Superhero publishers forever repeat the same mistake. Millions of people around the world watched the Suicide Squad movie in 2021, while let’s estimate the regular buyers of the Suicide Squad comic and collections to be in the mid tens of thousands. That’s the captured market. So what do prospective new readers who enjoyed the film find when they pick up the first new Suicide Squad graphic novel after the film? They’re confronted with two chapters of crossover project Future State starring the Suicide Squad of an alternate world in a nonsensical story unattractively drawn by Javier Fernandez. Peacemaker features, but there’s no Deadshot, there’s no Harley Quinn and there’s no Killer Shark. It’s like turning up to a party and being punched in the face. Are they likely to come back for more?

At least Robbie Thompson is better when writing the regular chapters, but Peacemaker and Amanda Waller remain the only connections to the film. Thompson adds the Conner Kent version of Superboy, Talon and several villains so obscure they don’t make the d-list. Cannon fodder ahoy!

Some things will be very familiar. Waller is deceitful, manipulative and unconcerned about anyone standing in the way of her skewed and individual form of justice, which isn’t too far removed from Peacemaker’s insanity. This isn’t quite the goon Peacemaker of film and TV show. The screwiness is there, but he’s far more capable, as might be expected from someone with both military and diplomatic training. Few other characters are developed to any significant degree and act within limited parameters, but when Thompson’s on form, such as a chapter featuring the mysterious Red X, the fun is had.

Eduardo Pansica is the primary artist, and has a sense of violent dynamism that provides the action smoothly, and he’s no slacker when it comes to filling the pages with people. Dexter Soy looks to have drawn his first set of pages in a rush, but those ending the collection are far more accomplished, while Joe Prado contributes some pages drawn over Pansica’s layouts.

The broad plot is that Waller has discovered the Multiverse, but to her alternate Earths are only opportunities for abducting the super powered and press-ganging them into the Suicide Squad. As with other members, co-operation is ensured by the implanting of a small device with which Waller can explode the head of any member.

Get past the dreary Future State chapters and Give Peace a Chance is a better than average collection, with Thompson having a good handle on the action and on perpetuating a mystery. There’s a cliffhanger ending, and matters pick up again in Ambushed.