[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Bryan Hitch
Artist: Jesus Merino
Inkers: Andy Owens and Jesus Merino
If you have not read Justice League 1-3 yet, things are bad. The team is pretty much spread out all around, above, and below the earth. Jessica and Simon are trying to stop the remnants of a dead planet from reaching earth. Bruce has convinced Clark to leave Lois and little Jonathan behind while he digs into the earth to stop some cancerous growths. Vic is being attacked by the extinction machines calling themselves the Purge. Barry is running out of steam trying to save every human within his reach. Arthur is trying to figure out who is being possessed by an evil song and Diana has been eaten by the Kindred. Yikes. Things are bad.
Even though there is so much going on, no one story line feels out of place. Writing a group comic can be difficult. Who gets the page time? In this version of the Justice League, Cyborg is front and center. He seems to be calling the shots. That is not what readers are used to. Batman is in charge. Superman does the saving. Wonder Woman punches. That is the deal. Everyone else is a subplot. Not here. This is Justice League reborn and things are different.
One of the things people love or hate about Bruce and Clark is that they really do not like each other. Trust is one thing, like is something else. This Clark is not the Superman that Bruce knows, dislikes or trusts. This new guy, whoever he is, is different. Bruce, as we all know, is not a big fan of different. It ruffles his Batwings. That tension is real. Imagine showing up to work one day and some person you thought you knew 10 years ago is in the cube next to you. That person looks the same, sounds the same and essentially, is the same, but something is not right. There is a personality shift on which you can not put your finger. It would make you upset right? Well, imagine that on a super level. That is really great writing.
The last page of this book is so totally amazing. Not only does Jesus Merino draw a desolate wasteland in space to perfection, he houses it with…Well, I will just quote Jessica Cruz when she said, “I did not see that coming.” Yikes. Me neither. That image is going to last for a while.
Aquaman often gets the short end of the stick in comedy bits. Sure. I get it. Even the new Justice League movie has a joke about “talking to fish.” While his story makes sense, he is underused in this issue. He is the only one who might have a clue on how to stop the Kindred. There is a clue in the singing, but we do not get to see that plot develop enough.
If you need a traditional superhero team up book where they are all back to back to back to back kicking some badguy ass, this will not fill your need. However, if you are willing to accept Victor as the real focus of this Justice League Reborn and you understand why he is the center, you will be happy. The art is amazing. The story is fast paced. All around, this is high quality stuff. Pick it up.