REVIEW: ‘War for Earth-3,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

War for Earth-3 #1 - But Why Tho

War for Earth-3 #1 is part one of a limited series published by DC Comics. Written by Robbie Thompson and Dennis Hopeless, art by Steve Pugh, Dexter Soy and Brent Peeples, colours by Matt Herms, and letters by Josh Reed, Travis Lanham, and Simon Bowland.

Earth-3 is the home of the Crime Syndicate, a more brutal and villainous version of the Justice League. Amanda Waller invades the new world with an army of her Suicide Squad members, declaring war on the Syndicate. And elsewhere, a freed group of Waller’s soldiers fight a Clayface monster.

The first thing that should be noted about the plot of this issue is the sheer scale of the travel and the potential playing field. This is a multiversal story, taking place on Earth-3 using snippets from other worlds as an aside. Whilst the bulk of the plot happens on the Crime Syndicate’s planets, there are pieces that focus outside of it. There is also a big wall of previous events that cannot be ignored. It is not essential to the enjoyment of the issue, but this is a successor to both the Crime Syndicate comic and the Suicide Squad series. References to the two comics are helpful, but perhaps a recap page would also have aided newcomers.

War for Earth-3 #1 is big. It’s a massive, extended edition of a normal comic and both Hopeless and Thompson make use of every page. When Waller enters Earth-3, what follows is a series of waves. Each member of the Crime Syndicate approaches the Squad in the only way they know how, leading to explosive encounters. The structure is very exciting and fun as the situation gets more ridiculous. And then Rick Flag’s squadron are in a battle of their own, showcasing an action-packed first half to the limited series. These are two groups that revel in violence and aggression, so the tone even matches the chaos of the two worlds. The reveal is a big surprise and leads to some terrifying possibilities.

This is a comic with an enormous cast. Waller brings with her the largest Suicide Squad to date including multiversal versions of beloved heroes and villains. They land on an Earth with its own dysfunctional family. And then there is Rick Flag and his gang of rebels. A reader could easily get bewildered by the sheer amount of bodies. But not all of those bodies will remain alive for very long, as all of those characters result in a lot of cannon fodder. It ould be as to become desensitised then, but the writers ensure that every death and serious injury carries weight with it.

The dialogue is fantastic because Thompson and Hopeless honour the voices that the writers gave these characters, in particular the Crime Syndicate, whilst lacing the conversations with their own spin. There is a beautiful layering of the different worlds. Characters like Ultraman, Owlman and Superwoman have this utterly insane but desperately funny mannerism. They all genuinely each other and are purely individuals. Amanda Waller is steely as ever, unphased even in the face of one of the most powerful beings in creation. And over the top of Rick Flag and his team’s battle, Ambush Bug brings a fourth-wall-breaking commentary.

Understandably, the art is split between three creators. With the incredible size of the comic and the enormity of the scale of what’s inside of it, it makes sense for the weight to be separated. All three artists do an amazing job capturing the carnage that unfolds. There is a rough, unclean element to the entire book as none of the battles are pretty. However, it is always clear, especially when the creators want you to pay attention. There is impeccable detail thrown into every single individual involved in the battle, with care taken for every single character. The fights are superb, violent without being overly gory. The immense power that all of the fighters possess is accentuates the blurred motion lines and the send of impact. And the instability of the Crime Syndicate is depicted in their facial expressions.

The colourist remains the same throughout the comic. Herms brings consistency for the whole issue but can adjust slightly to fit the style of the individual line artist. Everything is slightly muted due to the dark nature of Earth-3, even for characters that usually possess brighter shades. The specific details that the artists implement for the various characters are equally presented by the colours. The lettering has a dynamic font that powers the excitement of the dialogue.

War for Earth-3 #1 is an explosive continuation of multiple ideas. With both the Crime Syndicate and Suicide Squad books flowing into this larger river, this comic is the result of the collision course the groups have been set on. Hopeless and Thompson script a heavy metal comic that delights in devastation, with the artists gloriously fuelling the fire.

War for Earth-3 #1 is available where comics are sold.


War for Earth-3 #1
4

TL;DR

War for Earth-3 #1 is an explosive continuation of multiple ideas. With both the Crime Syndicate and Suicide Squad books flowing into this larger river, this comic is the result of the collision course the groups have been set on. Hopeless and Thompson script a heavy metal comic that delights in devastation, with the artists gloriously fuelling the fire.