Convergence: Suicide Squad #1 “When Kingdoms Fall”
Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Tom Mandrake
This issue isn’t perfect, but it’s soooo much better than what we’ve been getting with New Suicide Squad! That creative team could definitely take some pointers from this team… Starting with how this book opened. If you ever want to instantly grab an audience’s attention, just do this:
Now, I’ll be honest, this method usually doesn’t work because we tend to know that the person whose life is in question will end up being fine. But in this situation, I’m honestly not sure if Amanda Waller is going to be ok… and right away, questions start developing. “Was that second shot a kill shot?” “Was that second shot even pointed at her?” “Am I getting faked out right now?” “Is this part of some plan of Waller’s?” I honestly don’t know what to think, and that immediately puts me in the mindset that anything can happen.
Staying true to its trend, this issue is told in the form of a flashback, showcasing what life is like in the dome for characters from pre-Zero Hour. Deadshot and Captain Boomerang are having dinner with Toyman, discussing a deal to kill Superman. And now that all of the heroes and villains have lost their powers, these two are much more dangerous than they used to be. But as we all know, that dome is coming down, and the moment it does, everything changes.
Deadshot’s action upon this discovery is a big reason why I really enjoyed this issue. The moment the dome comes down, he knows that the heroes will get their strength back, and immediately shoots Toyman to ensure he still gets his money. It’s dark, gritty, and contains the edge that’s been missing from New Suicide Squad.
The rest of the issue is a combination of setting up the plot that will lead us to where this issue started, and introducing us to Waller’s squad. With heroes from the Kingdom Come universe selected as their challengers, General Lane plans to take out Green Lantern and New Oa. To do this, he assigns Waller to make it happen. She assembles her standard team: Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Count Vertigo, Poison Ivy, and Bronze Tiger. But she has some tricks up her sleeve that she knows she’ll need. In addition to her standard team, she also has some secret back-up in Bane, Black Manta, and Deathstroke – all of them extremely lethal. But that’s not the only contingency plan Waller has. There are two other lethal threats at her disposal, as well as some alliances that might end up harming her rather than work in her favor… especially considering that one of her allies has developed a contact form Kingdom Come’s world. Out of all the fights that are to come, I think I’m most excited to see this one.
Continue reading at your own risk, there are spoilers below.
The Art: I really enjoyed Mandrake’s art. In my opinion, he was the perfect person for this issue, and his style really felt like a throwback to when Zero Hour was current. It just has that 80’s/90’s feel to it, and I really enjoyed the approach. Was his art perfect? No. There were definitely some inconsistencies, especially with faces, but it wasn’t anything overly drastic. Ultimately, I felt it was both his style and his “flaws” that made this issue look as good as it did.
If you want to check out some of his internal art, take a peek into the spoiler tags.
The Good: Amanda Waller. I really enjoyed this interpretation of Amanda Waller, and it’s because she’s a strong character here. And that’s not to say that the Waller we’re getting in New Suicide Squad at the moment isn’t strong, it’s just that they’re different. So many females that are written today are labeled as strong because they stand up to men, and tend to have snarky/ bitchy remarks and attitudes. To me, this isn’t really a strong female… it’s just a woman with a sharp tongue and an attitude. The Amanda Waller featured here, however, is a strong woman in my opinion. She takes whatever situation she’s given, is confident in her abilities, and delivers results without it being a huge, dramatic ordeal. Strong. Female.
The Grit. There were a few moments in this book that really capitalized on the notion of creating a sense of suspense because anything could happen. I’ve already mentioned Waller getting “killed” and Deadshot unexpectedly shooting Toyman, but there were a few other instances. One was Deadshot shooting the glass where Waller was standing while she was looking in on her squad, and the other was Oracle (yes, Barbara), speaking to her mole from the Kingdom Come universe – Lex Luthor. I can’t help but feel that this is the tone that the current title should carry. There was a sense of danger to this book, and I really enjoyed it.
The Mystery. I genuinely have no clue who shot Waller. The obvious guess would be Deadshot, but I feel like that’s too obvious. I kept thinking he was the culprit while reading, but the further I got into the issue, more suspects started to present themselves. I’m hoping the reveal – despite how it plays out – is done well.
The Bad: Knowledge of Green Lantern. When Waller met with General Lane, he briefed her on Kingdom Come’s Green Lantern. The strange thing was that there was video footage of that world’s Justice League, Green Lantern, and New Oa. It really bothered me because it didn’t make sense. Unless I’ve missed something, each of these worlds didn’t know that the other worlds existed, and this looks like intel that would’ve needed to have been gathered over a period of time… not in the short span of the dome coming down.
- You’ve missed a sense of danger in Suicide Squad
- You want to read an intimidating Amanda Waller.
- You’re determined to read all of the Convergence titles.
Overall: Despite being better than nearly anything from the most recent Suicide Squad titles, Convergence: Suicide Squad is far from perfect. Ultimately, the pros greatly outweigh the cons, making this issue a must-read for any fan of Amanda Waller and her team of degenerates!