Justice League #38 review

Chapter three: The Secret is January’s issue of The Amazo Virus arc in the Justice League title. After a failed assassination attempt on Lex Luthor, an abandoned experiment of his has been released into the world. This issue starts off with a screen call from Colonel Trevor to the U.S. President explaining the dire situation that has placed countless lives at risk.

The action picks up right away, returning to the battle that DC’s Trinity is waging against Patient Zero, perhaps their only hope for a cure to Luthor’s Amazo Virus. We get another explanation of how the virus works, taking away the powers of metahumans while simultaneously making them sick. On the other hand, regular humans go through a three stage process; flu-like symptoms, transformation, and then metahuman abilities. Either way, the end result for both parties is death.

This narrative exposition works well here to match the desperation that is seen in the pages. As Superman and Wonder Woman have their hands full with an evolving Patient Zero, Batman shrinks into the background after being recently exposed to the virus himself. Batman begins to go through his transformation, showing off his new metahuman capabilities in a beautiful splash page. Super powers for Batman? Another thing the Caped Crusader shares in common with his recently resurrected child in the pages of Batman & Robin. Too bad Bruce had to become sick to gain his powers. <Tt>

The creative team for Justice League do a splendid job of creating the tension and destruction that’s this event is producing. Geoff Johns presents the story in a way that shows each character’s persona in the story. I particularly enjoyed seeing how Captain Cold was written. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t think Cold was that formidable, but he quickly proved that he can hold his own. Another treat for me as a JL fan were the small nuances of Wonder Woman. Of course she was focused on the task at hand, but you can clearly see her concern for Batman. I’ve always been more fond of their relationship than a Superman/Wonder Woman one.

Jason Fabok puts forth a terrific effort illustrating the emotional changes in the characters. The movement is very kinetic so your eyes follow the action and story without any problems. Colorist Brad Anderson really rocked on this issue. He uses a blur effect during the splash in the beginning and a few other scenes that really make the images appearing moving and pop off the page.

Things don’t appear to be getting any better for the League. Most of the members currently need a sick day, and Luthor’s pulling his “I’m providing help, even though I may have had a hidden agenda” routine.

Seriously Lex, it’d help you get along with the rest of the group if you don’t withhold vital information in times of need. Superman almost put him through a wall. We should start a count on how many times each League member threatens or assaults Luthor

I just wanted to quickly comment on that last reveal page. Considering how they were all just on bed rest, it was rather nice of them to pose for an infected Justice League photo opt.

Recommended if:

  • You’d like to see a suped-up Batman
  • Want to more about the nature of the Amazo Virus
  • You’re a big fan of the Justice League


This issue does well balancing the action and speaking portions to set up what looks like a big upcoming battle. Some questions were answered, but a whole lot more just popped up. An interesting arc indeed, you don’t want to miss it.

SCORE: 9/10