Review: Justice League #14

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

Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV

Artists: Jim Cheung, Stephen Segovia, Mark Morales

Colors: Tomeu Morey, Wil Quintana

Letters: Tom Napolitano

 

Summary

Let’s take a trip to “Hawkworld” in part one of a new Totality-related storyline! Martian Manhunter, John Stewart and Hawkgirl avoided “Drowned Earth” with a detour to Thanagar-Prime: J’onn looks to tap into the ancient Martian mental database, GL struggles while practicing his new UV powers, and Kendra searches for answers about her connection to the Totality.

 

Positives

Will Payton, one of DC’s past Starmen holds a secret which Batman makes a dangerous attempt to uncover. However, this leads to a disagreement with Superman. This is emblematic of the difference between their approaches to crimefighting. With few exceptions, Batman is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, where Superman believes that some ethical boundaries should never be crossed.

Meanwhile, we see what Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, and Green Lantern John Stewart have been up to while their teammates were dealing with the Drowned Earth crisis. The trio have travelled to Thanagar Prime, the new homeworld of the Thanagarians.

The history of DC’s various versions of Hawkman is very complicated, and seems to grow more with each attempt to reboot the character. When Kendra states that, “you practically need a degree in quantum physics to track it properly,” it seems she is talking to the reader as much as to her teammates.

Also related to this complicated history is the intriguing mystery of how Kendra and Shayera Thal can co-exist. Supposedly Kendra is the next reincarnation of Shayera, so Shayera shouldn’t still be alive. Or could it be that an impostor is posing as Shayera?

I also found the idea of the planet itself having wings an interesting image. Of course, the wings are actually a device that keeps Thanagar Prime out of phase with the rest of the universe, but the image of a winged planet seems appropriate for the Hawkworld.

While both Snyder and Tynion have a plotting credit for this issue, it seems that Tynion is once again writing this issue. Their collaboration is really turning out as an asset to the title. Snyder is producing some very complex storylines for Justice League, and Tynion is doing a great job of helping the reader sort through the complexities.

 

Negatives

There’s not too much to complain about this issue. However, I wish we could get a bit of clarification on what John’s abilities are right now exactly. I’m unsure of whether he still retains his Green Lantern powers or whether he just has powers from the Ultraviolet spectrum now. And if the latter, does that mean he will be adopting a new identity? A bit of clarification would be appreciated.

 

Verdict

After the non-stop action of the previous story arcs, the slower pace of this issue was a nice respite before things get crazy again next issue. Snyder and Tynion have certainly re-established the Justice League core title as DC’s foremost team book.

 

 

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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.