Writer: Joshua Williamson
Pencils: Howard Porter
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6 marks the end of a pointless event comic that casually castrates the Suicide Squad in its final moments.
The book sees Batman and the Suicide Squad take on the big bad of the mini-series and his world ending machinations. It’s an admittedly exciting final battle but it’s tinged with the all the ham-fisted character beats you’d expect till Batman finally comes up with some cringe worthy pseudoscience to finish the conflict. The remainder of the issue is then an epilogue for the event that showcases a woefully character damaging soiree between the League and Task Force X, set-up for the new Justice League of America series, and an absurd twist that negates a lot of the good-will the series generated in the first five issues.
So what’s all this talk about castration? *Spoilers* Batman endorses the Suicide Squad. It’s not rousing, wholehearted one but he admits that he sees the merit of the outfit. Pause and reflect for a moment. Batman, a character that has been published for over 75 years to be an a stalwart protector and enforcer of justice in its purest definition, looks upon this gang of murders being coerced with deadly force to undertake secret paramilitary operations and says “fine, whatever.”
What has always separated and elevated the Squad was the fact that they were criminals beyond redemption. No matter what good they may have done, no matter how sympathetic they may be,
the finest Suicide Squad writers have always been shrewd enough to remind us that these people were too far gone; that they’d always be villains. That’s what made their stories so exciting because you couldn’t use “superhero comic” logic to predict the plot. That’s where the tension of their best stories always was. There was always that undercurrent about “oh what if these guys get loose, or what happens if one of them betrays the other” etc etc. But here they’re literally rubbing elbows with the Justice League as comrades. Just look at shot of Deadshot to the right. Just look at it and you’ll see what I mean.
I’m not delusional. It’s an event comic. It’s a cash grab to pop sales and excite the casuals. I can respect that and I don’t expect masterpieces. What I do ask for though is for the event to not break anything. You have all these toys out and parade them all you want on your covers and splash pages to reach your sales quota but, kindly, put them back in one piece. I mean, I’d love some great dialogue, novel juxtaposition of characters, and emotionally driven narrative shifts but no one’s here for that. We want an exciting, emotionally hollow, night of fun. I’m down but don’t slash my tires on the way out the way this issue did. It’ll be hard for me to look at the Squad the same way after this event because watching them joke and quip with the Justice League takes their menace away.
The nitty-gritty stuff? The dialogue was competent but uninspired. I’m a big fan of Joshua Williamson and greatly enjoy Nailbiter and his Illuminati series for Marvel but he’s very much phoning it in with this issue. It’s a very mundane, by the numbers, superhero script that is well beneath the standard that Williamson sets for himself. The artwork was a bright spot of this issue. Howard Porter’s designs are incredibly detailed and Alex Sinclair’s colors shine in the final battle that the book opens with. Sinclair’s shadows and shading are able to render and exquisite sense of dread and foreboding that was fitting for the type of threat that the heroes were facing. It was fine work that, sadly, was marred with a lackluster script.
Verdict: Hard Pass
It’s the last issue of a mini-series so if you haven’t jumped on, don’t. Nothing of narrative merit happens in this book. The early issues are admittedly fun but this final issue has trite dialogue, absurd twists, and terribly uncharacteristic depictions of the Suicide Squad that threatens to hurt their series for months to come. Forget this event ever happened because I’m sure most of who read it will as well.