3 months after its June launch, with a legitimately incredible 12 million comics sold, DC's Rebirth "initiative" (don't call it a relaunch) has established itself as the best thing to happen to DC Comics in a very long time. Think of it less as a return to square one, more a return to form, particularly for fan favorites like Batman, Green Arrow and Wonder Woman.
The Justice League Rebirth line has the feel of a new classic, and at the tail end of this year, the League will go against an opponent some readers might find themselves rooting for: the Suicide Squad. As the first major Rebirth crossover event, Justice League vs Suicide Squad will span six issues and four further tie-ins, but it also raises the prospect of something potentially even more exciting — a movie.
I know, I know: DC Comics and the DCEU are separate beasts, and when it comes to movies, the studio already has a pretty full plate for the next four years — but the idea of pitting Earth's greatest heroes against Amanda Waller's morally-bankrupt Task Force X feels like a delicious enough concept to justify making a movie.
So, allow me to present a few arguments for a Justice League vs Suicide Squad big-screen adventure — and, for the sake of playing devil's advocate, a few reasons why it could be a car crash.
Why A Justice League vs Suicide Squad Movie Might Work...
The Justice League and the Suicide Squad are natural rivals. Unlike, say, Batman v Superman, this movie wouldn't struggle to find a story in which the two opposing parties are drawn into an ideological clash, and decide a fight is the only way to settle the matter. Captain Boomerang is one of 's most notorious rogues, while the DCEU has already established that Deadshot really, really hates Batman. He wouldn't need much persuading to put the Caped Crusader in his targets.
Even as Marvel enters Phase 3 and the DCEU begins its rapid expansion, so far no superhero movie has pitted a team of heroes against a team of anti-heroes or straight-up villains. That's a pretty unique concept, and the fact that the Suicide Squad are pretty popular already means there'd be a big divide in who the audience actually find themselves rooting for (as was also the case in Civil War).
For more DCEU insanity:
- 'Justice League vs Suicide Squad': Who Will Win?
- 6 Heroes Who Could Transform The DCEU, From Harley Quinn To Constantine
- 'Dark Universe' To 'The Batman': Every DCEU Movie On The Way By 2020
Speaking of Civil War, the biggest superhero movie of 2016 stands as proof that it's possible to translate a multi-issue comic book crossover event from page to screen, and for it to work out pretty well. I wouldn't dare suggest DC try to make a movie out of, say, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and it's true that Marvel completely retooled the Civil War comic saga, toying with motivations and removing several major players altogether — but if comic book readers buy into the idea of these two teams facing off (and they will), it's only logical for the DCEU to try and take advantage of that.
...And Why It Might Not
Let's be real, though: the DCEU is still embryonic. Some critics continue to argue that it needs "saving," despite the financial success of all three movies so far, and it's difficult to deny that, quality-wise, the universe is off to a rocky start.
The very premise of the comic also presents a problem: In Justice League vs Suicide Squad, the League discover the existence of Task Force X, and the threat of being exposed is completely at odds with the Squad's modus operandi — to operate in the shadows as a covert task force. If a team v team movie exposes the Squad to the wider universe, aren't they effectively done? Waller's bad guys can't operate above the law, seeing as all are criminals and the politicians of the wider world would never willingly allow a bunch of criminals and killers to run loose in Gotham or Metropolis.
And then you're faced with the fact that, individually and collectively, the Justice League are infinitely more powerful than the Suicide Squad. Half of Task Force X aren't even metahumans (one of the big problems with the movie's main concept), and Harley Quinn armed with only a baseball bat is no match for Wonder Woman's lasso of truth. Should the DCEU add Martian Manhunter into the mix, sending Quinn and co. into battle with the League really would be the mother of all suicide missions.
The Final Word
On balance, while a heroes v villains movie could be an absolute — especially with both teams soon to be firmly established and the Justice League at the very core of the DCEU — this is a cinematic universe which needs to learn to walk before it can run. What works on the page doesn't always work on the screen, as typified by David Ayer's struggle to make a coherent movie out of Suicide Squad. Although they could, should and most likely will cross paths multiple times across the spine of the DCEU, it's hard to shake the idea that the world's greatest and most powerful superheroes would make horribly easy work of Amanda Waller's under-powered villains.
One thing's for sure: Justice League vs Suicide Squad is guaranteed to go down as a must-read comic in the young but thrillingly adventurous life of DC Rebirth. Check out the two teams going at it above, and don't miss the prelude in Suicide Squad #8, followed by the main event in Justice League vs Suicide Squad #1. The saga begins December.
Should DC turn their event comic into a movie, or is that asking for trouble?