A little over a year ago I reviewed one of DC Comics classic stories; truly a amazing story from the visually brilliant imagination of Alex Ross called Kingdom Come. Today I begin my review another Ross story involving the Justice League of America entitled Justice. A twelve-part maxi-series I will be reviewing it in two parts.
The first six issues are…interesting. Each is told from the perspective of a different Justice League member in the captions; providing an overview of events, questions (mostly without answer), random thoughts, etc. Each member of the League has a role to play in the master plan, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Like nearly all works of fiction there are protagonists and antagonists. In Justice Ross and co-story and scripter Jim Krueger explore a world turned upside down. Can Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Poison Ivy and Black Manta be the heroes? Can they convince the world that they are the good guys whose only goal is the betterment of humankind?
Not without being villains.
The crux of the story is a dream. Grodd, with the help of Luthor and Brainiac invented a scenario where the world is destroyed and the JLA are powerless to stop it or save a single person. This dream, through the telepathic prowess of Grodd is implanted in the mind of nearly every arch villain the JLA has ever had. Banding together they work toward eliminating the only thing preventing their rise to prominence amongst the people. Similarly to Identity Crisis, the knowledge of who the members of the Justice League truly are is acquired by the villainous group and they use this to incapacitate the members of the JLA…or at least that’s what they think.
An intriguing part of the apex of the first arc is how the battles to defeat the JLA go. Though each hero is attacked by some member of their past: Batman/Ivy, Superman/Bizzaro/Metallo/Parasite/Grundy, Wonder Woman/Cheetah, Hal Jordan/Sinestro, Hawkman/Toyman, et al, the manner of the attacks are rather brilliant and catch each member almost completely off-guard.
Aside from the amazing Alex Ross art the thing that keeps the pages of each issue turning at rapid pace is the desire to read more of the story. Krueger and Ross do a masterful job if leaving us wanting more.
In the early part of the series Aquaman is captured in a battle with Black Manta and turned over to Brainiac for reasons still unknown and experimented on. Flash, while eating dinner hears a call from Superman for help, attempts to run to his aid and finds that he cannot stop. Hal Jordan is surprise-attacked by Sinestro and flung into the distance of the unknown via a boom tube. He is forced to become one with his ring and allow it to attempt to make its way back to the known universe with him inside. Superman and Batman have creatures inside them controlling their minds and bodies.
But it is always darkest just before the dawn. Superman finds a way to break free, Wonder Woman aides Batman back to restore his mental faculties. The Trinity is reunited; what is in store for the rest of the Justice League? Check back next week for the conclusion of Justice.
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Till next Wednesday…