Review: Justice League #22

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Shea Fontana
Artist: Philippe Briones

 

Summary

While diverting asteroids from colliding with the Earth, Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz discuss their place in the League. Jessica feels that the League is disappointed with them and would prefer to have Hal Jordan back, but Simon tries to reassure her.

Meanwhile, Superman’s wife, Lois Lane, and their son Jon are aboard the Watchtower so that Lois can interview the Leaguers for a story on the League’s satellite headquarters.

Jessica and Simon return to the Watchtower to receive congratulations for successfully completing their mission when Cyborg discovers that they have brought a colony of microscopic life forms with them.

The League is unwilling to just destroy the creatures, but they do not want to risk taking them to Earth, where they might adversely affect the world’s ecosystem. So, they place the Watchtower under quarantine until the creatures can be analyzed and studied.

While Superman, Batman, and Lois investigate the creatures, Cyborg and Jon bond while playing video games, while Wonder Woman takes the two Green Lanterns aside for some battle training.

Although the Lanterns get a couple good shots in, they prove no match for the Amazon princess. But before they can continue the fight, the alien creatures attack as a swarm that takes a vaguely humanoid form.

Batman, Superman, and Lois arrive to join the fight. Their analysis indicates that the insectoid creatures probably have a queen. As the insects seem to be reacting to Jessica, who has unknowingly fused with their queen.

But can Jessica use this to her advantage and control the insects, or will she give into her insecurities and lose control?

 

Positives

This story has a number of small, but nice touches that make a story fun without going overboard into silliness. One example is when Simon learns that the Batman does not give high fives – but he will give you a well-deserved handshake.

Another nice touch is that although Batman likes to act gruff, as he does with Jon, he also freely admits respect to those who impress him, as he does when Lois makes the connection between the creatures and Antarctic krill. It’s good to see Bruce’s human side occasionally peek out from under his harsh demeanor.

Also, it is good to see some bonding going on. Diana takes steps to show the new recruits that they hold a valuable place on the team, while Cyborg and Jon connect over a mutual interest in video games.

 

Negatives

Unfortunately, Aquaman and the Flash only appear very briefly in the issue, which is a bit of a shame. However, it is a good thing for a team book to sometimes focus on certain members rather than making sure every member gets an equal share of the spotlight in each issue. The Flash got the spotlight in the previous story arc, and I’m sure Aquaman will get his turn before long as well.

 

Verdict

Although the League treated the threat with all due seriousness, this issue exemplifies the element of fun that has been making a comeback in the Rebirth line. This was an important piece of the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe’s greatness, and it is a joy to see it being reclaimed in Rebirth.

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.