Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #4

by John White on January 11, 2017

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Fernando Pasarin
Colored by: Alex Sinclair with Jeremiah Skipper
Publisher: DC Comics

Things finally come to a head in Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #4 as Max Lord leads the original Suicide Squad into Belle Reve with the goal of destroying Amanda Waller and retrieving a mysterious item that could provide Lord with all the power he needs to control the world. This issue in non-stop action with just enough twists and turns thrown in to keep readers on their toes as well as to move the plot along, always building towards a conclusion that sets the stage for the final two issues. In a series that has been full of surprises, Joshua Williamson proves that he has more to come with a final page that sets up a deadly confrontation that could shake the foundations of the entire DC Universe.

The issue starts out with a bang as Max Lord and his gang of villains shatter the walls of Belle Reve penitentiary. Faced with the combined forces of the Justice League and the Suicide Squad, Lord does not so much as bat an eyelash. Displaying is trademark confidence and arrogance, he merely politely asks Superman to “float aside” so he can take care of what he came to do. Of course, that was never going to happen and not even one panel later, the teams are at each others’ throats and Max Lord has the distraction he needs to retrieve the item from the depths of Belle Reve.

As Max journeys deeper, the rest of the major players are engaged in heated battles. This series has never lacked anything in the excitement category but it is a testament to Joshua Williamson’s skills as a writer that he never misses an opportunity to build upon these characters or reveal a bit of mystery by sandwiching them in between the punches and the gunshots. In only a few panels he is able to establish a mysterious connection between the Emerald Eye and Jessica Cruz, a conflict within Rustam as he considers himself a good man yet fights along side true villains in the pursuit of what he believes to be justice, as well as the true motivation behind Max Lord’s entire plan. Although many may have already predicted what the secret item in the heart of Belle Reve was, it does not lessen the shock of seeing the most manipulative man in the DC universe finally getting his hands on it.

In passing the halfway point of this limited series there are no signs that it is getting close to slowing down. Joshua Williamson continues to raise the bar for exciting stories with each issue. Fernando Pasarin’s art in this issue makes the energy of the story nearly tangible and elevates the story beyond the narrative. With only two issues remaining it is too early to say whether or not Justice League vs. Suicide Squad will become a classic story, but there is not doubt that it is one of the most entertaining that DC has put out in years.

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