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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Justice League #19 - May 2013

Comics Weekend "War Games" by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclari Albert, and Rod Reis.

In the BatCave, the not-so-late Jason Todd and Alfred discuss the death of Robin, the Boy Wonder. They're conversation is interrupted by a masked intruder who zaps the two unconscious long enough to access the BatComputer (seemingly by authorized means) to find six cases, all marked by familiar insignia:

We catch up with one of the League's newest members, the Atom, is playing some computer games from the inside (and looking very Sword of the Atom while doing so!). After finishing, she transports to the Watchtower where the only other hero there is Firestorm, talking to "himself."

Back down on Earth, Superman and Wonder Woman go on a personal mission in the war-torn country of Kahndaq, attacking a group of kidnappers and freeing their hostages. Later we rejoin Jason and Alfred in the BatCave, where Batman has joined them, along with two other members of the League:
Superman and Wonder Woman reflect on what they just did. The former seems uncertain, but the latter is bullish, thinking they should do even more. This discussion is also interrupted, by Batman who insists that by doing what they did, they inserted the Justice League into an unstable political situation.

Batman also reveals he knows about their budding relationship, which angers his teammates. What makes them even more angry is when Batman reveals that someone broke into the cave and stole something that has to do with Superman!

Back at the Watchtower, Firestorm and the Atom take a tour of the place, and find themselves face-to-face with an old(?) Justice League foe: 
...to be continued!

Aquaman only appears in one page this issue, but there are other nice moments to enjoy: I liked Firestorm and the Atom's interactions (and the callback to a previous Atom mini-series), and of course I'm happy to see Despero appear in the New 52.
The whole Batman's-contingency-plans-being-stolen-by-a-bad-guy plot has been done before, fairly recently. While it makes sense for the character to behave this way, I have to admit it makes me sad that Batman is so often written as a near-paranoid jerk. I'm not exactly sure why he is so cheesed off about Superman and Wonder Woman's relationship, or why it's anyone's business (he states his reasons here, but to me they sound like weak arguments). Again, it makes him seem like a jerk.
Art-wise, as usual Reis/Prado/Reis deliver the goods. The double-page "Sword of the Atom" splash was great, as is the last page reveal of Despero. But I need more of them on Aquaman, please!


Count Drunkula said...

I shared my thoughts on this issue over on the Irascible Shag's Firestorm page, but here is the gist.

You're right, Rob--Batman's contingency plans for the Justice League have been done before and done very well, so I'm not that excited to see this territory revisited again.

I'm not sure why Red Hood had to be in this issue; there are certainly enough Robin surrogates to go around. As I said at Firestorm Fan, I think Winnick's story of Jason Todd's resurrection was a good story, but ultimately more detrimental to DC history than helpful. That's how I feel about IDENTITY CRISIS, as well.

I also hate the idea of a Superman/Wonder Woman romance. It makes for decent Jim Lee pinups, but that's it. It makes both of them weaker characters, especially Wonder Woman. So I'm looking forward to their dalliance blowing up in their faces.

With all that in mind, it seems like I would have hated this issue, but I didn't. I enjoyed it because of the All-Newer Atom and Firestorm. These two made this issue and I think they're going to be a tremendous boost of light-hearted fun to this series from this point on.

I loved me some Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi, but the five pages of Rhonda Pineda at the beginning of this issue sold me on her. The SWORD OF THE ATOM call-back was great, and the fact that she can use her powers to interface with online gaming in such a way is just cool beyond measure!

Overall, it was kind of a mixed issue, but the good parts were really, really good!

BlUsKrEEm said...

When I first read the issue I swore that the burglar was The Operative from the Others. Two Aquaman plots in a row?! Our finniy friends have become quite the force in the New-U.

Then I pulled out the back issues of The Others Arch, and was disappointed to see the costume was slightly different. Still with Mera and Arthur seemingly changing their duds every panel it COULD be an Others crossover... I can hope can't I?

Joe Slab said...

That was the Scavenger who stole Batman's K-ring for Despero (see last page)!

The question remains if there is a connection between The Operative & the Scavenger...

Designer Daddy said...

Was anyone else (Rob, especially) reminded of JLA #200 when Firestorm was sitting around the Watchtower talking to himself, only to have a big alien come crashing through the wall? :)