Review: Justice League #41

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

Writer: Christopher Priest

Artist: Philippe Briones

 

Summary

“JUSTICE LOST” part two! What does justice mean in a lawless world? This is the question the team must struggle with when the League finds itself trapped between warring factions, helpless refugees and mercenaries with advanced weaponry, all manipulated by Deathstroke’s frenemy the Red Lion. Meanwhile, Batman forces a showdown between himself and the League’s biggest fan.

 

Positives

The Watchtower satellite has crashed down in East Africa, causing unrest with the government of the country they have crashed in. They have instituted a demilitarized zone around the wreck of their base, and have allowed refugees from that nation to seek asylum in that area.

Wonder Woman gets to know the refugees, while Superman tries to keep things peaceful with the local military. Meanwhile, their new leader, Cyborg, is focused on reassembling the satellite and keeping any of the League’s technology from falling into the wrong hands.

And then the League has to deal with an attack by Deathstroke villain, Red Lion, who is the ruler of the African nation Buredunia, who is claiming international salvage rights to the satellite’s wreckage.

I never realized it until now, but Red Lion is a dark reflection of Marvel’s Black Panther. It seems somewhat symbolic, considering that Black Panther’s movie was wildly successful, when the League’s was somewhat less of a success.

And shockingly, we see Diana suffer what looks like a life-threatening gunfire wound. It’s highly unlikely that the wound is fatal, but it is an extremely shocking sight to see this happen to Diana.

We also get to see Aquaman in a way that we haven’t before. He seems to be taking a page from Batman’s book and is using detective work to track down their mysterious nemesis, The Fan. Unfortunately, it’s not The Fan he finds, but a red herring.

However, Batman manages to track down the real Fan. This time, he’s wearing a costume that’s an amalgamation of the costumes of the entire League. Batman is able to defeat him, but he taunts Batman, “But now what? Arrest me? Really? I know everything. I’m a problem you can’t solve.” However, Batman is a master of ingenuity. I’m sure he’ll find a solution to the problem the Fan poses.

Have you ever wondered how Green Lanterns travel interstellar distances without returning home to find out that centuries have passed due to Relativity? Jessica lays it out for us, stating that the rings travel back in time to compensate for the effects of Relativity. Presumably, many of the spaceships in the DCU also have this capability.

 

Negatives

Deathstroke is in this issue, but doesn’t seem to serve any purpose to the story. Is he going to help Red Lion against the League or perhaps help the League? If he isn’t going to figure into the story in the next issue, then his presence seems no more than a pointless cameo.

 

Verdict

Priest has managed to put the League into a situation quite unlike any they’ve faced before, with political pressures, internal pressures, and a villain who uses their secrets to his own advantage. So far, this is an intriguing new direction for the League and I look forward to see where it leads.

 

 

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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.