Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #67
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Colours: Hi-Fi, Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters: Josh Reed, Rob Leigh
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Justice League #67: It’s the Justice League versus the United Order as the truth that gives power to this new cosmic super team crosses a line that the Justice League cannot allow. Will there even be a United Planets after this thunderous clash of intergalactic superpowers? Also, Green Arrow must come to terms with his responsibilities to both Checkmate and the League. Ollie may have to pick which path to follow, but what does it mean for the future of the League if the guy paying the bills has to bail?
The Silent School used their magic for years to protect Atlantis from all kinds of invaders, but nothing prepared them for the most powerful sorcerer ever…Merlin! Luckily, the Justice League Dark arrives to turn the tide of the battle. However, they’re not fighting at full strength. Zatanna is harboring a dark secret, and if she unleashes her magic, it could drown everyone!
Generally, I try to keep my reviews positive. I’m not shy about expressing my displeasure about titles that I find disappointing. But I try to find something positive in any story. But man is Bendis making it hard to do so. But still there are some positive in Justice League #67.
First and foremost is that Ram V’s Justice League Dark backup story is as excellent as ever. It’s a shame that it gets the short end of the stick in the issue’s page count, when it’s so much better than the main story. DC either needs to divide the page count more evenly or split the title back into two books, giving Ram V‘s JL Dark a full book to itself.
Also the art is stellar in both stories. Phil Hester and Eric Gapstur’s make Bendis’ story great to look at. It’s just a shame the story is a mess. And Sumit Kumar’s art beautifully complements Ram V’s story.
I am quite happy to see a few faces have popped up in the main story. A number of reserve Leaguers like Plastic Man, Firestorm, and Captain Atom have shown up to give the main team a hand. I’d love to see any of these characters hang around after this storyline.
And finally for Bendis’ story focuses the on characters other than Naomi. So far, Bendis has been writing this title as a continuation of his Naomi series, with the League as her supporting cast. So it’s good to see that he’s finally realizing that there’re more characters in this title…
Unfortunately, the characters he’s focusing on aren’t the League. The only Leaguer he’s paying much attention to is Superman. And according to the Man of Steel’s own books, his departure from the League is imminent. But Bendis seems intent on continuing storylines that he started during his tenure in the Superman books.
First, he’s brought back the Synmar Utopica, a villain that wasn’t terribly interesting when Superman fought him. And he’s introduced a new team, the United Order, spinning out of his United Planets storyline. He spends much of the story introducing this rather bland and uninteresting precursor to the Legion of Super-Heroes.
And worst of all, he’s suddenly portraying Superman as leery of using the Phantom Zone projector against the Synmar Utopica. And why does he feel this way? Because it was invented by Jor-El, who Clark learned was actually an obsessive madman. An unforgivable retcon to the character that Bendis introduced.
And why the hell is this Daemon Rose storyline in Justice League? That’s part of Bendis’ Checkmate series. This story only seems to involve the League peripherally. It should be unfolding in that series. Also, Lois Lane having brother that’s never been mentioned before is yet another unnecessary retcon to the Superman mythos.
If I were able to rate the two stories in Justice League #67 separately, I would give Bendis’ main story a rating of 2/5 and Ram V’s backup a full 5/5. Kudos are due to Ram V and the artists of both stories. But c’mon Bendis. You’re capable of better than you’re delivering here. Either turn this around or hand over the reins to someone else.