Mera is on a rampage! The League investigates some powerful phenomena at sea, only to find the would-be queen of Atlantis playing dangerous with the ocean.
The Aquaman tie-in that we never knew we wanted (and still aren’t sure about)
If you didn’t read Aquaman #25, then you may experience some initial confusion in Justice League #24. We’re coming off of a month of filler issues, but neither of those two issues had strong ties to external events. JL #24 does, and while this dependency doesn’t exactly wreck the story at hand, it does beg the question: why? With barely anything happening that advances or enriches the plot set up in Aquaman #25, why devote an entire issue of Justice League to Mera being angry and the League trying to calm her down? My guess is that this is less for Aquaman’s benefit, and more because the normal creative team for Justice League needed another two weeks.
So, with the meta out of the way, is it any good? It’s alright. As I said, not much actually happens or changes from start to finish, but there are a few things to like here regardless. Mera’s pretty ruthless when she’s unhinged, and her tactics against the League—especially against Flash and the Lanterns—are straight-up cold, and very entertaining. I also find the resolution of the conflict quite satisfying (if you don’t know what I mean, ask me in the comments). And at its heart, this issue is about the League embracing Mera during a challenging time, and I like that, too—even if it’s a bit over-scripted.
Overall, in fact, the dialogue comes up short. Cyborg has some ridiculous-sounding technobabble at the beginning, and even Lantern Cruz gets to join in at one point. And on another front, calling out Mera’s aquakinesis by name would seem excessive with one occurrence—that we get it more than once in this story is unbearable.
Some of what the characters say or do just doesn’t make much sense, either. Faced with tidal waves threatening to wipe out a city, the Lanterns just float there, paralyzed by fear. But these same Lanterns faced this exact situation, and used the same exact solution back in Justice League’s first arc. But this time around, they need to be told what to do by Batman. Later, when Batman asks Mera how she learned to take them all out, she says she was just bluffing. But that doesn’t make much sense, either, because she actually did take most of them out. It ain’t bluffing if you back it up.
Art this time comes courtesy of Ian Churchill, and while his stuff looks way better than it did in the New 52 Teen Titans, it’s not great. His backgrounds are bland, most of his figures are a little too beefy, and there are just too many “Avengers, assemble!”, all-hands-on-deck spreads crammed into one issue for my liking. Not terrible, but not great.
Hope and optimism
Justice League as we know it has an end date. It may seem far off, but it’s coming. And while a major creative change is no guarantee of a better outcome, you’ve got to think that DC is planning to bring in some major creators to restore the reputation of their so-called flagship. If we’ve got to put up with a few more fill-ins along the way, I’m okay with that. Even if they aren’t great, these one-and-done stories have the benefit of a fresh start each time. I didn’t love this one or the last one, but they had elements worth celebrating, and I can live with that while we wait. DC had just better make the wait worth it.
- You’ve got an extra three bucks and aren’t expecting too much.
- You’re an Aquafan and you consider this issue’s larger investment in his world worth your investment in this issue.
Another odd-numbered week, another throwaway issue of Justice League. This one at least has the benefit of tying into an excellent, recently-begun arc in Aquaman; but on the flip side, it has the benefit neither of Stjepan Sejic’s artwork nor the sort of storytelling space afforded to Abnett in his main book. There are things to enjoy here, but they come in small doses, and there aren’t enough of them to make this particularly memorable. If you’ve got money and time to spare, check it out. Otherwise, you aren’t missing much if you pass.