November 27, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: Justice League: Last Ride #1 (May, 2021)

The Justice League reassembles for a special mission after a tragedy broke them up.

Wait, there was a Justice League mini-series set in an alternate universe type scenario written by Chip Zdarsky?  OK, I’m in!

Issue:  Justice League: Last Ride #1, May 2021

Writer:  Chip Zdarsky

Artist:  Miguel Mandonca

The Plot:  The Justice League reunite for a special mission after a tragedy broke them apart.

Commentary:  Here’s something I don’t do often enough:  praise the artist.  Miguel Mendonca’s work here is gorgeous, and it even reminded me a bit of Kevin Maguire’s work.  This mini-series might be worth a look for the artwork alone.

Of course, I never recommend a book for the artwork alone, so how about the rest of this first issue?

Pretty solid work, actually.  It’s set in what looks like an alternate future where the Justice League broke up.  Why?  They haven’t spelled it out exactly yet, but apparently on some kind of mission, the Martian Manhunter was killed, and Batman and Superman blame each other for what happened.  Batman has become more solitary than ever, and Superman is trying to pick up the slack where there’s no League to respond to big threats anymore.  As for the others, Wonder Woman and the Flash both seem to be getting along fine, though I wasn’t sure which Flash it was.  It looked like Wally with the red hair, but the character was never really identified by name as near as I can make out.

Whatever happened, it seems to have happened on Apokalips.  There’s also something of a power vacuum in the universe, and that actually leads to the inciting incident.  See, the Green Lantern Corps have captured Lobo.  They want to put him on trial, but there are so many people out to get Lobo, that they need the Justice League to keep him alive for trial.  Batman would, of course, know the perfect place to do that because he’s a strategic mastermind, and he does, but he also doesn’t want to be bothered right away.  Why should he when Superman is in his face the moment he arrives for the meeting (late too, and raring to get back to Gotham almost immediately)?

Oh, what is Lobo on trial for?  Murdering the New Gods.  Like, all of them?  Just the ones from New Genesis?  Doesn’t much matter.  That’s how rough things are in the universe, to the point where the Green Lanterns Corps wants to build a new HQ on Earth due to other issues, especially since there’s no League to take care of things, they can take over that job.  Batman is skeptical about anything like that, but that fits with Zdarsky’s take on the Dark Knight:  he doesn’t trust teams anymore.

Superman, for what it is worth, thinks Batman knew J’onn was going to die when Batman came up with the plan for the last mission.

The point is, with the World’s Finest team on the outs, can the rest of the League do what should be a simple job?

That’s the real trick here, isn’t it?  This looks awesome so far.  It did everything a good first issue should do by introducing the world, setting up the problem, and leaving enough mystery to be spelled out later.  I will be reading more of this one.

Grade:  A

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