I have a large stack of unread trades on my bedside table, so I decided to see if I could finish off some of the thicker ones for this week. And hey, my stack was noticeably shorter once I pulled four out. We’ll see if I can finish these four and a somewhat thicker Manga volume for Friday’s reviews.
Anyway, first up is Justice, a Justice League story known best for painted artwork by the great Alex Ross.
The book opens on a shared nightmare of the various heroes of the Justice League being unable to save anybody as the world ends. Who is having these dreams? A group of supervillains who then go off to form their own Legion of Doom. While many play at reform and philanthropy, the lot of them are plotting to bring down the Justice League. And they come really close, but these are the bad guys. They can’t really be up to anything good, can they? Heck, how can a bunch of bad guys even work together all that well?
So, there’s a lot going on here. Ross wrote the story with Jim Krueger, and given Ross’ love for the Silver Age, that makes sense. This is the satellite-era Justice League with a few hangers on, most notably the guy called Captain Marvel. Likewise, it’s the classic animated line-up of the Legion of Doom with the additions of Poison Ivy, Metallo, the Parasite, and Black Adam. And into all that there’s the addition of groups like the Metal Men, Teen Titans, the Doom Patrol, and others. Plus, for some reason, the Joker is hanging around.
“For some reason” could actually describe much of the action of this story. There are mind control robot worms that get into various people…for some reason. Some heroes narrate different chapters, but other do not…for some reason. People no longer trust the Justice League..for some reason. The whole thing is a big mess of a story that at its core isn’t all that special. It’s mostly a very standard Silver Age Justice League story that may or may not be set in the present day (it’s vague). And while it is nice to see Ross do his crowd scenes, the plot has so many characters and so many plot threads that it comes out as a rush in the end with time spent, again for some reason, showing the Elongated Man and Plastic Man arguing which one of them has a right to even be there, and that is the closest this book comes to anything approaching humor. The end result is it sure is pretty, but it doesn’t add up to much in the grand scheme of things. Go with Kingdom Come or Marvels instead to get a good story painted by Ross. 7 out of 10 heal turns due to unexplained mind control instances.