If you bought the Jason Fabok cover (Jim Lee’s is above), take a look at it. It’s very misleading, however, it’s creative in how it misconstrues the truth of what happens in this issue. I would liken it to a visual representation of how a rapper would use a turn of a phrase to speak literally and metaphorically about a subject. So, even though it doesn’t tell the truth, I still love it. But one question: How the hell is Batman supposed to even attempt to hold back Superman?

This issue begins with the revelation that no, it was not Solomon Grundy on last issue’s reveal page. It’s a man by the name of Armen Ikarus who is patient zero of the Amazo virus. This dude has some crazy and, for me, unexplainable powers.

Spoiler
This patient zero has the ability to just see a super power and acquire it. He sees Superman fly so he can fly. He sees Superman’s eyes go red and what can he do? He can shoot lasers from his eyes. Patient zero has heat vision!
The fight with patient zero brought some unintended laughs on my part. At one point Batman utters, “And now he has wings,” and I chuckled decently. Patient zero is no joke though, and for that I’m glad. It’s cool seeing Superman and Batman struggle against someone.

For the benefit of anyone that might’ve forgotten, Johns has Lex re-explain the symptoms of the Amazo virus on both humans and super humans. The twist is that we learn from his conversation with his beloved sister that Luthor didn’t just create the virus to temporarily suppress metahuman’s powers. We don’t know why he did it, but his secrecy makes us and Lena a tad bit curious.

The issue brings us back to patient zero. Somehow he is able to sneak up on Superman and Batman without Superman hearing. I mean, Superman could just look up at the virus floating in the air and tell that it was mutating, how did he not hear the air particles sweep past patient zero’s nostril hairs when they walked into that darkened warehouse? Do you know why he didn’t hear him? Because we needed to see Fabok’s Wonder Woman swoop in and put the Lasso of Truth around patient zero’s neck.

Aren’t Jason Fabok’s pencils just awesome? I think so. This reminds me. If you aren’t reading Batman/Superman right now, you are missing out. There are similarities between Fabok and the penciller for B/S, Ardian Syaf. It’s also a book that is reading  really well right now. If you are liking this arc in JL then consider issue #16 (last month) and today’s issue, #17. It’s very good. I know many folks who read Justice League also enjoy Batman and Superman team-ups, and now over on Batman/Superman, it’s worth reading.

Sorry for the PSA…Back to Justice League, the book begins flipping back and forth between the patient zero encounter and Lex Luthor. I like this flash back and forth because its coupling the mounting tension between both sides of the story. At any given moment something big is going to happen in one scene and yet bigger in the other. The only downside here is when the scene changes take place just as an advertisement shows up, and by the time your eyes make it to the next extraordinary page, you’ve forgotten what just happened and the shock/importance/weight of the next panel is momentarily lost while you mentally pick up the pieces to find where you’re at in the story. This happened to me, of course, but I figured it out. It did happen at a crucial moment. There are two huge developments that deserve the spoiler tag.

1: Lex Luthor

Spoiler
Remember that assassin that was hired in like a half of a panel last month? Yeah, his name’s Bullet, and he shoots Luthor after blowing up the building he’s in. Apparently that’s a thing? All I know is if you’re in the same building with Lex Luthor, the chances of that building blowing up are abnormally high. The shot that Bullet takes is off panel. Seeing as how Luthor just survived something similar in Batman/Superman, I feel like he’ll survive.

2: Patient Zero Search

Spoiler
They try to extract his blood while Wonder Woman holds him back. Patient zero shoots his newly acquired heat vision eyes at Batman, breaking his mask and exposing him to the Amazo virus. The final tag says, “Next: The Power of…Batman!” Whoa, I’m stoked about this development.

This Amazo Virus arc is pretty amazing. Well…it’s at least really good. The balance between Bruce and Clark is about to get even more interesting and I want to find out where this is going to lead the rest of the Justice League who are still lying in their full suits in hospital beds. Shouldn’t Aquaman be in some sort of water chamber? I feel bad for Neutron, though. Regardless, this arc looks very promising.

Recommended if:

  • You’re gonna call in to work tomorrow. Note: don’t say you’ve go the Amazo virus.
  • You need another great addition to this week’s Bat-related pull list.
  • Fabok is one of your favorite artists.

Overall:

Geoff Johns knows how to pace a story. Fabok is a glorious monster when it comes to this incredible art. A fantastic second chapter in this series, I highly recommend.

SCORE: 8.5/10