Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils by Jesus Merino, Andy Owens, Alex Sinclair with Jeremiah Skipper
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: January 4, 2017

The members of the Justice League find themselves prisoners of Amanda Waller in Belle Reve Penitentiary, as she fills them in on the crisis unfolding around them.

This issue serves as a bit of a breather following the non-stop action of the prior two issues. The Justice League are confined in Belle Reve, we see Max Lord and his team advancing their mysterious mission, and we get some exposition on the members of his team and how they came to be in Waller’s possession.

What elevates this comic above a standard bridge-and-exposition issue are the small moments and attention to detail. Waller doesn’t just walk in and explain the stakes to the captive Justice Leaguers; she waits for Batman to escape, as she knows he will, then corners him and persuades him to take her side. She then uses Batman to convince the rest of the League to help her. The issue also has a lot of well-done character moments. There’s a particularly funny bit when Captain Boomerang taunts a captive Flash, as well as a perfectly-timed comedic reaction to a revelation from Waller. The most interesting part, though, is Superman’s conversation with Killer Frost, in which he reads her hesitation in Bahdnesia as a sign of a hidden warmth within her.

There is, unfortunately, a degree of anticlimax to a lot of the proceedings. If you’ve paid any attention to DC’s publicity, you know what Max Lord’s team is seeking already. You also know that a new JLA team will be formed coming out of this event, and you know which characters are going to wind up on that team. That’s not the fault of anyone on the creative team, though, and they do a game job of building suspense and tension even over plot points a sufficiently savvy reader will already have guessed. And beyond that, this comic does an excellent job of being an entertaining read in-and-of-itself, even without the promise of mysteries to be resolved.

Jesus Merino’s art is fine. Characters are highly detailed and scenes are well-staged. It’s exactly the sort of art you would expect from an action-heavy crossover event comic; suited to the subject matter, if a little unexciting. The one standout character in the art is Lobo, who is drawn with particular careful attention paid to his wild, greasy hair and filthy affect. The colors, by Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper, match the art well. They’re perfectly competent, but with nothing especially bold or interesting.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #3 is a great continuation of the larger event, progressing the story, and giving some great character moments while introducing some new twists.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


Related posts