Ricky Church reviews Justice League vs Suicide Squad…
The wildly popular JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD is here in this title collecting stories from JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD #1-6, SUICIDE SQUAD #8-10 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #12-13. The Justice League has discovered the existence of the Suicide Squad, and the World’s Greatest Heroes can’t let that stand! But Amanda Waller and Task Force X won’t go down without a fight!
In the first major event of DC Rebirth, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad sees the two teams facing off against each other as the dangerous Maxwell Lord plots to destroy them both and rule the world. While a bit light on story, the book features some entertaining moments, fun character team-ups and good fights. Overall, it’s a nice success to Rebirth’s first event.
The DC Rebirth line-up of the Suicide Squad features most of the characters from last year’s feature film with the addition of Killer Frost. Writer Joshua Williamson captures the voices of all the characters and creates several good interactions between the heroes and villains. Flash and Boomerang’s rivalry is expected, and their interactions produce some funny banter between the two, but Williamson also plays around with other pairings you wouldn’t expect like Batman and Lobo, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn or Superman and Killer Frost.
These pairings are the highlight of the book and create some great character moments, adding some gravity to villains who might seem a little one-note. In fact, the only villains who don’t have as much depth to them are those in Lord’s own cadre of villains, at least with the exception of Lobo. Out of all the Suicide Squad members, Killer Frost is perhaps given the most character development, though Harley and Boomerang are a lot of fun. Lord is depicted well, though devolves into ‘moustache-twirling’ villainy a bit too much.
The Justice League themselves are portrayed well, though Batman has the most to do out of any of them. Superman plays a bit of a key role towards the end of the book, but Wonder Woman is otherwise relegated to just a few cool moments. Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz also had some good moments, Jessica in particular, yet the book is largely Batman and the Suicide Squad’s show.
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is also a rather refreshing event series in that it doesn’t have a whole lot of tie-in issues. The book collects the main series and Justice League #12 – 13 and Suicide Squad #8 – 10. Of those issues, there’s really only three that need to be read for the full story, but it is definitely a big plus to have the complete collection in one book without having to buy the main series and the tie-ins separately.
The art throughout is nice, though there’s some inconsistency as the various chapters switch artists. Jason Fabok starts things off with the first chapter, but then the art switches to Tony S. Daniel, Jesus Merino, Howard Porter and others. Each artist does great work, mind you, but it’s a bit jarring for to go to a different artistic style in the immediate following chapter. Though some of their work is similar, there are subtle differences in their character models or facial expressions, particularly Superman’s, where the differences are noticeable.
The same thing goes for the writing; Williamson remains the lead on the main chapters, but Rob Williams and Tim Seeley take care of the tie-ins, leading to a bit of a change of tone or pace with the other writing styles, but again nothing too detrimental. Taken as a whole, though, the art and writing are well done, even if it could have been a bit more consistent with the various artists.
Overall this was a compelling story that highlighted the differences between the League and Squad and utilized the premise well for some fun character beats and a fairly good paced story. There’s little to complain of the collection itself with everything in one place. There’s some occasional gutter loss in the imagery, but nothing really significant to distract from the art. Fans of the Justice League and Suicide Squad should enjoy this book, marking it down as a success for DC Rebirth.