Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is a comic book mini-series done right.
I approached this event with a bit of trepidation. With a Suicide Squad movie this last summer and a Justice League film coming soon, there was a part of me that suspected that this was a cynical, synergistic cash grab.
But I was very happy to be wrong.
In the story, the Justice League, the premiere pantheon of heroes in the DC universe, decides that they have had enough of Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad, a group of imprisoned super villains who go on difficult missions in exchange for reduced prison sentences. Waller uses them to do Black Ops throughout the world, especially on missions that are ethically dubious.
Here are a list of 7 things that Justice League vs. Suicide Squad does right:
1. Epic Clashes: When you get two amazing teams like these, part of the fun is watching them come at each other full force. The fight scenes are epic in scope and are dynamic and visceral. The action is captured with vivid life and creates an incredibly enjoyable, moving experience.
2. Individual Character Moments: But if we just have dynamic action, this will eventually get boring. Writer Joshua Williamson wisely breaks off the action when he can into smaller head-to-head clashes that lets each character’s personality shine. Not only that, but by putting together unexpected pairings, we can see different and surprising aspects of the characters personalities come out.
3. Story Twists and Turns: One of the most frustrating things when reading an event mini-series is that we often feel like the story doesn’t go anywhere for a long time. There tends to be a big event in the first issue, but the story just seems to spin its wheels until the final issue. This was the way I felt about several Marvel stories like the recent Secret Wars and the earlier Original Sin. But every subsequent issue of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad changed the story in a completely different direction. Instead of just seeing Batman and Deadshot go at each other for six issues straight, both of them must face a new threat together. And instead of simply stopping with one story turn, the stakes keep changing. This not only creates a dynamic story, but it makes the reader look forward to each issue because they are expecting something new and not the same old, same old.
4. Great Art: The story kicks off with art by the mighty Jason Fabok. In addition, Tony S. Daniel, Jesus Merino, Fernando Pesarin, Robson Rocha, and Howard Porter make the story incredibly fun to see.
5. Timely Shipping: This may seem like a simple thing, but how many events with great potential are completely derailed because of delays in getting the story out? The delays in Civil War II led to problems with spoilers in the the regular series in the Marvel line up. But the six issues of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad shipped each week and kept the story moving in a way that made it very difficult to lose interest.
6. Consequentialism: One of the things that can destroy the enjoyment of a story is the feeling that it is inconsequential. Countdown to Final Crisis is a classic example; all of the events of the year-long story were completely ignored when Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis began. Many readers felt burned; we made an investment of our emotions, our time, and our dollars.
7. Proper Use of Tie-ins. The tie-in issues in the regular series for both teams do what tie-ins should do: they give greater depth to the story and characters without being essential to purchase. Going back to Final Crisis, the last issue made absolutely no sense (not that it made much sense in general), unless you also read Superman 3-D. If you have to go to supplemental material to tell the main story, there is something wrong with the main story.
If you did not get a chance to pick up these issues, you should. I enjoyed the series way more than I expected.
Article by WL Grayson
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