This week it’s the final round between the Suicide Squad and the Justice League, and Captain America takes on the Taskmaster!
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6 (of 6) (DC Comics)
In a lot of ways, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad has been the complete antithesis of a lot of major comic book events. It was weekly, on time, and didn’t involve a ton of crossovers with other books. In fact, if you just read the main event series, you’d be just fine. An added bonus has been the fact that the Joshua Williamson written event has been pretty fun, and featured a lot of fantastic artists on each issue (which helped the timeliness of the event). Which is why as we reach the final issue of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, I’m kind of bummed to see it go. This has been such a fun ride that it’s the only time I actually WANT an event to be given a few extra issues.
The battle against the newly resurrected Eclipso (thanks to Max Lord) has hit full force, and Batman and his makeshift Suicide Squad are no match for the possessed Justice League, who make short work of the new team. Thanks to an assist from Killer Frost, the battle is won, leading to teases of what’s to come in the DC universe: a new team of Justice League members formed by Batman, and a brand new version of the Suicide Squad entitled Task Force XI.
While you might think that the battle being over by the midway point of the issue is a problem, it actually works out in this issue’s favor. Joshua Williamson’s script balances the action and the set ups for future titles wonderfully, and the battle is even finished in a satisfying way. If Justice League vs. Suicide Squad was Wiliamson’s test for the big leagues, I’d say he passed with flying colors.
Howard Porter handles the art duties for this final issue, and while his art is a little looser than I remember it being, it’s still pretty damn solid. Porter’s action scenes are dynamic and serve the script, and he’s able to give this battle the epic scope it deserves. Like Williamson, Porter is able to balance the action and the set up moments with ease, and while the art could’ve been a little tighter, it’s still worthy of the artists who drew the earlier issues in the series.
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad was a pretty satisfying event, something that is pretty rare these days. Every major comic company could stand to learn a thing or two from this event. If this is the direction DC’s events will go in the future, we’re in for a great ride.
Captain America: Steve Rogers #10 (Marvel Comics)
Captain America: Steve Rogers has surprisingly become one of the best espionage books on the stands. The Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz series has actually been an extremely solid series (despite what the knee-jerk fans who only read the first issue say). Watching the Hydra possessed Steve Rogers become the superhero Frank Underwood of Marvel has been really cool, and this issue adds to the conspiracies surrounding the former sentinel of liberty.
One of the strongest parts of Steve Rogers has been Nick Spencer’s ability to craft a pretty interesting story with relatively little action. With Maria Hill’s termination as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., everything is moving into place for Steve Rogers’ plans for Hydra. While it’s a little strange to see Captain America kneel before the Red Skull like he’s Darth Vader addressing the Emperor, it’s been interesting watching Spencer put things in order so Rogers can assert his place of power. Spencer’s use of the rewritten history of Captain America also offers some interesting insight into the current Cap’s plans, and places an interesting spin on the events we all know.
Jesus Saiz’s art is pretty tremendous. Saiz has a great eye for detail and figure work, and he’s able to showcase the intrigue and turmoil on his character’s faces wonderfully. Like Spencer, Saiz’s depictions of the flashbacks add a lot to the current plot, and there’s a great sense of dread to his pages. I won’t be surprised if Saiz becomes one fo the next big Marvel artists.
If you gave up on Captain America: Steve Rogers after the first issue, I highly recommend that you give it another shot. Spencer has started to weave a very intricate plot, and it’s really interesting to see how Steve Rogers plots and schemes to take over Hydra from the Red Skull. While we all know the Steve will be back to his heroic ways at some point, so for now let’s just enjoy the ride.