The Suicide Squad is a cool team but they’re probably not on most peoples’ lists of cohesive threats. They certainly aren’t on the same level as the New 52 Justice League of America that was created to oppose the Justice League or the classic Anti-Justice League that first appeared in Action Comics #443.
The Suicide Squad, however, has unpredictability and the reckless desire to keep their heads attached to their necks on their side. This makes them a wild card and something of a challenge in a fight. Joshua Williamson taps into these traits to construct the surprisingly excellent battle that makes up most of the action in Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #2.
Logically, there’s no way that Killer Croc, Killer Frost, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang and Enchantress can match up with Aquaman, Cyborg, Batman, Wonder Woman, two Green Lanterns, The Flash and Superman, right? Wrong. Williamson constructs a plausible battle that highlights the unpredictable nature of each member of the Suicide Squad and the arrogant nature of the Justice League. Williamson’s script highlights the individual battles to accentuate the League’s cohesiveness and dominance. That, however, ends up being the twist. The League’s overconfidence in dealing with all these villains that they have consistently defeated on a one-on-one basis, present new threats when those same villains work together.
Williamson’s dialogue presents some excellent moments for several members of both teams. Harley Quinn psychoanalyzes Wonder Woman to keep her off guard, Flash and Captain Boomerang call upon their long history together for some witty banter and Killer Croc shows some intelligence as he tries to learn from his past encounters with Aquaman.
However, there’s more to this issue than a well-plotted battle. Williamson also builds upon the overarching threat of Maxwell Lord’s plot against Amanda Waller. The battle between the Suicide Squad and Justice League is definitely the centerpiece here, but there is plenty of intrigue built into the few pages revolving around Lord’s wary team of vengeance-seeking villains. These pages establish who Maxwell has recruited for his plans and what their common ground is but Williamson deftly tiptoes around the Justice League’s and Suicide Squad’s roles in his plot.
The artist team of Tony S. Daniel and Sandu Florea create crisp and intricate images throughout the issue. It’s pretty much what one would expect from a DC veteran like Daniel. While some might look at the art as fairly standard output, there are several moments that pop visually. For instance, Daniel’s pencils and Florea’s inks make Killer Croc stand out as the most imposing bruiser in the battle. The last five pages are so visually captivating in the way the artistic team mixes full page splashes with irregular panel spreads that the epic conclusion of the battle will truly shock the reader.
If you want some really cool moments (no pun intended, given Killer Frost’s importance to the issue) with some legendary DC characters combined with a slowly developing underlying conflict, this is a book you really need to check out. I wasn’t expecting much out of this event but after this issue I’m hooked for the duration of the event.