Convergence: Suicide Squad #2 “When Kingdoms Fall”
Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Tom Mandrake
Colors by Sian Mandrake

I was pleasantly surprised at how good last month’s issue of Convergence Suicide Squad was. I think the quality of this title over the past few years has been so poor that it’s inadvertently created a stigma. Suicide Squad and “bad” just seem to go hand in hand now. For all extensive purposes that shouldn’t be the case, but unfortunately, it’s the reality. So I open up Convergence Suicide Squad #1, and imagine my joy to dive into a an intriguing Convergence tie-in; one with well developed, complex characters – especially Amanda Waller – an edge and brutality that has been curiously absent from the other tie-ins, and art that stylistically looks like a throwback to the “good ol’ days!” All I could think was, “Why can’t New Suicide Squad be this good?”

For the convergence, Amanda Waller is summoned to round up Task Force X, and challenge Green Lantern from the Kingdom Come universe. With the fate of her world in her hands, she goes above and beyond to prepare herself for the worst by assembling the worst Metropolis has to offer. The squad’s roster is essentially a who’s who of death dealers in the DC Universe. But naturally, with alliances such as these, vengeance runs high, and betrayal is almost guaranteed. With the Lex Luther from the Kingdom Come universe already betraying his world as the ultimate coup, we discover that Waller has been betrayed as well – though it’s unclear by who – and is left to bleed out on the ground after getting shot.

This issue kicks off by throwing us right into the action, with Waller on the offensive taking lethal force. I was slightly confused for a moment, because I thought this was taking place after Waller had been shot, but then I realized that it was the beginning of the fight. There are a handful of flashbacks thrown in of the squad’s preparation leading up to the battle. Each one setting the stage, in one way or another, to hint at a character possibly betraying Waller. And with that seed planted, my mind started processing the different possibilities of what was to come.

The theme of betrayal continues with Lex Luther. He’s guiding the team to New Oa, but his trust hasn’t been earned yet. If he can turn on his home world so easily, how can Waller and team expect him to not do the same to them? Sensing this, he begins to openly discuss their uneasiness towards him. He even goes as far to toy with them, proclaiming that he’s leading them into a trap, before challenging them to make a decision about his intentions, because their time is almost up.

Once the team arrives at New Oa to challenge Green Lantern, they suddenly realize the fight ahead of them will be a war. All of the members of Kingdom Come’s Justice League are waiting to confront the Suicide Squad, and it immediately turns into an all-out brawl, with neither side paying much regard to to other team. While the fight is brutal, we don’t get to see much of it. There’s simply too much to cover, and not enough pages to fully expand on the story. Unfortunately, this also means that numerous characters are left with hardly any exposure. While it was handled fairly well, I wish there would’ve been another two issues at least so we could get a nice moment from each of the supporting characters. Despite that, the story itself didn’t feel like it was lacking anything, and came racing to a conclusion with the reveal of who betrayed Waller, as shocking decisions are made to end this battle once and for all!

Continue reading at your own risk, there are spoilers below.

The Art: Stylistically, I really like Mandrake’s art. I feel like it’s a respectable nod to what the art looked like back in the 80’s. I’m not sure I would want to see this style of art in a current title because I’ve become spoiled with the work of such amazing artists, but it is enjoyable. There’s also a grittiness to the book that helps give the narrative a little weight, aiding the complexities of these characters by giving their physical appearance as much texture as their personalities.

Check out the spoiler tag for a sample of some of the internal art.

Spoiler

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The Good:

Amanda Waller. Sometimes I forget how much of a badass Waller used to be. While the character now has different shades of intrigue in the current continuity, this interpretation is what I hold firm to be the true Amanda Waller. And just so we’re clear, this Waller would mop the floor with our current cannon’s Waller.

Betrayal. I loved the whole theme concerning betrayal. If there’s anything that can be said about these people, it’s that there’s no loyalty or integrity. It was like someone was turning on their team every three pages or so, and I thought it was fantastic! It felt true to the characters, and it kept you on your toes the entire time you were reading the book.

War. This is the first time that I actually felt like people were at war with one another and fighting for survival within Convergence. We may have only gotten one panel or so of each of the characters actually fighting, but what we did get was damn good! I mean, come on! Black Manta impaled a guy! Boomerang shoots Waller! And to top it off, Waller becomes a suicide bomber, literally killing everyone on her team, as well as the inhabitants fighting from Kingdom Come’s reality, to ensure she protects her home! That’s freaking intense!

The Bad:

I want more! So much happens within these two issues, that it really feels like this story should’ve been spread across four to six issues total. The book practically had an a-list roster, and none of them ever had a moment to shine, aside from Waller. Even if I didn’t need more for the plot, it felt like a wasted opportunity!

Recommended if:

  • You’re a fan of the classic Suicide Squad.
  • A bunch of villains coming together has your name written all over it.
  • You want to read a Convergence title that feels as dangerous as a world full of cities attempting to murder each other should feel. 

Overall: With moral ambiguity and numerous selfish and selfless acts, Convergence Suicide Squad delivers a product that you wish you could delve into each month!

SCORE: 8.0 /10