The Justice League is all over the place this week, with the weekly miniseries against the Suicide Squad continuing and a new miniseries with the Power Rangers kicking off. Superteams collide today!
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad 4
Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils by Fernando Pasarin
Inks by Matt Ryan
Another moment for this massive crossover miniseries that would have had a lot more effect had DC Comics not spoiled the story themselves a few weeks back. This issue finally reveals what, exactly, Max Lord was really after in attacking Amanda Waller at Belle Reve Prison. Revenge against Waller is secondary to Lord getting more control over the world, which is no surprise to anyone who knows his history.
As the League and the Squad join forces to fight Lord’s assembled group of supervillains – Amanda Waller’s first Suicide Squad – Lord goes deep into the prison to steal the Eclipso diamond, taking the power for himself and using it to control the Justice League, but not the Suicide Squad, which should bring us back to the “vs.” in the title next week. Before the miniseries started – already having spoiled Lord as the Big Bad, DC Comics teased Eclipso as being part of the team. Shame on them, because it was another potentially great reveal ruined by the need to market.
The issue is a good, long fight scene, as Squad Zero distracted the heroes and antiheroes long enough for Lord to get away. The most brutal part of the fight was when Batman injected Lobo with one of Waller’s brain bombs and literally blew Lobo’s head off. Nothing else has ever been able to kill him, might as well go for a Hail Mary. Or a Headless Horseman…
The book also set up a few threads for the next few months, as the Emerald Empress, one of the members of Squad Zero and trapped here from the 31st Century, tried to prevent her Emerald Eye of Ekron from being destroyed by the two rookie Green Lanterns. As she protected herself and the Eye, she made reference again to Saturn Girl, the Legion of Superheroes member who was seen briefly in both the DC Rebirth issue and in an issue of Batman, where the “I AM BANE” story kicked off. Readers who have been following along know that Saturn Girl is imprisoned at Arkham Asylum, because what else would you do with someone who claims to be from the 31st Century? That story thread will, apparently, be picked up on in Supergirl, as the editorial note in this book excitedly teased.
Business is, as they say, is about to pick up with the last two issues of the miniseries in the next two weeks, and the fourth issue was a great way to set that up. DC Comics has really done a great job here.
Justice League/Power Rangers 1
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Stephen Byrne and Eduardo Nunez
It’s the superhero team-up you didn’t know you wanted until right now! Actually, after reading the first issue, I’m still not sure if I want it, because the issue was all very much set-up to move everyone into the proper places. One of the MIghty Morphin’ Power Rangers (do they still use the Mighty Morphin’ part? I may be a bit out of touch here) gets tricked and tossed through a dimensional portal and when his colleagues come through to rescue him, they end up in a full-scale brawl with Batman. They assume this guy dressed as a 6-foot bat and beating on people is a bad guy and Batman assumes the gaudily-colored collection of costumes would also be on the wrong side of the law. Because of course.
Batman’s idea of proving himself to not be a sociopathic supercriminal is to take the Batmobile and use it to fire an explosive device at the teenaged heroes from another dimension. You’d think after ALREADY dealing with a bunch of teenaged turtles who happen to be mutant ninjas last year, he’d be a bit more understanding. But no, he wants to get all explodey.
Those are teenagers, Batman! TEENAGERS! Geez…
Bats then calls in the cavalry, because the Pink Ranger calls on a Zord to help them out, so Flash gets to witness a giant pink dinosaur swooping in and grabbing Batman AND the Batmobile. Sometimes, there are sentences you never expected to write. This is one of them.
When the Power Rangers started to become a big deal, I was already well into high school, so I missed out on the fad and, consequently, am not as well-versed with the whole MMPR universe. The first issue here, though, did a great job of making sure I knew what was going on, which was appreciated. But despite the fun moments the book had to offer, I’m still not sure I care about where it’s going, because there was way too much set-up and big, explosion-filled panels. I’ll give it one more issue before I make up my mind. If you’re a fan of both properties, though, you may find the issue to be more enjoyable than I did.