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Saturday, October 05, 2013

Justice #10 - April 2007

Comics Weekend "Justice Chapter Ten"

Hey there everyone, Shrine Correspondent Andy Luckett here with my review of Justice Chapter Ten, by the esteemed team of Jim Krueger, Alex Ross and Doug Braithwaite! 
The end of last issue showcased the Justice League, encased in their various armors, taking off to face the Legion of Doom. This issue begins on a quieter note, from the perspective of a previously disabled woman living in one of the Legion of Doom's floating cities. She writes about how she felt she had to run away to the new life awaiting her in the city, and how happy it makes her.

Meanwhile, in the Legion's undersea fortress, Gorilla Grodd voices his frustrations to Giganta while on their way to a banquet celebrating the Legion's victory over the Justice League. They arrive at the main hall, unaware they are being followed by the Atom. Luthor asserts that "We won this time", while Braniac tells his plans to Arthur Jr, who he is grooming to become his cybernetic "son."
The Atom watches all the interactions, figuring out that if he can't breach Luthor's force field, than Braniac is unable to control Luthor like he has most of the other villains. Gorilla Grodd, whose fantastic mind is also shielded from Braniac's interference (but who has been increasingly suspicious of Braniac's master plan), suddenly realizes the heroes are approaching. The Justice League bursts through the door in a flood of sentient armor, and the battle begins. Zatanna stands behind Green Arrow and Black Canary and shouts "edisni seoreh raeppasid won*", sending the Leaguers teleporting down into a lower floor of the hideout. (*Remember, read Zatanna's spells backwards--Assistant Editor Andy)
As Braniac calls in the League's mind-controlled fellow heroes to fight on his behalf, Green Arrow and Black Canary pick their way through the sewer toward their destination (Platinum and Gold of the Metal Men are still fighting upstairs in the shapes of Oliver and Dinah). In another battle outside the Hall of Doom, the possessed members of the Teen Titans engage the Doom Patrol in combat as The Joker calls the action dressed as a carnival barker. Inside, Batman faces the Riddler while Parasite makes a very unfortunate threat to Aquaman:

And that makes Aquaman feel stabby, which is bad for the Parasite:

As the battle continues, the tide seems to turn in the direction of the heroes, and Aquaman (having taken down the woefully outmatched Parasite) turns his attention  to Black Manta and gives the old trident another workout:
In the lower levels of the Hall of Doom, Oliver and Dinah realize that their plan has been discovered by Grodd, and they are being followed. Upstairs the battle rages on, but as the tide turns in favor of the League, the villains suddenly retreat to their city strongholds. Back in the lower levels, Oliver and Dinah's stalker is revealed: Clayface. Canary keeps going to finish her part of the mission, and Ollie's arrows do little to stop the oncoming wall of clay. But he has a secret weapon. Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man has been hiding in Oliver's shadow, and does his best to hold back Clayface. As Oliver watches him work, he comments that he'll never let anyone call Ralph a joke again.
Meanwhile, outside the Hall of Doom, carnival barker Joker is setting up a picnic while the battle between the Doom Patrol and the possessed Teen Titans rages on. He promises fireworks, which is obviously not going to work out for everyone's health. And in the Hall of Doom, the Atom finally is able to break down Luthor's force field, and finishes him off with a tiny haymaker to the chin. 

After Green Arrow catches up to Black Canary, they tear open the door containing the League's non-powered loved ones, who are guarded by a very angry Supergirl. Ollie pulls out an especially green arrow, but Canary reminds him that it's Kryptonite tipped, and will probably kill Supergirl. GA fires it anyway, missing the Maid of Might but scoring a direct hit on John Stewart. At first this seems like a terrible set of circumstances, but the green on the arrow wasn't Kryptonite after all, it was Green Lantern energy to allow John to recharge his ring! Having done so, John tells Supergirl that "You're not killing any superheroes today, Supergirl. You're going to help us save the world. Just like always."

Alright, so now we have another major player on the side of the angels as John Stewart is back to fighting shape (and able to use his ring to de-wormify the mind controlled heroes). It's beginning to seem that the Legion of Doom's plans are unraveling as more of the criminals realize the depths of Braniac's manipulations. That said, they are still extremely dangerous with the cities full of innocent people at their command, and Braniac still possessing Aquaman's son. Not to mention The Joker, living out his purpose as a wild card.

Speaking of Aquaman, he is given a front and center position in this issue, as well as the most immediate and desperate motivation of the entire League. Seeing Arthur Jr. under Braniac's influence is driving him even harder, and his confrontations with both Parasite and Black Manta show him fighting as a father with no mercy being given. His takedown of Parasite is one of the best Aquaman moments in this entire series, so bravo for that.

Again, much praise goes to the creative team for another excellent issue with strong conflict and palpable emotion, sold by Ross' and Braithwaite's attention to realistic detail. My only complaint; not only about this issue but the series as a whole, is the nagging feeling that some story threads are not always properly conveyed, leaving the reader trying to fill in small questions in a complex story. It doesn't sink the series at all; it simply makes reading a bit confusing at times. But perhaps that's just me.

Anyway, next issue promises to offer a thrilling climax in this clash between longstanding foes. How will the League finally beat the Legion? Will Aquaman rescue his son from becoming a cyborg? And what happens to all the people in the cities after the villains are defeated? We'll begin to find out next issue! As always, here are files from The Batcave detailing Green Arrow and Black Canary:


Gene Hendricks said...

Great review, as usual, Andy. I have one little nitpick, though. Ollie's arrow contains Hal's ring, not GL energy. At this point, there was only one ring on Earth, which is why Hal was sent away and John was simply captured.

Andy Luckett said...

@Gene: Ah, that makes more sense. I misread that story beat. Thanks for clearing that up!