Review by: dix

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Avg Rating: 3.7
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Story by Geoff Johns
Art by Carlos D'Anda, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, & Gary Frank
Cover by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair, Mike Choi, & Marcelo Maiolo

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.99

Without the impetus of the Origin arc, JUSTICE LEAGUE feels a bit listless. This issue feels like a clipshow played for laughs as Green Arrow tries to convince the League to let him in.

This is in the “present”, mind, not five years ago like the first arc, and the League’s roster has remained unchanged since their first adventure. So we’re kind of in the middle of things. The problem is, the issue FEELS like we’re in the middle of things, as it references lots of events from other books – including Night of the Owls and something that won’t happen in JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK until issue #9 – as well as past League adventures that, well, haven’t happened yet for us, the readers. (That includes, apparently, their first attempt at admitting an additional member, Martian Manhunter, which apparently went…poorly. I feel like that would be a relevant story to tell BEFORE basing a plot around government pressures to expand the roster.)

This issue just seems to taunt us with stories that the series might eventually tell. And while the script is about as good as it’s going to be given the, er, “plot”, and the art is still to my liking, there’s just nothing of substance here. It’s a sales pitch: one with some competent creators at the helm, but a sales pitch nonetheless.

The SHAZAM backup fares a little better as Billy meets his new foster family, including his diverse foster siblings. It’s mostly character introduction here, but there’s potential in the cast, so we’ll see where this goes.

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. Hmmm… thanks for the honest review. I might be dropping this… I so wanted to read a good JL book but I think my expectations aren’t met and I could spend my 4$ on a title I will actually enjoy! This might be the last issue I buy and then, goodbye JL… :'(

  2. “their first attempt at admitting an additional member, Martian Manhunter, which apparently went…poorly”

    Interesting. For the first time, it’s really hit me that the Morrison-era JLA is apparently out of continuity to any recognizable extent. Even though I’m not as high on that run as others, that just strikes me as very… wrong. Martian Manhunter NOT being a good addition? Weird.

    • It’s something I’ve been dealing with lately that not a lot of people seem to have noticed: DC erased the entirety of their continuity. They’ve always said this was just a “soft” reboot and that all the major storylines remain intact, but it hit me one day that this just cannot be true. Take Blackest Night for example. There are so many plot points that focus on events that couldn’t have happened (especially in light of the fact that the JL has never had a bigger roster than 7). So many of the JSA characters just flat out don’t exist anymore either! Sure Kightfall may have “happened” and maybe (although I don’t think they have said it or not) the Death of Superman may have still “happened”, but there is no way they happened how we saw them. No Booster and co. taking on Doomsday, no Lois crying over the body she knows is really the man she loves. The thing that really got to me is actually unfolding in Batgirl. They’ve made a point of reassuring us that James Gordon Jr. is still a murderer, still a sociopath who came back to Gotham and was locked away in Arkham. That means Snyder’s excellent run on Detective is still in continuity right? Well Batgirl has also made a point of reintroducing Barbara Gordon. Not Babs, but Jim’s first (and in this continuity likely only) wife. I won’t ruin it, but if you’ve read Snyder’s Detective run, you know Mrs. Gordon returned to Gotham toward the end of that arc. So that story couldn’t have happened the way it was written. I apologize for rambling. I’ll shut up now.

    • There’s a two-page spread in this issue of the League fighting Manhunter. I suppose that might explain his distaste for them in STORMWATCH. I don’t mind that change itself, since it does free up Manhunter to go be on STORMWATCH, which is interesting.

      My problem is the way it’s presented, a reference to an earlier story that simply hasn’t been told yet. Narratively this seems backwards given the circumstances.

  3. The Morrison JLA could not have existed within the 5 year time frame, I don’t think. Saying that the League has never had any new members seals it, as Morrison had something like 16 or 17 Leaguers on there at one time!

  4. This was a pretty good issue, but I agree with your point on the flow of the narrative. It is odd that they would show a clip from the story of Martian Manhunter on the team. I read that and thought, “Whoa, that’s cool. I wonder what happened there?” I’m wondering if we’ll ever see that story. Maybe it will play out in flashbacks during this arc, but then it gets back to the whole Justice League telling stories in the past instead of being DC’s leading in the present.

    Certainly some interesting stories that the creative team is making, and we’ll see how they’ll play out.

    • It reminds me a little of how SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS have been interacting. SUPERMAN occasionally references things that are either happening in ACTION COMICS or may very well happen in it sometime, since it looks like ACTION will remain in the past while SUPERMAN’s in the present. But JUSTICE LEAGUE doesn’t have the luxury of a second title to use.

      If they insisted on the main story being “present day”, I’d be inclined to use the backup as sort of a “from the files of the Justice League” kind of thing, filling in some backstory. Course, then they’d have the move SHAZAM.

  5. It seems like this book is about the political fall out of their fights, rather than their fights themselves. I was irked to see them standing over a defeated Amazo without having seen the battle. I don’t care about Steve Trevor’s back room dealings, I want to see the JLA put the smack down on some bad guys.

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