Friday, July 10, 2015

Justice League United #11


Comics Friday "The Island of No Return" by Jeff Parker, Travel Foreman, and Jeromy Cox.

As a comic, Justice League United was completely off my radar..that is, until DC announced that former Aqua-Scribe Jeff Parker was taking over the book. Not only that, but Mr. Parker would be bringing Mera into the series! That's surely worth giving it a try...


The book opens with the Dirty Dozen-esque team consisting of Mera, Swamp Thing, The Demon, Equinox, and Poison Ivy going after an unknown foe. Who brought these disparate people together? Adam Strange, of all people, who we learn is "trapped" in non-corporeal form inside the formerly-benign Zeta Beam. Inside the beam with him are a race of malevolent beings known as The Breakers, who threaten to all reality.

We then flashback to how we got here: Animal Man has been charged with getting Mera to join up, but all she wants is to find her King, Aquaman:


Star Girl does the same for Swamp Thing, Alanna Strange for Posion Ivy, and Equinox for The Demon. Once the team is assembled, they all meet on a Coast Guard ship in the middle of Lake Erie. Mera is dubious about being part of a team that features a villain, however:


The ship is then attacked by red, globule-type creatures who are part of The Breakers. Using her hard water powers, Mera almost single-handedly fights them off, proving that Adam Strange knew what he was doing in terms of picking JLAers.

Remnants of the creatures head for land, and the JLU gives chase. Mera freezes the water so they can skate across it, bringing us back to where the book started. The team then encounters a giant pyramid made of the red goo, which spews some liquid on them, and then instantly disappearing. This transports them all into another dimension, followed by the ground opening up and swallowing Swamp Thing, who cannot communicate with The Green:



...To be continued!


Jeff Parker's expert handling of Mera continues here--even among this interesting set of characters (I've always loved Adam Strange), she dominates the proceedings. Parker gives her a couple of great moments where she shows just how powerful she is, and even though I (of course) love her alongside Aquaman, it's great to see her shine as a solo act.

There's a couple of great laugh lines here too (during a sequence guest starring Batgirl), and while the bad guy isn't all that distinctive, overall I enjoyed this first issue with this team quite a bit. This is an interesting mix of characters, and the artwork by Travel Foreman is suitably exciting and quirky in equal measure. I wouldn't mind seeing writers ditch the whole "Gotham City. Now." approach (combined with constant flashbacks and flashforwards) to scene setting--it's used in so many superhero comics today that I long for a good old "Meanwhile..."

It's mentioned repeatedly that this team of heroes is only temporary, designed just for this mission. And while having a rotating group of heroes will no doubt afford Parker more flexibility in the types of stories he can tell, I'm betting most Aqua-Fans agree with me that I hope Mera sticks around after The Breakers have been sent packing.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Jeff Parker's expert handling of Mera continues here--even among this interesting set of characters (I've always loved Adam Strange), she dominates the proceedings. Parker gives her a couple of great moments where she shows just how powerful she is, and even though I (of course) love her alongside Aquaman, it's great to see her shine as a solo act."

Take notes Bunn!

Paul said...

I first noticed the "Gotham City. Now." approach around GL #21, it appears to be a DC style as far as I can tell. If you thought this story was non-linear, I just read the Starman/Congorilla one shot by James Robinson and it was even worse.