[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Rob Williams
Artists: Jim Lee (story 1) Philip Tan (story 2)
Inkers: Scott Williams (story 1) Elmer Santos (story 2)
Once again, we get two stories here. Story one picks up the crazy action right after Boomerang is vaporized by Zod. Yep. Zod. In this story, the team has to figure out how to defeat a Kryptonian and Harley has to decide if she wants to be part of the team. Enchantress is pretty tough in this issue, but Katana is the hero. This makes sense because the second story focuses on Waller and her discussing the Soultaker and how Katana came to get it and why she volunteered to be part of Task Force X.
This just in…water is wet [Editor’s note: That phrase never gets old]. Gravity makes you fall down. Jim Lee is amazing. Seriously, Jim Freaking Lee (Do not quote me on this, but I assume that is his middle name) makes the reader feel like he or she is right in the room with the squad as they refuse to kneel before Zod. Speaking of Zod, Lee makes him so massive that when someone (hint: rhymes with “Blah-blana”) figures out how to stop him, she barely comes up to his waist. Things blow up, blood flows, bullets fly, Boomerang’s boots are still smoldering; it is impossible to see it all in one pass. I recommend you read story one, then go back and just look it over for a few hours. It will be an excellent use of your time.
Rob Williams’ dialogue is razor sharp. Flag gets zingers, Lawton gets zingers, Harley gets zingers and (gasp) Katana talks. The frenzied pace he sets with each issue keeps up here. He bends what we know about what this band of misfit toys can do. Zod can bleed?! Holy crap is that cool. Rob Williams has total control over this series and the readers should be thrilled about that. I am.
Story two is about everyone’s favorite silent assassin. She and Waller have a chat and learn that Katana really has nothing to lose. So far, all of the secret origin stories have been pretty moving, but this one is the best. Katana is hard not to like as it is and when one sees the misery of her life, she is even more likable.
Tan really does a wonderful job with this story as well. There is magic, there is action, there is pain. He captures each aspect of this. When Tatsu is forced to fight, we see how easily she becomes Katana. When she is forced to see misery, we see the anguish on her face. She is surrounded by ghosts and we feel the power emulate from them. Tan really dug deep on this and it comes out in this story.
I keep bringing this up, but the split stories are the only issue here that anyone could have. At this point, the rhythm of this format has settled in, but it can still be jarring to end so abruptly.
This book just keeps getting better. Williams is playing for keeps. This book is so fun but it has a heart and it is heartless. That is a hard thing to pull off, but it works.