This week the Justice League and the Suicide Squad square off, and Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’ Locke and Key returns!
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 (of 6) (DC Comics)
There’s a lot of hype surrounding Justice League vs. Suicide Squad. As the first major event of the DC Rebirth era, DC is putting out all the stops for this one. Up and coming writer Joshua Williamson is handling the script duties, and the series will host a who’s who of top DC art talent, with this first issue featuring the one and only Jason Fabok. While putting this much marketing and hype behind something is usually a recipe for failure, it’s a relief to see that that’s not the case with this opening issue.
A good portion of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad focuses on the latter team, who is currently in the middle of a mission for Amanda Waller. As with most Suicide Squad missions, things start to get out of hand, which finally brings the Justice League into the mix. Batman has recently discovered the existence of Waller’s group, and when he tells his fellow heroes of their existence, the League decides to step in and take them down. This sets the stage for a brawl in the next issue, but not before a reveal of a new team of forgotten characters lead by Maxwell Lord who will make their return known later in the series.
Joshua Williamson’s script does a great job of setting up the story for this event for both newcomers and those of us who have been reading since DC Rebirth began. Williamson brings everyone up to speed without resorting to info dumps, and his characterizations of the different members of both teams is pretty fantastic. While we don’t get a lot of information on Maxwell Lord’s group of ‘heroes”, the mystery Williamson has started here is pretty interesting.
Jason Fabok has been one of DC’s rising stars for a few years now, and I absolutely expect Justice League vs. Suicide Squad to put him into superstar status. Fabok creates images in this book that are destined to become long-standing promotional pieces and posters for DC. His clean, tight line work and detail evoke the greatest work of Jim Lee and David Finch, but unlike those two, Fabok has yet to be plagued with delays and slowdown. If you have yet to experience Fabok’s art, buckle up and get ready to be blown away.
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is off to a pretty cool start, and I’m actually excited that I have no idea where it’s going. Like Inhumans vs. X-Men last week, it’s a solid beginning, but unlike Marvel’s “versus” book, this event looks to be giving both teams even time in the spotlight. Marvel could already stand to take a page or two from DC Rebirth; hopefully Justice League vs. Suicide Squad forces them to take notice.
Locke & Key: Small Worlds #1 (IDW)
Locke and Key makes a triumphant return with Locke & Key: Small World. The latest installment in Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’ story, Small World is an entertaining one-off story that will satisfy fans of the original Locke & Key series, but will probably leave newcomers a little confused, since it’s very tied into the Locke family mythos.
Focusing on the early ancestors of the Locke family from the original series, Small World finds us meeting a Locke family that is not only in possession of the infamous keys of Keyhouse, but living with all of the benefits that they offer. Shadow creatures serve as servants and cooks, and a Miniature key is being used to full effect with the young daughter’s dollhouse. Of course, since the dollhouse is an exact replica of Keyhouse, that means that whatever happens inside of the dollhouse happens within the house when the key is being used. So when a spider accidentally makes its way into the dollhouse, it spells bad things for this generation of Lockes.
Joe Hill’s script doesn’t offer very much for crazy revelations into the main Locke and Key mythos, but that’s not what this story is about. This is a fun one-off story about one of the past generations of Lockes, and it’s really interesting to see this family using all of the Keys in a positive way, especially when we know how that will go in the modern day for the Locke family. Hill’s script bounces between a lot of the Locke family, but it shines brightest when he focuses on this generation of Locke children, a talent that Hill used to great effect in the original series.
It wouldn’t be a Locke & Key story without the incredible Gabriel Rodriguez, and luckily for us, he’s back for this story too! Rodriguez is one of comic’s most underrated artists, and it’s great to see him back again. This issue is a fantastic showcase for Rodriguez’ talents, as he gets to show off a giant spider, crazy shadow monsters, and gigantic objects crashing through walls in the house. If anything, Small World is worth the price of admission just to see Rodriguez draw all of this crazy action.
Locke & Key: Small World is a fun return to the series, but it’s over a little too soon. Once I was getting into the story it started to wrap up. In all honesty, this should’ve been a double sized issue to let us soak in the new aspects of the Keyhouse that Hill and Rodriguez were setting up. But a new installment of Locke & Key is never a bad thing, and fans of the series will love this look into Locke family history.