JUSTICE LEAGUE is now back to its monthly schedule after delays brought on by Forever Evil. The series continues to deal with the repercussions of the Crime Syndicate’s full scale invasion. Lex Luthor continues to push towards membership into the Justice League all while a new host is found to be Power Ring. This series has felt fresh and new since its return and it shows no sign of slowing down.
Overall this is a well balanced issue. Writer Geoff Jones not only incorporates the big, action packed scenes we’ve come to expect from Justice League, but also includes many subtle, character building moments that will keep readers invested in the series. Bruce and Luthor’s debating feels natural and will make you question why he hasn’t been more of a Batman villain in the past. The serious tone of this interaction doesn’t overwhelm the issue however. Cyborg and Shazam’s scenes delivers a much needed feeling of fun to the book. Jones has been hinting at a strong friendship between the two of them for some time, so it’s really rewarding to see it originate within the series.
Balance is also found in the way Jones juggles multiple subplots. While it’s often easy for writers to unintentionally make two plots feel separate, Jones does a wonderful job of meshing these two together. Using a simplistic approach, Jones uses the league’s distress call about the new power ring as a way for Batman to inform the league about Luthor. While this moment is brief, it serves as a great way to connect the two plots while also transitioning between them.
Those expecting cover artist Ivan Reis to be doing the interiors will be disappointed. While artist Doug Mahnke does a great job on the issue it is always unfortunate when there’s an artist change half way through a story arc. While I understand that Reis probably needed a much deserved break, I would have preferred it if there was a 1-2 issue break between story arcs that Mahnke could have filled. This is the strategy currently being used by Batman’s creative team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
This may be a minor nit-pick but Batman had one line that sounded out of place. The entire scorpion and the frog story seemd out of character for Bruce and took up too much space. It might have been added as filler but regardless, it certainly doesn’t sound like something Batman would say during a heated argument.
Overall this was great issue. We see more of the new Power Ring as well as the new Doom Patrol. Jones is doing a wonderful job balancing the big superheroics with the more personal character moments. This arc specifically has done a great job at ending each issue with a big moment to reel the reader in. This is once again an issue that will make you anxious for next month.