Justice League of America #2 “Power & Glory” Part 2
Written by Bryan Hitch
Art by Bryan Hitch
Inks by Daniel Henriques, Andrew Currie, and Bryan Hitch
Colors by Alex Sinclair

Last month, Bryan Hitch debuted Justice League of America, and I thought it was a rather solid start for this title. A lot happened in the first issue, and if I had one complaint – aside from an annoying character – it was that the story felt a little clunky and disjointed on the first read. On a second read-through, however, everything flowed a little better knowing the intent of the scenes. And what we were given was essentially a prologue into this book, setting up the members of the League, a potentially corrupt corporation, and a god.

There’s quite a bit of mystery built going into this issue. Superman was contacted by the Infinity Corporation where he discovered that numerous versions of himself from a different timeline kept showing up dead. At the same time, all of the other League members received an invitation that lead them to an altercation with Parasite. Superman joins them to stop the threat, and the team immediately shifts their focus to investigate the Infinity Corporation, only to discover they don’t exist. Oh, and after that, Rao, the sun-god of Krypton, arrives… No biggie.

This issue picks up exactly where the last issue left off. Rao is the in the sky, and Superman recognizes him immediately, despite the fact that he’d only heard legends of him. The very presence of Rao weakens Superman, and sends him into a free fall towards the Earth, before Rao rescues him. The interpretation of this doesn’t exactly translate well with the human population though as the media start report that the alien being sent Supes plummeting to the ground. Naturally, reports start coming out as to whether Rao and his disciples are a threat or not, and some news outlets have gone as far as to say he did something to Superman. If I’m being completely honest, the whole thing reminds me of Man of Steel a little, except there’s no threats being made.

Superman unwaveringly puts his faith and trust in Rao, and asks the people of Earth to do the same, reassuring them that he is no threat. He even goes to the lengths of setting up meetings with various leaders and government officials to help ease some of the concern and tension. Rao takes advantage of the platform to address the pains the Earth faces, and the actions he demands from his prophets following the address convinces the world to trust him.

Everything Rao accomplishes is spectacular, miraculous even, and it’s easy to understand why the world would fall in line to support him. As a race, we tend to go with the easy answer. Whatever is best, overall or for each of us personally that contains the least amount of effort, is usually what we choose. Rao is that answer. He’s not being creepy about it either. He genuinely just wants to help people, he’s not asking to be worshipped, and his reasoning for why he’s here to help is believable… But I’ve been reading comics for too long.

The whole time I’m reading this issue, I become more and more unsettled. All of this bothers me. It’s too good to be true in my eyes. If someone can come along and take away all of your pains and struggles this easily, then something negative has to be occurring as well. It’s the law of good and evil. There will be balance. And thankfully Batman feels the same way. Batman and Cyborg begin working on a number of loose ends, investigating whatever leads they can find, while also searching for Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman since they’ve been missing since the end of the last issue. By the time you reach the last page, you’ll be wishing this were a weekly series, because you’re not going to want to wait another month for answers!

Before you continue reading, be warned that there are spoilers below!

The Art: Hitch delivers solid art, but as I said last month, it’s not perfect, he tells his story well without any distractions, and to me, that’s what is important. I do feel that he could improve on his faces because they are his weakest feature as an artist.

Regardless, Hitch deserves kudos for covering both art and writing duties. I do have concerns though. This month’s issue was a week late (as is my review apparently), last month’s release date was changed – though I’m not sure if it was due to delays or a marketing strategy – and a comment was made by another writer at Comic-Con that Hitch had asked him, “How do you do this? I’m getting tired.” That’s extremely concerning since we’re only two issues in. It might be best that he sources another artist to start pulling art duties so he doesn’t burn himself out.

For a glimpse at the internal art, check out some captures in the spoiler tag below.

Spoiler

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The Good: The League. This might sound funny since the only League member that has been prominently featured has been Superman, but every other time we’ve seen the other characters, they’ve been pretty spot on in terms of their characterization. I’m especially impressed with Batman. I feel like I haven’t been able to comment on Batman’s detective skills in a long time, and that seems to be the attribute of his that will be front and center in this arc. He’s questioning everything on multiple levels, and it’s refreshing to see an intelligent and analytical interpretation of him again.

The pacing. The pacing of this issue was much better than the previous issue. Everything felt more focused and streamlined. A majority of the book was spent focusing on Superman again, but it didn’t bother me as much as the last issue. And when the other League members did show up, it actually served the plot rather than feeling like they needed to be included somehow since this is a Justice League book.

The Bad: There isn’t much bad here. If there’s one complaint I could see people having, it could be on how the issue feels more like an issue of Superman than Justice League of America. As I previously stated though, this didn’t bother me because I felt it was needed to support the plot.

Recommended if:

  • You want to read a Justice League book that feels like a throwback to the good ol’ days.
  • Superman meeting and interacting with the sun god of Krypton intrigues you.
  • You want to see a Batman that’s smart and truly feels like a natural, great detective.

 

Overall: Where Geoff Johns’ Justice League is a kickass, plot driven narrative, Hitch’s Justice League of America is a kickass character driven narrative that will satisfy any DC fan, especially the tried and true fans that have missed the way comics used to be.

SCORE: 9/ 10