This Suicide Squad has been travelling to alternate Earths, and the visit to Earth 3 ending Give Peace a Chance saw Superboy taking on Ultraman, only to be confronted with another Superboy on the final page.

Robbie Thompson plays fair by sorting that out over the opening chapter, at the same time revealing the mystery about Superboy that ran through the previous volume, while also revealing what Amanda Waller’s ultimate plan is. She wants to have her own Justice League and use it to take over another Earth. Well, who doesn’t?

Ambushed is a far more cohesive and satisfying outing than Give Peace A Chance, not least for having nothing to do with Future State. Thompson introduces a string of surprises, these including new Squad members, which keeps things fresh and unpredictable, and fast-moving was already on the agenda. The result is that for around two-thirds of the content it’s the best Suicide Squad collection for several years. And that, by the way, is even with sidelining Peacemaker for much of the time, and having almost zero relation to the Suicide Squad seen on film screens.

Eduardo Pansica shares far more of the art with Dexter Soy this time, but they work on separate story sections, and their styles are broadly compatible. Both have an eye for action, with Pansica the more exaggerated.

There is no predicting where things are heading in this bulky ten chapter book, but while it’s not the case that everything falls to pieces at the end, neither does the end match what’s come before. There are too many plates spinning, and the change of writer from Thompson to Dennis Hopeless is fatal. Hopeless goes for the loud and bombastic option, hoping no-one will notice there’s not much foundation to sustain the action. There are too many characters, and too few have any real purpose in the final accounting, plus a crossover chapter including some crucial aspects isn’t included.

Wait until the prices for used copies have dropped and pick up a cheap copy for the first half dozen chapters.