The promise of the Justice League and Suicide Squad taking on Max Lord’s motley crew has finally come to fruition. Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #4 provides the showdown we’ve waited for – or so we thought (more on that later). While the previous issue was a momentary breather from the chaos, this one’s an all-out action blockbuster.
Wasting no time, the battle commences almost immediately. Joshua Williamson really pulled a Michael Bay here, putting the story to one side and focusing on the action. Under normal circumstances, this would be a criticism, but considering this is what we’re here for, he’s delivering exactly what we want. It’s grand spectacle bursting at the seams, with mouthwatering fights and superpower beatdowns. Also, seeing the heroes team up with the villains undeniably delivers cool tag team moves and something we should’ve expected: banter. The Flash and Captain Boomerang, in particular, share more than a few jibes, as do Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn. Weirdly, though, there wasn’t a special moment between Killer Croc and Aquaman.
Questions have been asked about how DC will treat Lobo in Rebirth. Well, rest assured, he’s back to his usual self, with Williamson going all out to show he’s definitely DC’s Deadpool. Speaking of the Czarnian, what will undoubtedly become this issue’s major talking point is the way Batman takes down Lobo. When even Deadshot says, “Damn, Batman,” you know the Bat took it to another level. It’s possibly one of the most brutal things he’s ever done, and also the coolest.
Now to the battle we were promised – spectacular as it is, it’s also a red herring. As the Justice League and Suicide Squad do battle against Lord’s team, Lord searches for the vault. Along the way, he uses his powers of persuasion to get Killer Frost to help him unlock the vault. There, he gets his hand on a diamond known as “The Heart of Darkness,” which contains an immense power that corrupts anyone who touches it. Lord utilizes his ability of persuasion on the diamond, using it to take control of the Justice League. With the Justice League in the palm of his hand, it sets up another gargantuan clash: Suicide Squad vs. Zombie Justice League. Where Lobo and his cronies fit in going forward is anyone’s guess at the moment.
While the issue’s action packs a punch, the artwork is among the weakest we’ve seen so far. In some of the panels, the character’s faces lack definition and clarity, and we only know who it is thanks to the coloring and clothing. Also, compare this issue’s action scenes to that of Tony S. Daniel’s in issue #2 – there’s simply no comparison. The art feels rushed when you hold it up against its predecessors, and lacking in impact. Rotating artists in a limited series is often a risky idea, but Justice League vs. Suicide Squad got away with it until now. Let’s hope the next artist steers the ship back on course for the penultimate issue.
With just two issues left, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad has everything in place for an epic finale. It’s pretty clear the conclusion of this series will lead to the new Justice League of America. However, the fallout of what’s to come is still up in the air. One thing’s for sure, though: you can bet on new heroes being made.
While Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #4's action packs a punch, the artwork is clearly the weakest we've seen so far.