Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Justice League #19 Review

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis

This has been an amazing series, and although it's not always hit the top mark quality wise, it's always been interesting, and overall the series is amazing. Also with the upcoming Trinity War which will also include Justice League of America, and Justice League Dark it's a very exciting time to be a Justice League fan.


Someone breaks into the Batcave, and steals something. Also Superman, and Wonder Woman travel to Kahndaq to help the people, and Firestorm, and Atom (Rhonda Pineda) wait for the Justice League in the Justice League Satellite.

Shazam! Part 11

Billy Batson travels with his friends to try and get rid of the power of Shazam! but Francesca tells him the origin of Black Adam.


This was a brilliant issue, and the series is back to being brilliant again. Last issue was a little poor, and although it was interesting it let the series down, but thankfully Geoff Johns has managed to bring the quality back up to what I expect, by producing an amazing issue. Johns did an amazing job of giving something that was not just exciting, but interesting, as there was plenty of action in this issue, but also mystery, and drama. There was also fun moments in this story as well, which was nice, as it added another layer to the overall tone of the issue. I also loved how Johns has managed to continue previous story plots like the development of Superman, and Wonder Woman's relationship, as well as introducing new elements. This issue however wasn't quite perfect, as at times it felt a bit slow, and it also felt like too much was going on at once, but overall it was still amazing.

The art was amazing, and I was ecstatic to see Ivan Reis back on the series. Now I know that it was only one issue that he was absent for, and Jesus Saiz didn't do a bad job of filling in, but it was solicited that Reis would be doing the art for the last issue, and I was disappointed when it wasn't the case, also questioning if the solicits for the following issues were also true or not. Anyway, Reis did a phenomenal job of the artwork, and he really seems to suit this series, as I've never seen a bad piece of art from him so far. I also love how Reis is able to draw vast amount of characters in one sequence without losing any detail, as the detail is amazing, with everything looking perfect. Reis' art is also very dramatic, as the way he lays it out, it really gives more depth. The emotion on the character's expressions are also fabulous, as he even manages to show emotion on Red Hood (Jason Todd), and considering he's got a helmet covering his face that isn't easy.

I'll start by talking about the cover, and although I don't usually talk much about covers unless they're amazing, this time I'm talking about it cause it's misleading. The cover show Batman using his Kryptonite Ring against Superman, which suggests that there's a reason Batman needs to do this, Batman's getting controlled somehow, or that there's an imposter Batman. None of these were the case, as it was actually that someone stole Batman's Kryptonite Ring from his Batcave. Although this made it more interesting, and mysterious it was still slightly disappointing.

When the robber stole the Kryptonite Ring, it appeared to be from a box with Superman's emblem on it, and there appeared to be a box for each Justice League member. Although I've not actually read JLA: Tower of Babel, I have read the plot online, and this appears to be in a very similar vein, as Batman appears to have contingencies against all the members, but with actual objects being stored instead of computer files. I do like it when the New 52 throwback to a previous story from pre-New 52, but at the same time I always question whether it's necessary, and the right thing to do. I'm still not quite sure whether this is the right thing, as Johns probably could have thought of something a little more unique, but with the team still being fairly new, and Batman being mistrusting it's an interesting element, and with Trinity War coming up it makes the build-up more exciting. This also made me question how Batman got the Kryptonite Ring in the first place as pre-New 52 he was given it by Superman himself, but it appears that this is no longer the case.

The introduction of Atom to this issue was brilliant, and although she's appeared before this is the first real time we get to see more of her. I liked how she was introduced in a fun way, and although I won't spoil it, I will say that it was very clever, as well as fun. The interaction between Atom and Firestorm was also interesting, but I found Firestorm taking to himself out loud a bit confusing, as usually it's obvious that they're two people in one, whereas this just looked like one person with a split personality. I don't however follow The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men so I don't know if there have been any developments there that would explain that, but I still found it a bit weird, and confusing.

The development in Superman, and Wonder Woman's relationship was brilliant in this issue, and I was happy to see it continue. We've had their relationship develop on and off since their famous kiss in Justice League #12, but with there always being something happening in between there hasn't been a lot of chance for proper development, so it was nice to see some in this issue. Seeing them working together was brilliant, but the thing that interested me the most was how Batman felt on the subject. It was revealed in Justice League #14 that Batman knew of Superman, and Wonder Woman's relationship, but we've never actually seen his opinion on the subject. I won't go into any details as to avoid spoilers, but it was very interesting, and I look forward to seeing how it develops in the next issue.

The Shazam! back-ups have been one of the best things about this series over the last year, and although the series itself has still been awesome, with Throne of Atlantis being exceptionally brilliant, this has been the thing that I look forward to the most. This was not the best chapter in the story so far, but it was still brilliant, and very interesting. I really liked the emotion that was shown throughout, especially from Billy, as he seemed to be a bit frightened at the star, but changes gradually throughout. I also loved seeing the backstory to Black Adam, as it showed brilliant insight into the character, and why he's possibly the way he is. I did however also like that there was mystery left with this, as although it revealed certain things about Black Adam's backstory, it still left with me questioning whether there was more to it, which I'm sure there is. It was also nice to see Francesca back, and although I don't know much about her personally, I found her an interesting character last time round, and was happy to see her make another appearance. Gary Frank's artwork on this chapter was also brilliant, and like always it was amazing, with fantastic detail, and also showing brilliant character emotion, and drama.

Final Verdict

This was a brilliant issue, and although the series is still not quite as good as it was during Throne of Atlantis, it's still very exciting, and interesting, and the way the series is going in the build up to Trinity War is fantastic. I also loved the mysteriousness of the issue, and the Shazam! back-up story continues to be an amazing addition, and one of the best things about the series. Although last issue was disappointing I'd highly recommend this one as the series is back to it's average level of quality, and this issue itself was amazing.

Rating: 4/5