Justice League vs Suicide Squad Drops More Rebirth Breadcrumbs

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Justice League vs Suicide Squad

One of my biggest gripes about DC's REBIRTH is that they gave me all this exorbitant foreplay in the one-shot, and now they're dragging out the underlying story in dribs and drabs across all their titles with sneaky little mentions. Over in TITANS this week, we get the name-drop of "Manhattan" when Omen probes Abra Kadabra's mind. But there's another reference to the whole thing this week as well, happening here in the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD #2.

Batman has made the Justice League aware of the Suicide Squad's existence, and they're none too happy that the criminals they put behind bars are actually being cut loose on a regular basis to perform secret missions. At the close of the previous issue, the two teams finally entered into conflict, which plays out over the course of this second issue.

What may, simplistically, sound like just an extrapolated fight scene is, under the careful hand of Joshua Williamson, a truly exciting chapter as we see the Squad members pair off against League icons. Rightfully, the Squad doesn't have a chance against the most powerful heroes of the DC Universe, but it's the way they get individually defeated that gives both heroes and villains depth of character. Batman has never been more self-righteous and unforgiving than in his battle with Deadshot, and the confrontation between Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman was just as off-the-wall as it should be. Perhaps the only pairing that wasn't explored deeply at all was Enchantress vs. Superman, which is interesting as it is the most pivotal fight of the whole issue. But it's Killer Frost who really gets to strut the depth of her powers in a scene that will stun readers, as the Squad grows its ranks in a surprising fashion.

Of course, what's really driving this plot is something neither the League nor the Squad is currently aware of, as Max Lord has gathered his own team of super-villains, brought together to help him "save the world." And it's here that we get more hints dropped about the REBIRTH storyline, as Johnny Sorrow says that the DC Universe dimension has been tampered with -- something Emerald Empress concurs with, as she verifies that time has been stolen right before she remembers that she must find the Legionnaire (whom some readers will know to be the time-lost Saturn Girl).

One other thing that some readers may not have caught onto is the locale where our fight is taking place -- the island country of Badhnisia. In DC Comics lore, Badhnisia is central to the secret origin of one of the publisher's most powerful and least utilized heroes -- Johnny Thunder -- who became the master of a powerful genie-like creature known as the Thunderbolt. Whether or not this location is simply an accident or will have meaning further down the line is something I'll be keen to learn.

Great writing and some eye-pleasing art from Tony S. Daniel make JUSTICE LEAGUE VS SUICIDE SQUAD a must-follow story.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0