Pick of the week: Aug. 31st: Justice League of America #9

Justice League of America #9

Writer/Pencils: Bryan Hitch

Inks: Daniel Henriques

Colorist: Alex Sinclair

Justice League of America (not to be confused with the current Bryan Hitch Justice League) picks up where it left off in the New 52. The reader is viewing three separate timelines at one. Past Rao on Krypton, the Flash at the Stones of Eternity (brought there after fighting the Parasite from issue 1), and the present where the Justice League of America stands over a presumably dead Superman. In the Flash timeline we see the tone going berserk “singing” that “they” have arrived. The Flash and Co. are confused as to who they are speaking of. At that time Rao arrives on the scene to announce that the Stones of Eternity have arrived, and that both sets of stones are now communicating w2ith each other. In the past timeline of Rao on Krypton, we see a Green Lantern who is being held prisoner by time traveling future Rao. Time traveling future Rao has somehow disconnected the Green Lantern from his power ring. Rao that lived during that pat timeline (keep’em straight come on) is on Green Lantern’s side after he has a philosophy battle with time traveling future Rao. Past Rao realizes the evil that he ha become. However, past Rao is powerless to stop time traveling future Rao. Past Rao explains to Green Lantern, that future Rao has had centuries more time with the stone of life and there fore they are under his control and granting him power that past Rao can not match. Past Rao encourages Green Lantern, who is distraught about what he can do, by telling him that “single drops of water can erode mountains”. This gives Green Lantern hope to keep fighting against Rao’s power and attempt to reconnect with his ring. In the present timeline we see Diana trying, unsuccessfully, to revive superman The rest of the league tells her it’s time to give up but Diana refuses to let Superman die. In her last effort she strikes Superman with the lightning bolt of Zeus, trying to jump start his heart. The result is……Successful (Surprise!). Superman stirs and asks where Rao went. Its then the time traveling Rao emerges with……..Well I’ll let you read that for yourself. I will say though that the surprise twist at the end of the issue provides a threat that the reader can actually believe will be a threat to the Justice League.

The idea of telling the story in three different timelines could have been disastrous. As it’s almost like its’ trying to get the reader confused. However, Bryan Hitch handles that delicate tasks beautifully. He manages to craft the story telling on three levels and bring it all back around by the end of the issue. I am really excited that he is continuing this series even with the Rebirth reboot. Hitch is an excellent story teller and this issue just cements that for me. The character work between part Rao and Green Lantern is especially stunning as he manages to humanize a character who out God’s Superman himself.It’s also nice to know that thy have something resembling a coney dog on Krypton:

zV7FoSZ

The dialogue when the Justice League themselves talk is the only real weak point. As I feel it was supposed to come off as funny, but rather just seemed corny.

The art for the issue was very good. I think having Daniel Henriques take over the inks has helped with the completion of the issues and has freed up some extra time for Bryan Hitch to work on the script. The colors by Alex Sinclair are most excellent. The palette used by Sinclair for world build helps carry the story forward and helps the reader keep the three timelines separate from one another. The colors used to convey energy, such as the lightning coming off of the stones of the electricity springing from Zeus’ bolt, feels real and powerful.

Overall, this issue is solid with very minimal problems. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and will be saddened by its’ absence in my pull list. If you haven’t read any of it I’d highly recommended you remedy that. In the gallery below is all of the covers the issue shipped with.

Rating: 8/10

-Andrew

Advertisements

Pick of the Week (Jul. 20th): Justice League #1

Justice League #1

Writer: Bryan Hitch

Pencils: Tony S. Daniel

Inks: Sandu Florea

Colorist: Tomeu Morey

Justice League #1 marks the beginning of the new Justice League after the events of Rebirth. This reiteration of the Justice League has many of it’s usual staples: Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern(s), Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash. While this team may have familiar elements to previous incarnations, there are some slight differences. For example the Justice League now has two lanterns, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, instead of just one. Another noticeable absence is the new (old) superman. The New 52 Superman died in the events leading up to Rebirth and his old pre-New 52 was found alive in the current timeline (if you think that’s confusing well…..you are right). However, Batman does not trust this new superman and has chosen to keep him at arms length distance for now. I am sure though that the events that transpired in this issue will lead to the Justice League accepting Superman back into the fold.

The issue opens up with Wonder Woman on what was supposed to be a peace keeping mission fighting rebels in Russia who ambushed her. Things quickly escalate as the ground rumbles in a massive earth quake that destroys Wonder Woman’s attackers. The Rebels blame Wonder Woman for the earthquake but it becomes clear that it did not originate with her. We then read a news report that states that the same thing has happened all across the globe. With all of Earths fault lines activating at once the Justice League is tasked with keeping civilian casualties to a minimum. The team is spread across the globe with the Lanterns in Asia, Cyborg in New York, Wonder Woman in Russia, Batman in Gotham(where else?) and The Flash on the West Coast of America. Just when it appears that the League has everything under control-ish, the civilians (and the dead? Maybe?) around them begin spouting philosophical speeches and attacking the League. They say that the heroes of this world have stolen their powers and that they are false Gods. They warn them that The Kindred are coming. While the League attempt to fight off the zombies(? maybe), Batman discovers that an alien ship has crash landed in Gotham and with it strange insect creatures that are attacking any humans within striking distance. While the league may be the most powerful beings on the planet are they a match against natural disasters and The Kindred? We will have to wait until next time to find out.

While the plot is interesting and well paced, it’s the art that really shines in this issue. The art team of Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea really bring the action in this issue. Moving from panel to panel at almost break neck speed. Keeping the reader entertained and breathless with frantic action and beautiful splash pages. The splash page featuring The Flash is a beautiful feat of art. In what is a busy two pages Daniel and Florea use panel arrangement to guide the readers eye and help the reader follow what’s happening. The color art by Tomeu Morey is spectacular. He uses a lot of earth tones to ground the scene and bright contrasting colors to make the heroes stand out above the scene. Really making the pop. The shading work he did during the subway scene with Cyborg helped add depth to what could have been a very flat scene. All in all Justice League #1 is a great soft reboot to DC’s signature team and another fantastic addition to the already stellar Rebirth initiative at DC. Below are the two covers this title shipped with.

Rating: 9/10

 

-Andrew