Justice League 19
Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Gary Frank
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Yet another great issue by Johns and company has me asking one question and one alone: Why does this comic have to be monthly? Epic storyline scopes, planting seeds for future events, referencing past skirmishes, and all the while, not forgetting to add humanizing scenes with the characters we all love, hate, and love to hate is just one of many reasons that Johns is the CCO of one of the greatest companies on the planet. Did I mention that not only does this issue have all of those things, but every issue of this series has had those moments? Well, it does. And they have, too. Consistently.
The new story starts out with the Red Hood talking with Alfred about the do’s and don’ts of making Batman acknowledge his feelings, only to be interrupted and beaten unconscious by a cool new intruder who sneaks into the Batcave-within-the-Batcave, which, until this moment, I don’t think anyone really knew existed. Not that we’re surprised. But we could go on for pages speculating who the mystery thief was and why he (or she) stole the kryptonite ring (not to mention why Batman has one to begin with). Let’s focus on the new teammates of the Atom and Firestorm and how they are both funny, fresh, and proving that Geoff Johns still knows when to add comic relief. And while we’re being distracted, let’s look at how Superman and Wonder Woman are doing a secret peace mission in the middle of Kahndaq, only to be put in their places by a grumpy and recently burgled Batman. But that quickly blows up in his face, and, like all things usually do with these super-powered folks, escalates quickly. Yes, Superman and Wonder Woman’s relationship is a danger to the League and the state of costume heroes in general, but why the hell does Batman have a secret contingency plan list (and items to go with said list) to take out the League? And more importantly, what is the contingency plan for when said plan gets stolen and used against them without his permission? Well, we’re about to see, because we get a huge cliffhanger ending with the watchtower being invaded by classic League foe, Despero, and there are two problems that come to mind: First, the only two people onboard are relatively untrained and unprepared: Firestorm and the Atom. And secondly, he’s sporting a shiny new green ring, which means he’s in cahoots with Mr. (or Mrs.) Sneaky-Pants from the beginning of the issue.
Whoo-boy. All of this action, great art, and some pretty stellar dialogue, and we get a bonus feature that finally seems to be finding its footing. Gary Frank’s art is always excellent, but it always seemed a little jarring when it sort of snuck out of nowhere and interrupted previous stories. But with Superman and Wonder Woman operating off the radar in Kahndaq (Black Adam’s home), it finally seems like the backups are building toward something bigger. All of this, with the effects of both Death of the Family and Requiem still having Batman reeling and the impending Trinity War have me thinking that Johns is planning something even more epic than we’ve seen before. Which is awesome, because the first big crossover event since the launch of the New 52 is something that I have been waiting for since its creation. Keep up the great work, Mr. Johns!
My Rating: 5/5