This review contains some spoilers
The Justice League vs. Suicide Squad finale is here. After the past five issues’ colossal set-up, all Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter had to do was bring it home. The good news is, they conclude the series satisfactorily, closing the loop and setting up future events. That said, I can’t shake the feeling that this issue could’ve been something more than what it is.
Darkness reigns as Max Lord, who has now been possessed by the entity known as Eclipso, wrecks havoc. Meanwhile, Batman, Lobo and the Suicide Squad battle the Justice League, trying to free them from Eclipso’s influence. Seeing his zombie team under serious threat, the demon places most of the “heroes” under his cursed spell as well. This leaves it up to Batman, Killer Frost and Lobo to save the day. Despite what the Internet will have you believe, Batman isn’t the superstar here. Yup, the Dark Knight steps aside for someone else to shine. Another hero’s born, and lives are put on the line to ensure the safety of the world and Eclipso’s defeat. It’s your typical end-of-the-world stakes.
Sadly, the battle doesn’t last too long – roughly only half the issue – and the rest of the pages are about the future Justice League of America title. Not much is a surprise here – bar one shocking twist – since the major details were revealed months ago. To this day, I still don’t know why DC did that. It’s annoying and destroys all impact when you can predict the outcome of a storyline before it even begins. Everybody knew about Lobo and Killer Frost’s fates, so what’s the point of the second part of this issue? You’d think DC would learn from the spoiler-heavy Batman V Superman trailers, which left absolutely nothing to the imagination…
Bringing in Porter to do the art proves to be a stroke of genius for this swansong. While it’s an obvious nod to the imminent Justice League of America title, he also illustrates a battle scene quite like no one else. With so many characters battling concurrently, the panels could’ve easily become close-up portraits of an anthill, but Porter remains focused. He chooses his main characters, and doesn’t fall into the trap of trying to give everyone a spot in the sun. Sure, Killer Croc fans might be unhappy that he’s an ugly wallflower here, but the artist does what’s right for the story ultimately.
If issue five was the seafood platter, this is the runny chocolate mousse. It’s still tasty, but it could’ve been better. The gravitas of previous issues melts away to pave the path for the marketing of the next wave of titles. More like a preview of what’s next rather than what now, it reveals far too much. The ending is fine, but the battle scene could’ve been extended and the bits with Lobo and Killer Frost reserved for one-shots or Justice League of America. Do we really need such heavy exposition all the time?
Nonetheless, the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad storyline succeeded in what it set out to do. It established the new Justice League of America, reintroduced older DC characters, and reinforced something I first mentioned in issue three’s review: Amanda Waller as the true badass. Forget Luthor, Joker or Darkseid; everyone needs to fear Waller. She’s a dastardly but oh so brilliant lady, who made Batman admit he’s wrong. Now that’s something we don’t see too often.
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad concludes on a satisfactory note, but could've achieved much more if it hadn't been so focused on being the set-up for Justice League of America.