With DC's first big Rebirth event featuring Justice League vs. Suicide Squad hitting in December, we took advantage of our interview time with writer Joshua Williamson (The Flash, Frostbite) during New York Comic Con to pry as many details out of him as possible. He resisted as best he could, and while his fortitude was admirable, we did manage to get a few tidbits out of him.
It’s Going to Be Bloody
"There's a scene between Killer Croc and Aquaman that has so much blood in it. So much blood. Lot of blood,” Williamson said. “For me, I write a lot of horror books, but writing for DC and writing The Flash I can't get into as much horror stuff as I used to, but with Justice League vs. Suicide Squad I've definitely been able to get into some of the more scary elements of the DC Universe. And there's some fights and some bloody stuff that happens. I think people will be surprised by how crazy things get."
Someone Goes Boom
That’s all Williamson had to say on this one. "Someone goes boom." It’s an interesting choice of words for a couple reasons.
Obviously it sounds like someone is going to explode (and presumably die). Given that this is a war between two super-powered teams, and some among them are villains and killers, that’s not much of a surprise.
But the word “boom” could be a hint at Suicide Squad’s Captain Boomerang. However, to discuss this next point you should beware of spoilers for Suicide Squad #2.
The final page of Suicide Squad #2 saw General Zod make a surprise appearance through a portal to the Phantom Zone. When he came through, the first thing he did was blast Boomer with his heat vision, killing him and leaving only two toasty boots behind.
That’s why we were surprised to see that Boomer on the cover to Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 (on the right fighting Flash).
It seems as though he somehow comes back to life between now and the start of the event. We’ll have to wait until then to see exactly what going “boom” means.
Killer Frost Switches Teams
Earlier this week we got news that Killer Frost will be on the new Justice League of America roster when the new comic series launches next year. But when this event starts, she’ll be on the Suicide Squad. Williamson told us that how she goes from the team of villains to the team of heroes is a big part of the story.
It’s also worth noting that Killer Frost has long been a C-list villain, only occasionally popping up in stories and never making much of an impact. But in recent years between appearing as a playable character in the Injustice: Gods Among Us fighting game and as scientist Caitlin Snow on The Flash TV show, her profile has been raised substantially.
On the show, she’s a normal woman working alongside Flash as a force for good, but on the alternate Earth-2, she’s the ice-powered villainess we know from the comics. Perhaps Justice League vs. Suicide Squad will reconcile her two different interpretations and by bringing her over to the side of the good guys.
That Batman/Harley Image Contains Clues
While the event is titled Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, we know a third team shows up that is a huge threat, forcing the two groups to work together to defeat a common enemy. If you look at the teaser image by artist Jason Fabok, Batman and Harley Quinn are clearly teamed up facing an unknown foe.
What’s most interesting (and fun) about the cover is that Batman and Harley are wearing weapons and gear that belong to the opposite team’s members. Williamson said that’s hinting thematically at what happens in the story.
“The Justice League will have their powers used against them in interesting ways,” Williamson teased. “There was a lot stuff I was worried DC wouldn't let me do because I really was trying to push some of the ideas and do something different with them. I was worried DC was going to say 'That's too far' or 'That's too cruel' or 'That's too much.' There was even one moment where they said it was too sadistic, and I was like, 'Isn't that a good thing?' and they let me do it.”
Characters Are Coming Back
“If you are a fan of DC Comics, you're going to be surprised by some of the characters in this book. There's going to be some surprises about some people we bring back during this. People are coming back,” Williamson said.
We’re already betting that the mysterious third team is going to bring back some old, surprising faces, but who else could Williamson be hinting at? There’s a ton of characters, both heroes and villains, who have yet to reappear in DC’s Rebirth relaunch, so it’s anyone’s guess until the event kicks off.
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 hits on December 21 and will release on a weekly shipping schedule. It is a six issue mini-series. It will also tie into Suicide Squad #9 and #10 and Justice League #12 and #13. Justice League of America will launch in February.
Joshua is IGN’s Comics Editor. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.