After the shocking conclusion of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #2, the biggest question was, how long would the Justice League be prisoners of Belle Reve? The short answer is, not very long. Come on, are you even surprised?
Amanda Waller might’ve tied up Batman in a Hannibal Lecter-styled getup, but she didn’t account for her guard’s stupidity. Proving to be as effective as ACME products, Belle Reve’s guards are simply no match for Batman’s guile. The Dark Knight dishes out the pain, frees himself, and demands answers from Waller.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Justice League remains locked in their specialized prison cells as the Suicide Squad looks on. Never missing an opportunity to be obnoxious trolls, Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang taunt the heroes, resulting in a humorous back-and-forth that should please fans begging for more levity in DC.
The most powerful exchange, however, is a serious one between Superman and Killer Frost. Like Detective Comics turned Clayface into a hero, it looks likely this book will do the same to Frost. She’s a potent character who’s lost in the rogues’ gallery, due to other villains having similar powers. But letting her convert into a superhero could see her becoming DC’s Iceman.
Waller eventually releases the Justice League from their cells, explaining there’s been a prison break at a top-secret location. She reveals a real danger has been freed into the world: a villainous team with dangerous intentions. Led by Max Lord, the team of Emerald Empress, Doctor Polaris, Rustam, Johnny Sorrow and Lobo want Waller’s head. And she wants the Suicide Squad and the Justice League to protect her. The teams’ collective reaction’s priceless – arguably the best moment of Rebirth – but Waller divulges there’s more to it. Lord is after a weapon that’ll help him control the world – and it’s housed in Belle Reve (surprise!). When questions arise of Lord’s team’s ability to work together, Waller drops the bombshell: they were the original Suicide Squad.
After two issues of nonstop action and adventure, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #3 slows down the pace considerably. Leaning heavily on telling and not enough showing, the witty exchanges and reveals end up saving the day. That’s not to say this isn’t an enjoyable read – because it is – it’s just different. After all, not every issue can be a home run; sometimes it needs to be a base run. Unfortunately, this also means that artists Andy Owens and Jesús Merino aren’t able to show off their full array of skills.
Writer Joshua Williamson must be commended for doing something incredibly well, establishing the true star of the story: Amanda Waller. Solidifying her as the ultimate badass in the DC universe, Williamson’s shown we should fear her more than any villain. Lord might be the main bad guy of the series, but Waller’s still the one calling the shots and everyone knows you either do her bidding – or else.
Overall, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #3 keeps the strong momentum of the series alive, and wondering if the two teams can coexist will be no doubt the major talking point for weeks to come. Can the League trust the Squad and vice versa? Also, name me one person who isn’t excited to see the real Lobo in action again. The Main Man’s back, baby!
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #3 keeps the momentum of the series going strong in another enjoyable issue.