As the first part of The Mega Review is the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad event, what about the tie-ins? In any event, tie-ins are usually either useful or they don’t matter at all. In this event, the tie-ins add a lot to it. Most people would actually skip the tie-ins for these events but for Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, you want to read these. In this piece, I’m going to show you why these are all worth reading. Now as per the event review, there may be mild to moderate spoilers, but they will be minimal at best. So sit back and relax as I take you through these tie-ins and show you why these are worth reading.
Seriously, the spoilers for Justice League vs. Suicide Squad tie-ins will be mild for the most part, but if you don’t like spoilers, here’s an extra warning.
Justice League #12
(Special Note: You can read this at any point in the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad Event.)
Wow, Justice League #12 blew my mind in my first read through of it. I actually read through this a couple times to make sure I caught everything. If any tie-in you read for Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, you need this one in your life. If you want to know more of Max Lord’s motivations in the event, this is a necessary read. It’s not essential you read it for your enjoyment but it adds so much to the main story. Tim Seeley captures Max Lord in such a way that you can’t help but be captivated by each page. It’s gripping and bracing storytelling in each page of this comic. It’s sympathetic and at the same time shows that Max Lord despite his upbringing, he’s still a fairly terrible yet fascinating person.
A big part of the issue is Max Lord in an interrogation room with Amanda Waller. The flashbacks give you details to of how he got to this point in between the interrogation. The flashbacks are great but it’s in the interactions with Waller that this issue shines. Seeley shows Waller at her best and Lord at supposedly his weakest point. It also helps that Christian Duce’s art is adept at showing this intense conversation. The anger on Waller’s face mixed in with a slight, “Yes I have you just where I want you.” and Lord’s look showing the same expression, it’s powerful stuff. It’s also in the coloring, Rob Lopez’s coloring in that dimly lit room add to the atmosphere with dull colors with just enough light to illuminate the faces. You get that full focus on the expressions and that’s exactly what you need for this.
It is amazing how well this issue works, it’s what helped to get me sucked into this event even more than I already was.
Now you wonder why I say it’s ultimately a sympathetic portrayal of Lord. With one particular flashback to his childhood, it all pays off in a powerful ending. If you ever wanted more of an understanding as to why Lord is doing what he’s doing, the ending explains it. I remember having to step away for a second because it does take you back a minute. That final page alone sets a somber and telling tone for the darkness to come in Justice League vs. Suicide Squad.
Suicide Squad #9
(Special Note: Read this one after Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #3)
If you are even remotely curious about what happened with The First Suicide Squad, this issue is an absolute necessity. As you see them you know they’re working with Max Lord and they were in The Catacombs, but why? What in the world happened that got them there? This is the issue you need in your life. For starters for a tie-in book, Rob Williams and Si Spurrier go off the wall with it and it’s a blast. They’re invading a country called Jangsun who now have new super-powered characters called, “Gods” and it gets crazier from there.
If you ever want a full blown geek out on rocking artwork, this is the issue for you. Williams and Spurrier come up with so many clever characters and Rossmo’s designs are a joy to see. The invasion into Jangsun and their “Gods” give so many storytelling possibilities, and due to the nature of the story gives the creative team a chance to cut loose. That’s what makes this issue so special, it’s a chance for Riley Rossmo to cut loose and Williams and Spurrier are creating the madness. The coloring on this comic is gorgeous, Ivan Plascencia is cutting loose just as much. The colors are bright and bold, yet a touch muted to match the overwhelming darkness of this story. I can’t help but love it.
If anything, you need to see this comic not just for the story but the beautiful and jaw dropping artwork within, it’s so good.
You get a more detailed look into Rustam for starters, Lobo is Lobo but Rustam, he was the leader and you feel for him by the end. It’s great character building and builds to a point that pays off later in the Epilogue of the event. The story of the First Suicide Squad is a fascinating one and Williams and Spurrier unleash a ton of ideas in one issue. You’ll feel especially bad for one character at the end. Put it this way, it’s why it is called “The First and Last Mission of Suicide Zero”, it’s a fitting title. It feels like a true one and done book that builds overall Justice League vs. Suicide Squad event further. Make sure to keep a mental note on Rustam for later, you’ll need it for the Epilogue.
