[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artists: Brent Peeples, Richard Friend, Hi-FI
Equilibrium picks up where the previous left off, with the Suicide Squad standing over Emperor Superman’s lifeless body after having impaled him on a kryptonite sword. Before Kenan can stop her, Harley jumps on the attack and nearly impales a second Superman that day.
Before the job is finished though, August General in Iron jumped in and pulled the sword wielding psycho off of him. Not long after Dr. Oman and General Flying Dragon (Kenan’s Dad) return with the other members of the Justice League of China to stop the China White Triad and Suicide Squad from killing everyone.
Meanwhile, Master I-Ching and his literal evil twin brother duel it out in the realm of What Is and What Is Not.
In a last ditch effort to turn the tide, the Evil I-Ching infuses the slain Emperor Superman with power causing him to rise and fight on. Focusing all his might and Qi into his fists, Kenan deals a decisive blow to the new monstrosity but not before it lands an equally devastating strike.
Readers who appreciate political science and politics in general will like the not so subtle political statements and events that occur in this issue. Gene Leun Yang continually mentions the differences in political beliefs between people in China and the Western World. With the reveals in this issue and how it changes Kenan’s story personally, with the resurrection of his not so dead father and return of his mother, there is a similarly large reveal for the comic itself.
The changing political beliefs of some Chinese who want to take on the ways of the west, through their superheroes and their ideology, combat against the traditional Chinese political views and those who support it. This is summed up in a literal way when the fighting between the Justice League of China must do battle with the Suicide Squad. Kenan is also put in the centre stage of this physical and ideological conflict because he shares some of this father’s beliefs, is powered by his mother and the traditional Chinese politics, as well as having his own. Interestingly his powers take a more overt Chinese aspect. All of this puts a large and sometimes rather violent target on him and will allow him to have great sway among his comrades in the future.
There is also an awesome two-page splash page, which is in fact more of a flowing sequence than a static shot due to the Chinese Flash blazing thought it. It is a pleasure to see, especially if the reader isn’t looking for it.
Because of the way this issue ends the Suicide Squad’s appearance in this and the previous issue is flimsy at best and comes off as cheap. As though it was being used as a tool to get more people reading than to add to the issue. This issue truly doesn’t need the support given the flashy action, fun characters, and frankly diverse political message.
This issue is a breeze to read through, it conveys it’s plot in a simple manner and allows events to unfold without bogging down the reader by having an awkward pace.