New 52 – Justice League #14 review

This was easily the best quasi-bat-title from Wednesday. However, the thing that made it good wasn’t so much the Justice League side of it as it was the terrific Shazam backup. The backup was all about Black Adam adapting to a new era and wrecking lives and causing property damage in the process. Great artwork, great villainy, great fun. It was also probably the longest backup story so far. Usually those last for 7-8 pages but this one was around 11 pages long. That means that the 2nd and final part of the Cheetah story in Justice League was quite short.

So at the end of the last issue, Cheetah hops out of a bush faster than Flash, Superman, or any of the other godlike heroes can respond. She beats the crap out of everyone and even gives Superman a bite that turns him into a were-cheetah as well. Well, in this issue the team recovers pretty quickly thanks to the intervention of an old lady with a horn. Well, I should say that first the old lady, a tribal chieftain of sorts, and a few of her warriors manage to sneak up on Cheetah-Superman and throw a spear at him first. You’d think he’d be able to hear them  coming what with him being Superman with Cheetah-ears, but whatever. He’s all insande because of the Cheetah-ness being inside of him and he leaps at the tribesmen behind him HOWEVER little does Superman know that this old woman can blow a horn faster than a kryptonian can fly.


Superman’s down. Everybody’s down. It’s an awesome horn and the old lady blows it well. Cheetah says some lame line about “I’ll get you next time, old lady! And not even blowing your kick-ass horn will help you!” and she escapes. I don’t know why the old lady wouldn’t keep blowing the horn and bring Cheetah down once and for all, but…here we are.

From then on the team chases after Cheetah and the whole thing wraps up pretty quickly. I gotta say though, I don’t read The Flash comic, but I sincerely hope he’s treated better in that series. I’m consistently unimpressed by the Flash in the Justice League series. The guy rarely says anything and he’s been pretty worthless in every fight. He seems really ineffective in this issue and if I was a Flash fan, I’d be pretty mad.

The real highlight of the issue is Tony Daniel’s artwork but, much like the book’s story, it has its ups and downs. Batman always looks great, better than he did in Daniel’s recent Detective Comics run (he’s a lot less bulky) and some shots of the team battling Cheetah with the jungle on the horizon are really attractive. But then there are some weird angles here and there and I recall one shot of a close-up of Superman that didn’t look natural at all. Still, when he’s on his game it’s really impressive stuff and it’s far from being an ugly or mediocre looking comic. The story’s best moments are actually in the quieter scenes that come after Cheetah and I’ve put those in spoilers.

They catch Cheetah very quickly. So quickly that there are still several pages of comic book left where we see Superman and Wonder Woman out on a date. These scenes were nice and I found them far more enjoyable than any of the Cheetah stuff. And the twist that Cheetah’s plan was to get caught all along really didn’t jive with the rest of the story. Instead it felt like there was a bigger story in mind for Cheetah but it got cut short. The final page reveal that Batman is spying on the rest of the league and watching Superman and Wonder Woman make out shows that we could be seeing a return of creepy/paranoid/asshole Batman in the New 52. It was a cool looking image at least.

Overall, it’s a pretty unbalanced and rushed filler episode. It’s got some really stupid moments like with the old lady and the horn but it also has some nice interactions between the members of the team when they have downtime and there are some good looking Tony Daniel panels. However, even with those little moments I would honestly recommend you skip this one if it wasn’t for the Shazam backup. If you’ve enjoyed the Shazam stuff then you owe it to yourself to check out Black Adam’s rampage.

SCORE: 7/10