Well, this looks like where the whole Suicide Squad series was going: Amanda Waller was trying to build a super team out of multiversal criminals from other Earths. Initially, she said it was to build her own Justice League, but where exactly would Waller be able to build a Justice League that could save the day using criminals from her Suicide Squad?
Earth-3, of course, where the bad guys always win. She just needs to deal with the Crime Syndicate first.
Issue: War for Earth-3 #1, May 2022
Writers: Robbie Thompson and Dennis Hopeless
Artists: Steve Pugh and Brent Peeples
The Plot: Waller invades Earth-3 with her army-sized Suicide Squad.
Commentary: Well, credit where it’s due: Waller seems to understand she can’t take down the Crime Syndicate. Not all of them anyway. She makes a big splash of invading the Metropolis of Earth-3, attracting the attention of the Crime Syndicate, but Ultraman is too interested in the fact Superwoman is screwing around with Owlman. And quite frankly, the current Suicide Squad series never quite showed just how big Waller’s current Squad is. Sure, she took Talon, Match, and Black Siren along (whether they wanted to go or not, and my guess is they didn’t), but she has a lot of recruits from a lot of the different Earths.
She basically has enough to take on the Crime Syndicate as they show up, one by one, and her people are expendable. Clearly the Syndicate isn’t used to working together, and Waller is nothing if not an good strategist. It helps that she doesn’t care how many of her people die bringing down the individual members of the Syndicate, but her real skill is knowing how to get people to do what she wants, and that more or less includes Ultraman, a guy she’s never met but still somehow has his number.
It basically means her invasion may work out better than she might have hoped, and that Rick Flag’s efforts to bring her down may be doomed to failure before he even gets there.
So why didn’t this issue work for me? I have been largely enjoying this Suicide Squad run, but this issue fell flat. The Squad Waller abandoned on Earth-8 or 9 managed to get back without any effort, Flag is in real trouble, the artwork was good…but the rest was too much, too fast. How long has Waller had a Squad that big on hand? Who were they as many of them barely registered before being taken out? I just couldn’t bring myself to really get into this. The story had been unfolding over something like 12 issues with a more deliberate pace to suddenly ratchet the pacing up to 11 with one issue for a two-part crossover that will actually be running through at least one or two more titles. Maybe it will get better, but this one just didn’t do anything for me.