Last week, Eclipso emerged from Max Lord, ready to shroud the world in everlasting darkness. This week, in the sixth and final chapter of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Batman and the few unaffected stage a last-ditch effort to bring Eclipso down and save the world. It ends here—for better or for worse.
This event kicked off with a fat stack of pages drawn by Jason Fabok—perhaps the most technically-able artist in the DC camp. The following issue featured the work of DC living legend Tony Daniel, whose output for this event was the best it’s been in recent memory. And then, with the third chapter, the quality of finish took a sharp dive. There was a slight uptick last week, but the chasm remained huge.
While Howard Porter does not play in quite the same pool as Fabok and Daniel, I like his work quite a bit in this final installment, and I think it attains to a level of quality that can better stand beside those first two. For the first time in a month, JLVSS looks like something worth considering. Sure, there are some weird faces at times (more than once for Killer Frost), and a few ambiguous panels, but these become minor gripes against a largely decent performance.
Williamson, for his part, continues to bring the humor, especially through Captain Boomerang, who twice had me in stitches. Lobo helps out in the laughs department, as well, but more because of very Lobo-like dialogue than from any special craft on Williamson’s part.
We also see a few strong dramatic beats. The imminent Justice League of America makes it plain where Frost’s arc is headed, but Williamson gives her a poignant role in the finale’s events, and her transition to the JLA not only feels natural, but also desirable. The baggage that she and others will bring to Batman’s alternate team should make for some excellent character drama—drama, I imagine, that will have more in common with Bat-family struggles than with anything we’ve seen in Justice League in the past six years.
Or for worse…
Unfortunately (there had to be one), there are some serious problems here. Some of the dialogue is still downright terrible. Frost talks about her powers like she’s writing her own wiki, and Eclipso and his super-drones drip with excessive drama when they open their mouths. And while I’m ripping on the evil nymph from the Heart of Darkness, how lame a final confrontation? I predicted last week that his late entrance would make him feel like an illegitimate threat if he was taken down too quickly, and that’s exactly what happens. He brain-scrambles a few more folks and then gets beaten pretty fast—a little past the halfway point. We need more time to see the world in the balance, because what we’ve been given makes the conflict feel too localized and Eclipso too easy to take down.
And what about this?
Maybe I’m dense, but I don’t think the value of Task Force X has been demonstrated in any way that would be convincing to Bats. Feel free to educate me in the comments, because I just can’t see it.
- You think this event is the tops.
- You don’t come to comics expecting dialogue that reads like natural speech.
- You forgot what Killer Frost’s powers were and would benefit from a reminder or twelve.
At its best, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad has been funny and action-packed. At its worst, it’s been face down in a sloppy muck of awful dialogue and unimpressive artwork. This final installment thankfully looks good, and features some nice humor and gravity here and there, but it gets weighed down considerably under Williamson’s poorly-constructed speech and nonsensical plot points. If you’ve been collecting these and want to complete your set, you’ll probably buy this whether I tell you to or not. But if you’ve been on the fence, jump off on the clean side, and wait until you can read this, collected and cheap, in the future.