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The Justice League got to the bottom of the mysterious hacks that had been wreaking havoc on their systems. But before anyone could start celebrating, a generous assortment of villains showed up to finish wrecking the day. How will the League overcome this multitude of mal-intenders? Find out in Justice League #11, as “Outbreak” concludes!

A return to form

Lacking any real surprises, this week’s installment of Justice League features a bit of fighting, a bit of kidnapping, and a bit of a hasty wrap-up. As expected, Cyborg plays a crucial role in solving the team’s problems, and before you know it, everything is once again hunky-dory.

After last issue’s ray of hope, I figured this one couldn’t go wrong. If introducing a bonkers array of (mostly) low-rent villains was awesome, wouldn’t the inevitable scuffle with this cadre of mediocrity be a guaranteed slam-dunk? I should know better (and some of my gentle readers have told me so), but hey, what do you have if you haven’t got hope?

So what went wrong? For starters, after taking a one-issue break from the diarrhea storm of internal monologue that has plagued this series like a horde of verbal locusts (sorry not sorry for the metaphor stew), Hitch returns to form, offering us insights into the heads of Cyborg and Flash that would be better delivered through less omniscient forms of storytelling.

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Beyond that, there’s just a lot of mediocre dialogue that walks us through a tension-free plot. There’s never a sense of legitimate danger, and the artwork offers no assistance. When Edwards’s character work isn’t distractingly poor, his layouts are still uninteresting. And other than on the credits page, the setting for the entire book is a bland, indistinct storm of rubble, vague shapes, and color.

A few bits of fun, but not enough

To be fair, there are a few good-silly moments that capitalize on last issue’s setup, such as Batman smacking Girder with a bat before Cyborg blasts him across the page, or a pinned-down Aquaman saying he was keeping Giganta busy. These are moments that would be solid gold in a different context, but they are, sadly, squandered here. Lantern Cruz’s return (temporarily) to the team should likewise be a triumphant moment, but the weak writing and complementarily weak artwork makes her arrival feel like an overhyped disappointment (even though the hype just started here).

That’s this series in a nutshell: an overhyped disappointment. The promise of Hitch’s JLA paired with the skills of a celebrated, veteran artist—that’s the song that heralded the arrival of Rebirth’s Justice League, but it’s turned out to be a massive letdown all around.

Recommended if…

I can’t recommend Justice League #11. Its few redeeming notes are drowned out by its loud failures.

Overall

Despite signs of potential improvement at the end of last issue, Justice League #11 is a hasty nosedive back into the mess that this series has been for most of its run. If Yanick Paquette’s variant for this one was as imaginative as his last, then you might have a reason to shell out a few bucks for this, but it’s not (which is not to say it’s a bad cover). Read something else this week.

SCORE: 3/10