I tried explaining to my wife the ironic timing of The Amazo Virus arc that begins in this issue of Justice League with the current Ebola virus situation in the real world. She thought it was as strange as I did. I don’t know if Geoff Johns had the Ebola virus in mind when the solicits for this arc were released back in July (Ebola was declared an “international health emergency” in August) or it was weird timing or what, but it sure made me read this issue in a different light.

The issue opens with Luthor’s speech about the partnership of Wayne Enterprises and Lexcorp. He eloquently lists tragedies that echo events in the real world: capsized boats, earthquakes, hundreds of girls missing. His speech is great and encouraging to the reader on a deeper than surface level. “I’m not Superman or Wonder Woman, what can I possibly do to help?! And where do I even start?” The answer he gives, “You start wherever you can.” Read the speech. It’s good.

We are shown pictures of the League helping all across the world in disasters. Luthor’s speech makes me want to believe him. But we know Luthor, and there’s got to be something sinister going on here. Then Bruce chimes in with a much shorter speech that we are led to believe is better than Lex’s. I disagreed on that one. Geoff Johns, you kicked wicked tail on Luthor’s speech. Bruce’s just couldn’t match it in my opinion.

Lex lets Bruce in his inner sanctum, allowing Bruce free range in at Lexcorp. What Luthor doesn’t know (seemingly, I’m not sure) is that the League is all around the building waiting for Bruce to give the signal when he finds something illegal to have the League rush in and arrest Lex. What really surprised me is Jessica Cruz. She is there with the League!? I’m not sure of the timeline (don’t get me started… Bruce is off planet in Batman and Robin) but surely Jessica shouldn’t be operating with League status, she was just completely out of control last issue. Regardless, Batman feels “she’ll learn faster this way” so I guess he’s right.

Bruce asks to see Lex’s cloning room, which he allows him access. There is another small thing Bruce gets privy to:

Spoiler
Lex’s sister, Lena. She is working in Lex’s personal lab where he experiments of Kryptonite among other things.
Bruce tries to bring Lex down by retelling Lena’s story, how Lex left her. I just didn’t see the reason for Bruce to be such a jerk at such a weird time. Yeah Lex was terrible but there’s no need to be like that even if Luthor is still evil. What does this accomplish? Maybe Bruce is just still angry.

The rest of the League are guarding outside the building when another spoiler happens.

Spoiler
Aquaman, who is standing on the top of a building, wait, let’s just stop there. He is standing on a building and at the given time he’s going to “dive in” on Bruce’s signal. Now, into what will Aquaman dive? He can’t fly. So…?? Also, everyone else is undercover. Cyborg has his big metal head in a hoodie. Flash is in street clothes. Arthur? His golden scaled massive trident self is posted up like a gargoyle for any security camera or pedestrian looking up to see. Now… Aquaman sees a man on fire jump into Lexcorp’s building. It is Neutron, a villain with nuclear powers of explosion, strength, flight and durability. He is on a mission to kill Lex and an explosion takes place when he hits the building. Arthur attacks (guess he made it) Flash and Cyborg are evacuating the building. Superman flies into action. Lex goes to put on his suit. Bruce grabs Lena to protect her. We don’t know what Wonder Woman, Power Ring, or Shazam are doing. There’s only so much space to show everyone do everything, but I’m curious. In the process of this explosion a canister containing the Amazo Virus is busted and Lex is freaking out.

Wanna know what this issue has to do with the Amazo Virus? You’ll have to check the previous spoiler tag.

Recommended if:

  • You want to take a walk in Lex Luthor’s labs.
  • Aquaman jokes are your thing (there’s two in here).
  • You want to start a new Justice League arc.

Overall:

Terrific start to a new story arc. Lex/Bruce tensions are still building. Jessica Cruz is sort of put on the back burner, but there will be more of that to come I’m sure. We see a little bit of everyone in this one. Luthor’s speech hits close to home for the real world regarding the Ebola crisis. This isn’t a direct PSA, because it’s good writing for good writing’s sake: it just so happens to have a good message. Excellent prologue. Throughly excited.

SCORE: 8.5/10