Last night, on my way home from work on the subway, I had the chance to finish off the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad miniseries and the first issue of the new GI Joe series. I am definitely ready for some conflict.
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad 6
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Howard Porter
The final issue of the weekly miniseries was a lot of bark and very little bite, with a whole lot of set up for the future direction of a few different books. I suppose that’s good – if you follow the threads left here, you can pick up any number of different books to see what happens. But for the most part, the issue left me feeling empty, for much of the same reasons.
The ongoing war between Max Lord’s Squad Zero – Amanda Waller’s original Suicide Squad – and the combined might of the Justice League and the current Task Force X is over. Lord has been taken over by the Eclipso entity and everyone is just trying to survive – well, the ones that haven’t been taken over by Eclipso-Lord, anyway. Yeah, the heavy hitters from all the teams involved have been compromised, leaving a very small roster of people to defend the world. Of course, when one of the heroes not taken over is Batman, Eclipso never had a chance. Bats directs Killer Frost to use the same technique she used against Superman earlier in the series to weaken Eclipso’s hold and then uses the powers of the freed heroes to break the Heart of Darkness’ hold over Lord. And then the back half of the issue is all set up.
Batman makes a deal with Amanda Waller to free Killer Frost and Max Lord has a conversation with The Wall where she reveals that Lord isn’t worthy of Task Force X, but he’d be great for Task Force XI.
Never mind that the “X” at the end of Task Force X has NEVER been used as number, but having such a direct ripoff of Marvel’s Weapon X – yes, Wolverine was supposedly (at some point in continuity) the 10th living weapon, where Captain America was the first.
So Waller is going to have a NEW Suicide Squad with Max Lord involved. Batman is kicking off a new Justice League of America with Killer Frost, Lobo and other lesser-known heroes. And the set-up is all well and good, but it really made the end of the series fall a little flat, not that it was anything mind-blowing to begin with. But at the very least, we have Max Lord back. It’s just a shame he’ll be relegated to a book I have no real desire to pick up in Suicide Squad.
GI Joe 1
Written by Aubrey Sitterson
Art by Giannis Milonogiannis
I’ve really lost count of all the times IDW has rebooted and restarted the continuity of the modern-day GI Joe series. The original “Real American Hero” is still going strong as a continuation of the old 1980s series, but the second GI Joe book has had a number of new Number 1 issues where everything is reset with a new direction.
This time around, the new number 1 – which came out last month, but I only picked up to read this week – comes out of IDW’s Revolution event, which created a shared universe with all the Hasbro toy properties that the comic book company just started. Transformers, GI Joe, ROM, MASK and others are now all together and available for crossovers that every kid growing up in the 1980s probably played out with their action figures.
We only get small references to that shared universe here (at least that I picked up, but there are a few properties I’m not familiar with), with some Cybertronian weapons being referenced and a quick appearance from Decepticon Skywarp that momentarily threw me for a loop.
I only read the first issue of the Revolution miniseries, so I will admit to being pretty lost here. But the creative team drew me back in, especially the artwork by Giannis Milonogiannis, which was not the kind of look that I was expecting in a GI Joe book. But it worked well.
The new Joe writer, Aubrey Sitterson, also did the Street Fighter vs. GI Joe miniseries last year, which never really impressed me and he continues to not really impress me here. I don’t know if it’s crossover situationality or if he’s just not my type of writer, but he didn’t really give me any reason to keep going with the book.
I’m just going to put my DVD copy of the old GI Joe The Movie and watch that while yelling at the kids to get off my lawn…