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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Justice League #11 - Sept. 2012

Comics Weekend "Atonement" by Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams.

This issue of Justice League picks up exactly where the last one ended, with the League having been attacked by the newly powered, and seemingly evil, David Graves.

Graves makes the Leaguers conjure up ghostly images of people from their lives who have died, which gives him the advantage--and the chance to then escape down to Earth:
Down on Earth, Graves sits with Tracy Trevor, telling her of his plan. He is haunted by the ghosts of his dead children, disappearing one again just as the League arrives. Rather than being relived, Tracy hisses at Wonder Woman, blaming her for getting her brother wrapped up in this. She demands they find her brother and bring him home alive.

Wonder Woman tells her teammates she is headed for Graves' cabin, where she will kill him. Batman tries to stop her, but she won't listen. Then Green Lantern steps in, encasing Diana in a green bubble. She responds with a powerful punch, shattering it and sending Lantern flying! Lantern, now enraged, decides to fight back:
Wonder Woman kicks Superman upside the head, turning the street outside into a battle zone. A nearby crowd watches--and to make matters worse, somehow Graves manages to send a signal all over the world, so people in every corner of the planet can watch the Justice League fight one another.

Before things get worse, Batman tells Cyborg to transport them all away from prying eyes, to Graves' cabin:
The Leaguers manage to calm Wonder Woman down (you know how hysterical women can be!) and then they discuss what exactly happened to Graves, how he got this way. Batman looks out the window at Graves' family plot, obviously feeling some tiny shred of kinship with his mission.

They next head to The Valley of Souls, and find the entrance to the cave. Inside they are confronted by people from their past--including Aquaman, who sees his father reach out to him. Wonder Woman hears her name, turns, and sees:

...to be continued!

Aquaman didn't get a whole lot to do this issue, mostly just hanging around in the background. Kind of ironic he kind of plays peacemaker here, when of course he's usually a hot-head.

As much as I've been enjoying Johns' Aquaman, I feel like that's how much I've come to dislike Justice League. These seven heroes have been a team for five years, and we're still seeing them fight amongst each other like this? These are the World's Greatest Superheroes? Come on, guys, pull it together already--you're just the Justice League for Neptune's sake!


The Flying Dachshund said...

Supposedly the 1st 5 years, the team has been working together, but not really working as a team... The issue 12, 0, or 13 (can't remember which) will see members quit and new ones join, as the 2nd year shows the team starting to be what the public sees them as... The Greatest TEAM ever... Instead of a bunch of super-powered individuals... So hopefully Arthur will stick around and will be part of the group that works better together... ;^)

David J. Cutler said...

DrNobody--that's not really in line with what I've read in Justice League 7-11, where people were threatening world leaders with asking the Justice League to take over the world, but okay.

I have very similar feelings about this title as you do, rob! It reminds me of reading a Lee/Kirby X-Men or Fantastic Four issue with Jim Lee art, with all the in-fighting. Also am I wrong, or does it look like Aquaman's dressing down both Green Lantern and Wonder Woman in those panels, but the dialogue's been changed so it's only Wonder Woman? Hm.

Diabolu Frank said...

This book is the nexus of everything I hate about the New 52. These characters as written are so shrill and debased, I find I lack the stomach to read an issue synopsis, much less the actual comics.

If you put an assault rifle in Batman's hand and had him start gunning crooks down like the Punisher, people would rightly flip their lid. Put a sword in Wonder Woman's hand and have her hack away at every obstacle, and it's a visionary new direction. Wonder Woman's trademark tool is a lasso, a versatile non-lethal instrument that they still managed to turn in to a noose before abandoning it altogether. I wouldn't care to see Thor without his hammer or Captain America without his shield, either. Their choice of tools partially defines them as heroes, and both have milked pathos from separation from these devices. Dylan going electric is one thing, but you rightly turn your back when he abandons folk for evangelical Christian rock. These are New Coke Super-Heroes.

I'm also kind of sad that Aquaman would surely have envisioned the death of a parent, like every other Leaguer today, rather than the death of his son. Same goes for former widower Barry Allen. It makes every hero the same extended adolescent with parental issues, with none of them having progressed to truly adult concerns and traumas.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

It's not uninteresting or unexciting, exactly, but I don't see how this iteration of these characters and this team is better than what came before. Everything had to be swept away for THIS? I guess I just have too much history under my belt to not be annoyed at the silly infighting, or to be excited at seeing these relationship start all over from scratch; I have to keep reminding myself I'm not the intended audience for this effort and that my time as an ardent fan of mainstream DCU comics has for the most part passed.

Joe Slab said...

I have to agree with you rob! -- after the 1st 6 issue origin arc, this volume of Justice League has been lackluster at best IMHO. 5 years have passed -- you wouldn't know it from the characterization.

I do however like the nods to continuity between this book and Aquaman's solo title (something we've never seen in any prior volumes of either).

I am holding out hope for next issue JL #12 which was teased all throughout SDCC as being a huge turning point for the team, and with Aquaman being the one to bring it about (one panel of foreshadowing this ish). Its double-sized (48 pages w/ no SHAZAM back-up) and may be the make-it or break-it point in this book for me:


Joe Huber said...

I've really scaled back with my comics buying and I truly wanted this title to be really good, but it's not worth the $1 extra I pay/month to read it. With the decrease in page count each issue reads too quickly with nothing really happening to further the plot along.

I was onboard with the relaunch but I've cut back to just 4 titles. I'm finding that I'm going back and reading my collected editions more than I want to reread this new stuff. Thankfully Aquaman is still good, but what's going to happen when Johns focuses his attention elsewhere? Green Lantern has been steadily declining since Blackest Night ended and he's still writing that.

Jorge PR said...

Joe, you're right in that #12 looks really promising for Aquaman, but #13 doesn't make him any favor.

This issue seemed kind of like a filler, with nothing interesting or important really happening. And I keep waiting for Arthur's moment.

Also, what happened with Green Arrow now? Not that I missed him though.

Orin's dad said...

I agree with the masses here; JL is lackluster and mediocre at best. If Aquaman wasn't in it, I would have dropped it months ago.

Joe Slab said...

Here's a rebuttal to all of our comments from Bleeding Cool:


Shellhead said...

I agree with Orin's Dad:

If Arthur wasn't in it, I wouldn't be buying/reading it.