Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Justice League #18 Review

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jesus Saiz

Coming of the breathtakingly brilliant Throne of Atlantis story, Justice League has big shoes to fill, and with the upcoming Trinity War story coming it needs to show that it can continue being brilliant, especially considering within two issues Justice League of America has been a better series (although it's only been two issues).

Plot


After the events of Throne of Atlantis the Justice League agree that there needs to be new members that can act on a more permanent basis in case something prevents a current member from acting, so Cyborg uses the Grid to find candidates.



Shazam! Part 10

Mr. Bryer comes to Billy Batson's foster home with the police wanting him arrested, but with Billy not being there he is dismissed. After that the remaining children in the foster home follow Freddy Freeman in searching for Billy.

Review


This wasn't the best issue in the series, so far, but it wasn't the worst. Geoff Johns had a lot to live up to after the brilliant Throne of Atlantis story, but I never expected this issue to match that. I did however find the issue very interesting, and liked how Johns handled the whole Grid situation. Although not very exciting, Johns did however do a good job on the issue besides that, as it had some very interesting sequences, and concepts, a well as leaving some interesting teasers. I also liked that Cyborg had a bigger role in this issue, and felt Johns also handled this well, but I'll talk more about this later on in my review.

The absence of Ivan Reis was noticeable from page one, and I was disappointed as he was solicited as bring the artist. Jesus Saiz did however do a very good job of the art in this issue, and although I'd prefer Reis working on the art, Saiz did do better than a lot of other artists who have worked on Justice League titles in the past. Saiz' art was very detailed, and I actually liked how he drew the characters. Although his art wasn't as beautiful as Reis', it was still very lively, and showed a lot of dynamic. Saiz' also did a brilliant job of the characters facial expressions, and the odd action sequence that featured in this issue was drawn perfectly, giving a very dramatic feel. I do however hope that the solicits are true for the next few issues of Justice League, and that Reis is doing the art, as I really missed it on this issue.

What is the Grid? The Grid is what Cyborg uses to find the potential superheroes to be members of the Justice League. He uses this to find their phone numbers, and homes, and I personally found this controversial, and something unexpected of Cyborg. I'm not surprised that Cyborg is capable of this, as to be honest it's something that I'd imagine wouldn't be that hard for him to do, but I do question whether it's morally right prying into the affairs of other hero's, as some may hold their secret identity close. I would expect this sort of thing from Batman, and when it was revealed that he was involved in some way I wasn't surprised, but at the same time I never thought that Cyborg would do such a thing without consulting the League, although I understand him using it during the Throne of Atlantis storyline, as that was a life an death situation for the planet, let alone the League. I do however wonder if the League will follow up on this, showing their feelings towards it. It was however a very interesting concept, and Johns handled it brilliantly.

Despite finding it morally wrong, I like how the Grid was put into effect, with hero's receiving random messages from the Justice League telling them that they could help. What was most interesting about this was the reaction from the characters on the receiving end, as the shock was obvious, and Saiz' art showed it well. I also liked that Johns took the time to delve into the normal lives of some of these hero's as having not read any of the series the featured characters receiving messages are in, it was nice to see their world.

The meeting at the Justice League Satellite was very interesting, and so was the discussion between the League before that. What I really liked during this conversation was actually that Flash (Barry Allen) made a reference to not being present in the Throne of Atlantis, and why, which helped show that the timelines were in sync. The sequence where the selected hero's arrive in the Satellite was interesting, but not as interesting as I'd have hoped. There were some conversations that were more interesting than others, like Firestorm's conversation with Superman, but overall it wasn't as interesting as I'd have hoped. I did however like Nightwing's (Dick Grayson) reaction to the meeting. Zatanna's appearance was also interesting, as she was a member of the Justice League Dark, but apparently John Constantine's removed her permanently from the team. I've never read Justice League Dark, but I have recently acquired most issues from issue 9, so I don't know exactly what happened with the JLD, and Zatanna, but this makes me more interested to find out.

As I said there wasn't much action in this issue, but the small sequence to feature action was exciting. I won't go into details as it happens late in the issue, and I hate spoiling anything, but I will say that it was an interesting turn of events, and the attentive reader will see it coming. The way everyone reacted to the event was also very interesting, as due to the circumstances most would be shocked about it even happening. Another thing I liked about this was the aftermath, as it provided a brilliant conclusion to the issue, and has me interested in the next issue.

The Shazam! back-ups featuring Billy Batson as the magical Shazam! character has been the thing I've loved most in this series over the last year, and although this wasn't the best chapter in the story so far, it was still very good, and very interesting. There was two things that I really liked about this issue, and the first of them was the involvement of Mr. Bryer. This showed that the development of character, with Billy standing up to Bryer wasn't for nothing, and also that it wasn't forgotten, as it showed the characteristics that made Billy the perfect candidate for becoming Shazam! The other thing I liked was that the rest of the foster family, and more importantly Tawky Tawny were involved. I've not read a lot of Shazam! prior to the New 52, but I have read-up on his history, and from what I have read, the tiger, Tawky Tawny was my favourite character, bar Shazam! himself, so it was nice seeing him featured. I also loved that it showed that Billy wasn't an idiot, and that he was afraid of Black Adam. The art from Gary Frank was once again fabulous, and it's really detailed, making Johns amazing story look phenomenal.

Final Verdict


This wasn't the best issue in the series so far, but it was interesting, and it does have a very interesting conclusion. It didn't have much action, or excitement, but I never expected it to, but it was still interesting, and still better than a lot of series out there. I would still recommend this issue, as it was interesting, but I would advise newer readers to tread with caution, as it isn't the best issue to entice you into the series.

Rating: 3/5