Justice League comes to us delayed for a couple issues, but it’s nonetheless here. Do you remember what’s going on with the new Power Ring? Jessica Cruz was chosen by Power Ring to be its next host. The Doom Patrol and the Justice League along with Lex Luthor all converge on Jessica Cruz’s Power Ring breakdown. This is where Justice League #33 picks up. The teaser on the cover reads “What is the secret behind the Power Ring?” and it’s an honest question because that’s exactly what this issue answers. It’s a pretty straightforward comic.
Opening with Luthor’s inner monologue, we’re told about Jessica’s agoraphobia, which is fear of the outside environment. Luthor is condescending even in his thoughts, “For those who didn’t graduate from the third grade, agoraphobia is…” which is perfect. The Justice League and the Doom Patrol are clashing with one another. As Batman, I don’t know, approaches a giant Rita Farr, a.k.a. Elasti-Girl, he asks who she is. Because Bruce apparently never watches movies, Superman has to explain to Batman that she is an Oscar award-winning film actor. Poor uncultured Bruce. Really, from a technical standpoint, it might would have been better to hear from Flash during that section as we have an unusually talkative Batman this issue and a completely silent Flash.
The point is made that Caulder is only working with the Doom Patrol for his own gain, that he has destroyed the lives of others and is doing so with the current Doom Patrol lineup. Power Ring wakes up and the ring sends a giant green explosion, apparently blowing the members of both teams apart. I say apparently, because it is not clearly shown. I had to flip back and read forward to understand what happened. It, thankfully, leaves Bruce and Lex some much needed alone time where Lex can tell Bruce the answer to the question on the cover.
Lex and Caulder enjoy a “I’m smarter and more prepared than you” skirmish. Meanwhile, Cruz is still attacking and it’s taking the entire Justice League to fend off the rest of the Doom Patrol. You have Flash, Aquaman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Shazam squaring off with Robotman who is holding his own, Negative Man who has practically surrendered, Elasti-girl who is barely keeping her composure, and Element Woman. What an even match.
Batman has some interesting things to say to lots of people this issue.
- To Jessica Cruz SpoilerOf course Batman “gets” fear. I wonder if he put the Power Ring on if it would just disintegrate because he’s conquered so much fear. His little talk with her is good and I’m glad to see this sensitive side of Bruce, both in verbal and body language.
- To Lex Luthor Spoiler“Don’t call me that,” he says when Lex calls him, “Bruce.” Also, right after he talks to Jessica to shut Power Ring down, Bruce sort of uncharacteristically rubs it in Luthor’s face. Like a young boy to his little sister, “Yeah, you thought you were gonna get to eat ice cream, but mommy went to the store and gave it to me. Not you, Irene. I at the ice cream. And it’s in my belly now. You don’t get none.” The little sister responds, “But I will.”
- To the Justice League SpoilerOkay, if Bruce believes Lex needs to be allowed into the League, then why does he pitch that little fit just one page prior? Literally, Bruce is telling Lex they didn’t need his help on the left side of the page and on the right he is telling Superman and Wonder Woman they need to ask him to join the League. It’s like If that was Bruce’s plan from the get-go to allow Lex in the League to watch over him, then why tell Lex “we don’t need your help”? If Bruce had his thoughts together and was playing the right cards, he would have shown some positivity toward Lex after the Cruz thing so as not to give Lex an even more of a distrustful taste in his mouth. Regardless, Bruce thinks it’s best to let Lex in, and they do.
Like I said, it’s a fairly straightforward issue. For me, I’m not digging all of Mahnke’s art in this issue, particularly nearly every human’s face. I’m cool with Robotman and the monsters in Power Ring’s energy swirling around, but I do not like how many of his faces look. I am most likely in the minority here, it’s just not my style. The body language of the characters is terrific though. The scene with Batman and Power Ring is great. Luthor and Caulder’s scene. All the Power Ring energy blasts look good, I just can’t get behind Mahnke’s facial artwork.
- You want to know the secret behind the Power Ring.
- You think Bruce needs to talk it out with some people.
- You want to see more from the Doom Patrol.
Not a bad issue. After the delays, I’ve found myself a little more distant coming back to this title, but am glad to be reading it again. If we can get the next issue soon I will be really happy because all that’s happening with this series is very interesting and has good potential.