The Titans have been teleported to Earth 3 to help Rick Flag’s unofficial Suicide Squad stop Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad taking over the world.
Or something. Honestly, several months into this expanded Suicide Squad storyline I’m still not sure what her point is… Waller’s decided she can’t keep her own Earth safe so she’ll protect Earth 3 instead? By invading it?
I think I know what the point of this issue is.
It’s one big battle as good guys bash bad guys and vice versa. Bad guys fight on the right side, good guys move to the bad side… it’s pretty hard to discern anyone’s motives. For example, pseudo-Superboy Match and Batman baddie Nocturna aren’t in the fight, they’re having a time-out in Hell, when Waller shows up to.
By the end of the issue they’ve joined Waller’s very own Justice League – basically the members of the Crime Syndicate who survive this issue. The reasoning is muddy.
OK, Match is a clone of Superboy Kon-El, but how is Nocturna a ‘carbon copy’? Why does Match think he can stop Waller if she oversteps the line… the woman has constantly abused him, physically and mentally. She’s murdered his colleagues. She’s invaded Earth 3, causing heaven knows how many casualties and fatalities.
How damaged do you have to be to throw your lot in with Waller when you’ve a chance to be free?
I just can’t get beyond the Waller problem. Since the beginning of the last Suicide Squad series all vestiges of the good woman willing to do bad things has gone. She’s simply rotten to the core. Every time we see her she’s committing crimes, trampling over human rights. She’s not super, but by the end of this issue she’s probably DC’s most successful villain, having invaded and take over Earth 3. She pisses off everyone she meets, including Ultraman, who for some reason doesn’t simply vaporise her the way he does most anyone else he finds annoying. I was sure the Waller we’ve been seeing would turn out to be the Earth 3 version, people on that world being more likely to be evil, but no, we’re told this is regular Waller. She just want to help.
So there’s Nightwing, defiant. Surely he’ll send the ‘Teeniest Titans’ home and stay to lead the fightback against Waller and her fellow thugs?
Nope. The good people of Earth 3 can go hang.
Ah well, at least this Nightwing is consistent with the presentation of the Titans in their ending-soon Titans Academy series – dumb and useless.
There really is no point to the Flash and Titans comics having been linked to the Earth 3 storyline – they make no useful contribution, the characters just appear in fight scenes before Waller inexplicably wins.
So, Earth 3 is sealed off from the rest of the Multiverse which would, I suppose, serve Waller’s plan to remove at least one world from the cosmic Newton’s Cradle of Crises. She’s going to rule there, with the CSA as her muscle – though what’s in this for them, I have no idea, they already ruled Earth 3.
But a page turn later brings that scene with Match and Nocturna, above, on regular DC Earth 0. They sign on with Waller’s very own Justice League – the Crime Syndicate!
What on Earths? Are the CSA happy to be cut off from the world they lorded it over so they can make another doomed-to-failure bid to take over the Justice League’s Earth? Where’s the sense in that? And again, why would they follow Waller? She’s just a bully with a mean mouth.
And yet, despite all the problems, War For Earth 3 #4 is the best of the labelled issues. (Well, it’s a pretty low bar.) It’s not a tangential affair, like the aforementioned Titans Academy and Flash, Waller’s plans are at the centre of things. And there are a couple of great moments, courtesy of writers Rob Williams and Dennis Hopeless. That ‘snogging’ dialogue is wonderful, coming from a Demon. Ultraman is nicely in line with the excellent version in last year’s excellent Crime Syndicate mini-series.
And there’s a brilliant team-up between Mirror Master and Ambush Bug – while everyone else is cowering, this odd couple combine their unique transport tricks – teleportation and Mirror Dimension manoeuvring – to neuter Earth 3’s most powerful person.
Rising star Kieran the McKeown – the Irish talent illustrated the aforementioned Crime Syndicate mini – draws most of the book, but he’s not alone.
It’s odd that Julio Ferreira has just two pages, far apart from one another – did something get changed, and new pages were swapped in? For example, The Flash issue saw Johnny Quick of the Crime Syndicate stealing the Cosmic Treadmill for Waller – it wasn’t mentioned. Whatever the case, the art throughout is really rather great – there’s no one image that stands out, but it’s good looking, and the super people look impressive enough. The big winner among the cast is Rick Flag Jr, who suddenly has the lustrous locks of a Sunsilk model.
Matt Herms and Simon Bowland do a bang-up job on the lettering and colours, while Rafa Sandoval continues the cover image that’s been on all this event’s instalments, with colours by Alex Sinclair. It’s fine.
So, what comes next? There’s a reference in the issue to Waller knowing something bad is coming – isn’t it always? – so perhaps we’ll see her Justice League Really Dark in the Dark Crisis event. ‘…Amanda Waller won’, the final phrase of this issue, surely can’t be the last words on this run of Suicide Squad.