In a move that threatens to disrupt the fabric of spacetime itself, DC Comics has released a new digital-first comic book series, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, that hits stores today. The problem: the comic is a sequel to Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, an upcoming DC animated film that won't be released until March 27th digitally and April 10th on Blu-ray.
"Our story picks up immediately after the Hell to Pay animated film, and Waller is still on a personal mission to save her soul—and she's willing to put the Suicide Squad through hell to do it," said writer Jeff Parker in a press release. "This time, the Squad goes way out of their element and around the world to face supernatural and ancient forces — and yes, Harley is in there too!"
To try to wrap our minds around this conundrum, we spoke to world-renowned continuologist, Professor Thaddeus T. Puffinbottoms.
"How can you have a sequel to something that hasn't been released yet?" Professor Puffinbottoms pondered. "It flies into the face of the entire body of knowledge assembled in the field of continuology!"
Professor Puffinbottoms explained that it's possible to release a movie or comic book, and then later release a prequel, which takes place before the original, but that it's different than releasing a sequel first and the original later.
"If that were true, this digital comic would be the original, and the upcoming animated film a prequel, but that's clearly not what the press release says," Puffinbottoms explained. "And besides, who would make an animated sequel to a digital comic anyway? None of this makes sense, and furthermore, DC's rampant abuse of continuity in this fashion — especially when you consider that the animated films take place outside of the normal continuity of comics — is completely reckless. And why are they both called Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay? DC has no idea the primal forces of nature they're playing with."
Despite the risk, DC plans to push forward, with the first of 12 chapters of Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, featuring art by Matthew Dow Smith, released today on digital comics platforms. Future chapters will feature art by Agustin Padilla, Stefano Raffaele, and Cat Staggs.
Here's a synopsis of the comic:
Amanda Waller's Task Force X has completed another mission—and in her opinion, the prize was worth the price they paid. But with the Spectre closing in to take Waller's soul, she must find a new means of escaping death. Now looking to Jason Blood as a possible ally, Waller may face a revolt from her own team for this latest addition to the Squad. Is membership in the Suicide Squad really better than imprisonment at Belle Reve?
May god have mercy on our souls.