New 52 – Justice League #19 review

It’s a solid issue that portrays Batman surprisingly well. Not only do we spend quite a bit of time in the batcave, but we see Red Hood and Alfred discussing the recent events of Batman Inc. and we see a Batman who is level headed and acts as concerned friend toward Superman and Wonder Woman. The opening pages that take place within the Batcave are easily the most compelling. You can find those pages at various sites right now as a free preview and in them you’ll see that someone has managed to break into Batman’s liar. But it’s not so much that they broke in that interests me, it’s that all of the cave’s security functions fully authorized this person’s entrance. Who could it be?

Beyond that we get to see more from the new recruits, Atom and Firestorm, who add levity to an issue that deals quite heavily with team politics. Superman and Wonder Woman’s romance is causing more problems and for some reason these characters are being portrayed as naive teenagers who don’t seem to grasp how a union between the most powerful man and woman on the planet could make folks uneasy. And the way Wonder Woman talks to Superman in their alone time is definitely reminding me of the video game and tie-in comic Injustice: Gods Among Us. It’s beginning to look more and more like their union will play a major role in the much anticipated Trinity War. Wonder Woman and Superman need to grow up and have a stronger presence on the team. As it stands, Cyborg and Batman are the most mature and responsible players while Aquaman and Green Lantern are both MIA because they have their own problems and Flash continues to struggle to find anything worth doing on this team.

The Justice League portion of the book flies by and as always, Ivan Reis’ artwork looks amazing. Some of the pages with Atom and our surprise villain were the most breathtaking for me. However, the “WTF” cover of this issue was quite misleading. There really isn’t anything all that shocking to speak of in this issue. Easily one of the most tame comics to come out of this month’s event.

As you can imagine, the Shazam backup continues to be beautifully illustrated and incredibly fun and entertaining. Now that Billy is running around with the rest of the kids, the book has taken on a bit of a Goonies quality and there’s nothing wrong with that. Who doesn’t like The Goonies? But most importantly, we get a glimpse at Black Adam’s origin and that could definitely surprise some people. I know I’m sounding like a broken record here, but the Shazam backups are consistently the best part of buying this comic and I wish the character had his own solo series.

This is a comic worth picking up I think. The twist at the end of the last issue is hardly addressed so in a way this feels like a fresh new start and a good jumping on point for new readers. Great art, cool action, and as this arc chugs along in coming months it looks like we’re going to have a pretty formidable bad guy. It’s not as impressive as the Throne of Atlantis saga, but it’s entertaining enough.

SCORE: 7.5/10