Justice League. Issue 6. Comic Book Review!

All is Darkseid!

There be spoilers below!

Justice League: Issue Six!
(Johns. Lee. Williams)

PREVIOUSLY: Darkseid came, he saw, he…

… got his butt well and truly kicked by Aquaman and Wonder Woman in one of the coolest things I’ve ever read in a comic-book.

Prior to this point, I wasn’t entirely convinced with the new Justice League. It was a good read to be fair, it just never seemed to really be ‘popping’ off the page in the way you’d expect given the ‘flagship’ status it got as the first new comic of the Nu52 era.

Instead, it was petering along with a mix of amusing banter and sporadic awesome moments, while setting up pieces rather than being end over end entertaining.

And then this issue came out.

Interestingly, it came out the same day that Avengers Assemble (British title for The Avengers and, for my money, a better title for the first film) trailer came out. Both pieces had something to prove to the masses. With Avengers Assemble, they needed the hard sell that this film would match the levels of hype not seen since The Expendables. And it met them. Indeed, I’m still coming down from a stunning shot involving both Hulk and Iron Man; that is a great visual, a great beat, and a great character moment, all done without dialogue.

Justice League also needed that moment.

Luckily, it had a bunch of them. And the moments merged into a story. And the story merged into a pay-off for the arc, a set-up for the future AND a reimagining of just what makes DC Comics, for me, fundamentally different from Marvel Comics.

Namely, that superheroes do exist. It’s not just men in costumes.

That isn’t to say Marvel characters aren’t heroic. But the idea with that universe is that it’s ordinary people whose heroism is a backdrop to their inner struggle. DC twists that, showing heroes whose ordinary lives are a backdrop to their inner struggles. And here we get the best sense of that, as the superheroes are forced to team with each other and show their flawed human sides via bickering, before coming together and becoming something inspiring to an entire world.

This does create a bit of a flaw given how the other DC titles have people throwing disdain towards metahumans… but the comic-book does hint at the rise of the supervillain, so perhaps some fear and scepticism will bleed through in later arcs to mesh the inconsistency.

Moving onto the quality of the piece…

Geoff Johns seems to have stepped up his writing for this month’s releases. While Green Lantern wasn’t the best issue, Aquaman was fantastic and Justice League is almost as good. He manages to give all of the characters something meaningful to do (of particular merit, as mentioned above, is Wonder Woman and Aquaman’s battle with Darkseid). After a few months of colourful, but not award worthy, art by Jim Lee we finally get some truly stunning imagery that almost demands to be referenced for a future Justice League film. Between Superman‘s double-page splash charging at Darkseid, to the full page aftermath after banishing Darkseid, it’s brilliantly cinematic in terms of the visuals.

Then we get the ending…

In my opinion, this comic-book makes the pre DCNu stuff canon again. From a certain perspective, granted, but between Pandora and The Phantom Stranger’s talk, Superman mentioning the multiverse images burned into his skull, and Darkseid’s pre-existing knowledge of the core characters, it seems to be suggesting that there’s a far more insidious plan at play than everything before Justice League 1 being thoroughly irrelevant.

And that is why I’m giving this issue:

Grade: A+

It’s a perfect mix of story, art, and foreshadowing. The twists reward the observant reader, the character beats are fantastic, and the visuals are mind blowing!

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