Review: ‘Justice League vs. Suicide Squad’ #1: The Battle Begins

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 is the first big event of DC Rebirth, which makes this the kind of story that needs to count. To say this event is important to DC as its first event is an understatement. This spins out of recent events in Batman as the Justice League now knows about the Suicide Squad/Task Force X. Which means we get the potential for a massive mega battle, yet there’s more to it than you’d think. Expectations are high for this event and I’m here to dive into this comic. Will it be worth your time? Time to find out if it is the event we’ve been waiting for. Let’s get this party started with Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1!

The hype is intense for Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1, let’s see how it fares.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad DC Comics Cover

Now with the amount of publicity and hype behind this project, you wonder already if you can start reading from this issue. Yes, yes you can. Joshua Williamson is a writer I’ve been a fan of for awhile and he handles this first issue well. The event comic is a tough one to do for any writer and this one does its job. Look at the intro alone: a mysterious figure wreaks¬†massive amounts of chaos and violence with others in tow. The pacing of that opener had me on the edge of my seat. At this point, you’re not supposed to know who’s causing it, all you know is that these people are bad news and powerful. It’s exquisite storytelling.

Hang on to your hats here, I want to dive into why the intro is so cool.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 Mysterious Figure

As Williamson is setting this up, I want to bring special attention to this opener on the art end of things. Jason Fabok’s art on Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is great throughout but this opener is unreal. It’s all about the right tone from Alex Sinclair’s suitably dark colors and flashes of light, with Rob Leigh’s lettering slashing through the scenery. Pops of Leigh’s splats and rips, mixing in with Fabok’s way of showing the horror that Williamson puts to the script, it’s beautiful. Between Fabok, Sinclair, and Leigh, this is the start of one wild, amazing, and action packed comic.

The rest of the issue is part establishing both teams and the motivations for the event to come. The Justice League learning about the Suicide Squad as the Squad is on a mission themselves. In the League segment, Williamson nailed the reaction of the team to the Squad. Now here’s where the issue gets a little tougher to judge, there’s a lot to shove into this. Justice League didn’t require a ton of heavy lifting, they got to react and get on to the party. The Suicide Squad was mainly there to set up Killer Frost and the eventual collision course with the League. As a pure spectacle, it’s cool but when you ponder on it further, it doesn’t gel as well as I would like. It felt like a bit of a mad dash to get to the fight.

Yet from a slightly messy push to the finish line, somehow this works.

That’s what makes this weird, as there is a dash to get to that finish yet by the end it works. It shouldn’t work that well, but it does work. Justice League vs. Suicide Squad has a manic but fun atmosphere to it for a lot of the issue. Yet with that in mind, you get strong character moments, Captain Boomerang is one such example of a character that shines here. Deadshot and Superman have a unique encounter that will make fans smile in a way, it works for both characters. Yet some characters get lost in the shuffle, hence the messy aspect of it. Though when you get to Amanda Waller, she sets off the madness right, and I love how Williamson writes her. I’m still impressed as to how well this works.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 DC Flash and Aquaman

As you get to the reveal of the third group, that’s when the real fun begins. I won’t mention too much of that but it makes for a cool ending. It’s a dramatic and powerful reveal to follow up that beautiful beginning of violence and mayhem. As Williamson builds up the chaos of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, the third team is the one that they all should be terrified of. Which makes me realize that the issues following are where this series will really start to come together.

Now with the spotlight of the intro, I want to say some more about the art.

You get a messy story initially but I think with time to breathe it’ll gel better as the series goes on. I will say that noting the amazing intro to the story the art team keeps getting better. There are powerhouse double page spreads, electric action sequences, and it all works. Fabok took his art to another level with this story without a doubt, especially that final double page spread. I muttered a happy expletive here. One thing you will notice is Sinclair’s coloring trends a bit darker to match the tone of the tale. The tough realism to the violence and action in Williamson’s script gives Fabok and Sinclair the chance to show this world in the best light. Take special note of the Rob Leigh’s lettering, especially with the intros to all the characters and Deadshot alone. Beautiful stuff.

This is the cure for the common event book. It’s excellent work all around with a strong script, great art, and amazing construction to bring this together. Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is going to be a weekly event that will be worth the time of any comic book fan.

Wesley Messer
Wesley Messer
A long time comic book fan, writer on many comic sites and more, and always enjoys finding new stories and worlds to enjoy. With a lot of love for TV, Movies and so on along the way. A true traveler of the Internet Multiverse.