Justice League #13
(Special Note: Read this one after Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #5)
I hate to say it, this is the one tie-in that doesn’t do as much for the actual Justice League vs. Suicide Squad story. If you had to skip one of the tie-ins, this would be it. If anything I would say this one is under, if you miss Steve Trevor and if you wonder what it is like for the normal people in dealing with the effects of the Heart of Darkness. The idea is sound but it’s in the execution where things go a bit haywire. At the end of the day, I wanted to like this more.
It is sad this didn’t work more as Tim Seeley sets up a good hook for this. Picture it, Steve Trevor is trying to make sure his sister and his niece and nephew are okay. It’s simple and perfect, yet way too familiar to anyone who’s seen any zombie film. Sadly, it is pretty weak and I hate saying that as I like Steve Trevor, but this is lukewarm at best. Seeley does write a good Steve Trevor, but the actual story falls flat, which is a shame.
This is one I had to think on, I wasn’t sure what I thought about it but I realized I was cold on it by the end.
I have no real complaints about the art as Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, and Gabe Eltaeb are amazing here. Eltaeb’s color palette is dark and grim, perfect for the occasion and that works. Scot Eaton’s pencils unleash Seeley’s dark vision of this side of the universe as the world has gone mad, with Wayne Faucher’s inks keeping things strong with a bold line. It looks fine art wise if only the story was just a bit stronger to match the art.
Suicide Squad #10
(Special Note: Read this one after Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6)
Did I mention I’m keeping this one spoiler free? Seriously you all need to experience this one to believe it.
Remember when I said make a note with Rustam with Suicide Squad #9, this issue is where it comes into play. Note the title, Epilogue: The Cost, it is the ultimate aftermath of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad. It’s a powerful issue, Rob Williams and Si Spurrier are at the top of their game here. You get a taste of the family life of Amanda Waller and it is amazing to read. Rustam’s involvement in this isn’t what you’d think, he’s not the ultimate villain. Take note of Suicide Squad #9 and keep that entire issue in your mind as he’s dealing with Waller.
It’s an interesting issue to dive into because Amanda is making all these preparations to protect her family. She’s getting the Suicide Squad to protect them and making all these preparations for Rustam. Then it takes a turn, oh does it ever take a turn. This is one twist I won’t dare spoil but trust me, it is amazing and puts Justice League vs. Suicide Squad in a new light. It’s well crafted and shocking, it’s beautiful work. This is the sort of issue that as people discover it will be talking about, in my eyes this is the true ending of the event.
Put it this way, you get a new look at Amanda Waller that may surprise you.
It is weird though at first I didn’t dig the art on this book but by the end, I found myself liking it. Giuseppe Cafaro’s art is hyper-expressive and it works well for this story. Cafaro’s storytelling is excellent for this story, it’s in the eyes, the expressions, and the body language. There is a lot of action but ultimately, it’s a story of emotion and Cafaro nailed it. Williams and Spurrier got a strong artist for this story and it would be hard to picture it drawn by anyone else. The coloring by Hi-Fi works well here, it is a notch brighter at points than I would have liked but it hit the right notes when it counted. The ending page alone is haunting. A cool tie-in that should not be missed.
Seriously, even I’m amazed at how well these tie-ins turned out. Nicely done.
Outside of one tie-in that left me cold, overall this is a success. When even the tie-in stories add something to the overarching narrative, that’s a great thing to see. This event was kept nice and tight and it worked to the benefit of the story itself. If you skipped tie-ins and only bought the main six issues of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, you are missing some cool stories.
Wow, I really did have a great time with this event. This was fun.
Now that the great Mega Review of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is over, what did you all think about it? Feel free to let me know in the comment section below. It’s been a blast covering an event like this and I plan on doing more of this in the future. Thanks for reading and thanks for joining me in this adventure.