Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Jason Fabok
Published by DC Comics
The biggest event of DC Rebirth starts here! Based on the commercial success of DC’s latest movies, it’s only fitting that this one is a battle royale between the bad guys on the Suicide Squad and the Justice League we’ll all be watching next year. And Ultimate Comics has the first issue with both of the variant covers.
I like DC okay but have only casually read Suicide Squad and didn’t see the movie until last weekend. Luckily, Josh Williamson has written an amazingly accessible introduction issue, and I never felt lost. From the Suicide Squad’s side, the team of enslaved baddies goes to Badhnisia to stop a cult from detonating an earthquake bomb. The fight zings with both action and character-establishing dialogue, and Fabok’s art is a gorgeous showcase for this group that could easily skew too gritty under a lesser pencil. The Justice League gets involved when Batman clues them in that the villains they face may all have government contracts, and they need to act before the lines get too blurry. In the background, a villain who died just before the New 52 relaunch returns to recruit a team of monsters to take the fight to the Squad’s leader, Amanda Waller.
I have loved Joshua Williamson’s short-lived Marvel villain book, Illuminati, and he works his magic again here. He won’t waste time trying to redeem the bad guys or charm you into liking them. He writes clear, complicated characters, and you can take them or leave them. He puts the League up as bland but noble, a team you can feel fine rooting for but that you don’t mind rooting against. This blend of grey on beige pulled me in to the story as a whole. I’m not invested in one side, I just want to watch some more big fights before they have to team up against the secret unabashedly-evil team. And that works a little better than the latest Inhuman/X-Men fight because, hey, everyone is Team X-Men. This is a gamble that’s already paying off.
The next five weeks are going to see five more issues of this event, plus tie-ins in Suicide Squad and Justice League. Get in now at Ultimate Comics, and then hang on tight, readers!
-Matt Conner for Ultimate Comics