Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #47
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Robert Venditti
Colours: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Justice League #47: “Vengeance Is Thine” conclusion! The Justice League battles through the dreaded Pit of Tartarus, mythological prison to the most wretched creatures imaginable. Batman, Superman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman must resolve their long-held grudges while they still can-and before the world burns. Yet even if they succeed, they must still defeat the monster that lives and rules at the dark base of Tartarus.
And so with Justice League #47, we reach the end of Robert Venditti’s brief run as the series’ writer. Venditti announced that “another DC project was offered to me that’s an absolute dream, so I had to step away from Justice League”. While this comes as something of a disappointment, I’m eagerly anticipating learning more about this dream project.
With Venditti’s abrupt departure, I worried that he might have had time to bring his story to a satisfying ending. The might cause him to either rush the pacing or leave plot threads dangling. But after reading Justice League #47, I was relieved to find that Venditti delivered a conclusion that was neither rushed nor incomplete.
Venditti introduced a number of tensions building among the team that were building into lingering resentments. Many of these arose from events happening in the characters’ own titles. Batman and Green Lantern were butting heads over leadership of the team, Batman was annoyed about Superman revealing his secret identity to the world, and Wonder Woman felt the Flash was putting in a half-hearted effort during the team’s battles.
I don’t know if Venditti originally planned on letting these grievances fester for a longer period. However, the influence of the Spectre’s vengeance feeding and magnifying these grudges was an inspired way to quickly bring them to a boil. This in turns allows them to get resolved by the end of his final issue.
I also love the positive message at the centre of this issue. Essentially, the current crisis and the stresses between the Leaguers were fixed by one very important power: forgiveness. When the League is on the verge of losing their battle with Tartarus, they apologize to each other, freely forgiving each other and letting go of their grievances.
Their example leads Jim Corrigan to forgive God himself for bonding him with His Spirit of Vengeance. This allows Corrigan to resign himself to his role as the Spectre and stop the Spectre’s energy from enraging the entire world. In the end, Forgiveness wins out over Vengeance.
I found the artwork from Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira quite impressive. They have done a splendid job of making the League and the Spectre look their iconic best.
The only negative I can attribute to Justice League #47 is that it’s the end of Venditti’s tenure as the title’s writer. However, l look forward to seeing what the next creative team has in store for us. And I am quite intrigued at the hint of a dream project that could lure him away from a tentpole title like Justice League.
As the old showbiz adage goes, “Always leave them wanting more”. Robert Venditti has taken that to heart for his final issue. Justice League #47 caps his run off with a delightfully upbeat tale, beautifully illustrated by Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira. It’s a shame that Venditti couldn’t stick around longer. However, I look forward to seeing the next creative team to show us what they have planned.