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Saturday, September 07, 2013

Justice League #23 - Oct. 2013

Comics Weekend "Trinity War, Chapter Six: Conclusion" by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclar Albert, Eber Ferreria, and Rod Reis.

We have covered an issue of Justice League in a while, because Aquaman's presence has been limited to standing around and not saying anything for a handful of panels. But that changes in a big way this time around!

This issue opens with a bang--and a slam, and a zap, and a pow:
Basically, all holy hell is breaking loose, with the Justice League squaring off against the Justice League of America. Aquaman is in the middle of a fight against Hawkman, when he thinks he sees Mera, and is understandably confused:
Superman chases after Batman, wanting to pound him into pulp. Wonder Woman steps in, saving the Dark Knight's life for the moment. After momentarily knocking Superman out, Firestorm examines him and explains that this mysterious box that everyone is after is not what's making the Man of Steel sick. In truth, he's being poisoned by Kryptonite!

Element Girl steps in and finds the source of the Kryptonite--a sliver placed inside Superman's brain. Cyborg wonders how it could have possibly gotten in there, and that's when the (very tiny) shoe drops: the Atom put it there!

Yes, the Atom is a traitor, and so is Cyborg, unbeknownst to him. The Atom activates something inside Vic, and all of his cybernetics separate themselves into another being, calling itself Grid. As Vic lies there dying, Grid attacks the Justice League. Meanwhile, the mysterious bowler-hatted guy grabs the skull, using it open a portal from another world. And the first being through that portal is: 
The Atom joins these guys, having been in, er, league with them the whole time. Batman and the others have no idea who these bad guys are, but of course we do. They call themselves:
...to be continued!

Before I get to anything else about this issue, can I say how much I loved seeing the team of Reis/Prado/Reis (and Albert and Ferreira) do their versions of the classic JLA moments from their earliest appearances? I would seriously be up for a separate series of just those guys drawing those classic Gardner Fox stories all over again. DC, get on that.

In any case, this issue was a lot of fun, and I was thrilled to finally see an Aquaman doppelganger in the Crime Syndicate. Ever since I first learned of the characters back during the original series, I was annoyed that Aquaman did not get represented. Of course, Geoff Johns teases us (just like he did last week in Aquaman) mercilessly: he introduces Crime Syndicate Aquaman, only to kill him off one panel later! Arrrrrggggghhh!

I'm also disappointed to see the Atom is a traitor--I think it works great as a story element, but I liked this new Atom, liked there being an Atom in this new Justice League, so learning this about her made kinda sad, I have to admit. It's probably just the Cranky Old Comics Fan in me, wanting to see as close a recreation of the classic JLA as possible.



Anonymous said...

While this issue sounds like fun, I have to say, the flashbacks to the re-imagined classic JLA stories really cements one of my biggest problems with this series.

At the end of the day, I'd rather read those stories. I'd rather they start at the beginning and actually build a back story rather than constantly barrel forward and imply without explaining. I'd rather see the JLA take on Starro and the Weapon Master.

The Atom as a traitor...ehh, I didn't mind the character, but I wanted Ray Palmer instead. It sounds like it was an interesting twist, her being a triple agent and all, but I sorta' feel like Rob. I'd prefer an actual Atom to be part of the team. I've already given up on this book, otherwise this might bother me a lot more.

I agree that the appearance of CSA Aquaman is a terrible, terrible waste. All the time we've waited for DC to stop being stupid and give us an entire Earth-3 League, and Johns just gives us a bait and switch. Some of y'all might find this interesting:
It's a design contest for a CSA version of Aquaman. One of these concepts actually made it into my DCU mod as an anti-matter Aquaman!

I like the design they gave the CSA Aquaman, but it wasn't really that fantastic. The other CSA members are iconic, and it's difficult to create something that can stand up to the perfection of their designs.

Anonymous said...

No, wait, not cool. you mean the REAL Aquaman finally showed up and he's just anti-matter evil Crime Sindicate version? This just pisses me off. I mean it's cool to see Frankenstein fighting Superman and all (been waiting for that one since I was a kid) but this is just wrong.

David J. Cutler said...

So... what killed evil Aquaman, exactly? I read this book twice and I have no idea still.

I believe Earth 2/3 Aquaman was alluded to before, in the Grant Morrison incarnation. He was called Barracuda then and Ultraman was said to have killed him on his rise to power.

If your team has a traitor, everyone should look immediately to the cute new female superhero who just came out of nowhere and has no history. We've been telling the same stories over and over since Teen Titans and Terra.

The art was gorgeous and there were some great moments but Forever Evil seems like not my thing, really. To each their own!

Anonymous said...

yeah, the art's great, but...so now the Peter David/Grant Morrison Aquaman never existed? Or just did as an evil bearded extra-dimensional double? God dang it. I'm done with D.C.

Anonymous said...

Your missing out. DC rules. I too was annoyed by this but DC is just so much better than marvel ill let this one go.

Designer Daddy said...

Loved the Earth-3 Aquaman (so rare to actually be surprised by a comic plot twist these days) but killing him off was a d*ck move. Not sure who's decision that was — probably whoever cut him from the Justice League animated movie. Or whoever hired Orson Scott Card. Or whoever refused to let Batwoman marry her girlfriend in her comic.

Not very happy with DC these days. :(