Task Force X is a classified United States government program which gives incarcerated super-criminals time off of their sentences in exchange for doing black-ops work off the record. Overseen by the highly-ranked and highly-dangerous Amanda Waller, Task Force X has developed a nickname given the dangerous missions they undertake and the injected nanotech bombs used to keep its membership in line – The Suicide Squad.
Recently, Batman uncovered the existence of Task Force X. It’s a program whose existence troubles both him and his colleagues in the Justice League – a team collecting the World’s Finest superheroes. Some, like The Flash, object on the grounds that while even the worst of humanity deserves a chance at redemption, this is hardly the way to go about it. Others, like Aquaman, resent the idea that the criminals they risk their lives bringing to heel should be offered any chance at freedom. Regardless of their opinions on why, the Justice League are of one accord on this point – the Suicide Squad must be shut down!
It is simple enough for the League to track down the Squad as they’re in the middle of their current mission – stopping a death-cult leader from using an earthquake generating machine to destroy the island nation of Badhnisia. Bringing them down, however, will not be quite so simple, even with the vast powers the League has at their command. And unbeknownst to them all, in a secret prison even more secure than Belle Reve, an unknown enemy has released the most dangerous collective of metahumans on Earth for their own twisted ends…
Big “group vs. group” cross-overs rarely excite me and my apathy towards Suicide Squad if anyone besides John Ostrander is writing it is considerable. The only reason I even picked this book was because of my fondness for writer Joshua Williamson’s work on The Flash post-Rebirth. Thankfully, Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad #1 proved to be a pleasant surprise.
There’s not much in the way of plot or even action in this first issue. Most of the pages are devoted to set-up, identifying the various members of the League and the Squad, spelling out their powers and giving just the barest hints of their personalities. Williamson breezes through this introductory material efficiently enough, yet still finds time for a few brilliant character moments, such as Deadshot’s deadpan reaction to finding himself atop a collapsing building.
The artwork is as smooth and streamlined as the story. Jason Fabok has an amazing capacity for fitting intricate detailing into every panel he draws without inspiring a feeling of clutter. The inks are perfectly balanced, providing just the right amount of outline and shade. Colorist Alex Sinclair deserves praise as well, for the vibrant tones used to finish Fabok’s art.
I hadn’t planned on picking up Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad #1 this week. Now I can’t wait for the next issue!