[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Rob Williams
Artists: Jim Lee (Story 1), Gary Frank (Story 2)
Inkers: Scott Williams, Sandra Hope, Jonathan Glapion and Trevor Scott (Story 1), Brad Anderson (Story 2)
In story one, the team has a lot going on. They are in an ocean prison fighting a Kryptonian and the Russian version of the Suicide Squad. Harley can speak Russian (at least some key phrases). Zod is angry. The Annihilation Brigade is pretty vicious. Boomerang is still dead. Hack’s name is absurdly appropriate. Killer Croc is kind of a nice guy. Whew. All of that packed into a few pages.
In story two, Flag and Harley go on a mission together so Flag can test Harley’s loyalties. He decides to bring a few of his troops for back up. That might be a mistake. Why? Well, there is a plane filled with chainsaws and Joker toxins. What could go wrong?
There is a Russian version of the Suicide Squad! As shocking as that is, it kind of makes perfect sense. If we have a Waller, of course the other governments around the world have a Waller. Interestingly enough, Waller seems a bit surprised by the news but the mysterious Harcourt seems to be taking it in stride. Who the hell is she? Why is she really there? Will Waller have to take her out? These are all great questions and Rob Williams has the reader wondering. The magic thing about Williams is his ability to keep pulling back another layer to these characters. Remember, they are the bad guys. They are killers. They are totally crazy and yet, each time something happens, we care. We think about them long after we stop reading. It is really is a testament to Williams’ writing skills.
The second story, which is drawn beautifully by Gary Frank, really touches an emotional nerve. We are reminded that Harley is actually a medical doctor. She is always the smartest person in the room. She says,
“Hey Flag, do you ever stop and wonder if the entire world’s economy is actually a fictional construct created to control us…”
That is a lot to digest. That is pretty thoughtful. I do think that, Harley. Wow. Then, Williams reminds us she is also the craziest person in the room as she finishes with,
“…also if your brain tastes of boogers?”
Oh yeah, she has a lot of conversations with the Joker, who is not actually there. So there is that bag of crazy too.
Knock Knock. Who’s there? JIM LEE!
He drops this amazing cover on us and then brings his genius to the chaos of a three-sided battle. There is a lot of blood splatters in this book. I think I got some on me. Lasers blast and bullets fly. It is intense and it is amazing. However, all of that notwithstanding, there is a close up of that group of Russian baddies and one of them, called Cosmonut, had a head shaped like a rock hammer. That in and of itself is kind of cool, but there is a face on the face of the hammer and it is pretty frightening. Jim Lee ladies and gentleman. Jim. Lee.
Hmm. What could I say that is bad about this issue? Not much really. Harcourt has been gone for a few issues and suddenly she is there again. Where was she? That really doesn’t make much sense. Boomerang is still dead. I am not super thrilled with that choice. He is the only member of the team who is genuinely funny besides Harley. Without him, that banter is missing.
Williams and Lee. Dream Team. Williams and whomever he brings in for each back story, pretty impressive. The causal Ramones mentions with the title of each main story has been pretty awesome too. Read this book. You will be overwhelmed with awesome.