DC Comics' latest crossover, "Sink Atlantis," began in August 8's Suicide Sqaud #45 - and it set the stage for this underwater showdown between Task Force X and the Aquaman's heroes of Atlantis. In this week's Aquaman #39 the story continues, revealing more details on the nuclear device the Squad has snuck into the ocean capital and how Aquaman and his allies plan to stop it.
Suicide Squad writer Rob Williams (who co-writes the Aquaman issues in this crossover) spoke with Newsarama about this recently-begun event, which will lead into a "Drowned Earth" crossover with Aquaman and Justice League later this year
Newsarama: Rob, after last week’s Suicide Squad issue, there were a couple new characters who got involved with this mission. Can you talk about the reasoning for these characters in particular to be part of the mission?
Rob Williams: Well, Enchantress is dead and given the magical nature of the target here - The Silent School, an Atlantean vault containing some of the city's great magical treasures- Waller calls up two new members: Lord Satanis, a magician from another dimension with certain ego problems, and Master Jailer, a brilliant locksmith who can get them into the vault itself. They're both new to the group.
Aside from that, our core Squad cast are Harley, Deadshot, and Killer Croc. And they're being led into Atlantis by Urcell, an Atlantean defector who wants to bring down Mera's new reign.
I'm sure things will go swimmingly (pun intended).
Nrama: Ah, nice one. And they actually are swimming in this, because even though Atlantis is at the surface, much of it is still underwater. I was wondering how you’d get the whole Suicide Squad under water.
Williams: Yeah, they have to get underwater via... unusual methods. This may be the first heist ever involving a dead humpback whale as cover. And Croc can swim. But the rest of the Squad need those high-pressure suits. They've got some history though. If you're a Squad reader of long form, they broke into Temho-Metya undersea prison back in the Jim Lee/Black Vault issues.
Nrama: Well, let’s talk about the set up here. Amanda Waller sent the team on this mission, but we got a peek at the officials in Washington who don’t agree with Meddinghouse about the threat from Atlantis. What’s his motivation here, as we just found out that his “device” is actually going to cause more destruction.
Williams: Meddinghouse is Waller's superior here, and he has something of a “white whale” - another pun - obsession with Atlantis, as Dan Abnett and company previously set up in Aquaman.
He's way more hawk than dove, and he sees Atlantis rising as a major threat to the United States. The U.S. Government won't be as overtly aggressive as he wants to be, so Meddinghouse takes matters into his own hands, blackmails Waller and uses Task Force X to send Atlantis back to where he thinks it belongs - the bottom of the ocean.
Nrama: Now that the Suicide Squad have made it to Atlantis, what can readers expect from the meeting of the Suicide Squad and some of the cast of characters from Aquaman?
Williams: Punching. Magic. Magical punching. The Squad wants to detonate the magical centre of Atlantis, sinking the city. Aquaman and his team are going to try and stop them. Killer Croc vs Killer Shark. Who's going to win that?
Nrama: I think last time we talked, you said you’d known Dan Abnett before this crossover. How has it been working with him on the series?
Williams: Dan and I have known each other a while. We're both part of the UK comics scene, we've both been writing for 2000AD for years, and we've always got on. Dan was great to work with, lots of long phone conversations spitballing ideas back and forth. Both respectful of each other's characters.
Dan's a pro. He knows what he's doing. It was fun.
Nrama: As we finish up, Rob, now that your Suicide Squad run is ending with issue #50, is there anything else you're working on that you want to let readers know about?
Williams: I'm finishing up my Suicide Squad run, writing Project Superpowers for Dynamite, a long-form Judge Dredd story for 2000AD called “The Small House,” the first Roy of the Rovers young adult graphic novel launches in November. So, very busy.
And the big news for me out of Comic Con International: San Diego was the announcement that I've written the pilot episode for the new Judge Dredd: Mega-City One TV show. Couldn't be more excited about that.