gorgeous, visceral and masterfully choreographed with some excellent panel placement. Stone’s character designs are a little atypical and definitely fit the va-va-voom comic book norm but I couldn’t help but love to see them in action as blood and bullets begin to join the party.
Phantom Squad #1 is by no means a perfect issue it lacks character development and dumps its exposition like a load of bricks. But these faults do not overshadow Phantom Squad’s entertainment factor as high velocity and outrageously gory action commandeers your attention and begs you to hold on for the long haul.