The end is nigh, and it’s the Justice League’s fault! And their future children are going to tell them like it is and maybe try to save everything! With time travel and INFINITY STONES! What the heck is going on? Find out in Justice League #26.
Back to the future
I’m not going to complain about the time travel. Some of you may, and I won’t fault you, but I’ll just accept that this is the large story Hitch is trying to tell, and attempt to evaluate it on its merits. Sadly, it merits very little praise. A moderately interesting concept fails to get off the ground because of poor writing, and the usual distractions from Pasarin aren’t helping.
But starting on the plus side, one of the first things we learn is that Olympus—yes, that Olympus—has at some point come to New York City. This might be the coolest thing in the whole book, not least of all because of Pasarin’s striking spread:
It’s not just visually interesting, though. If the Greek pantheon represented the sundry needs, desires, and flaws of humanity, there is no more fitting spot for their mountain than in a city full of people sacrificing daily to modern gods in hope of a better, more prosperous life.
Unfortunately, that’s where the coolness departs. I find the League’s future children incredibly uninteresting, and that’s a bummer when they take up most of the issue. Their costumes seem unnecessarily funky, their interactions feel forced, and by the time this issue ends, I’m much more interested in the next arc than I am in finding out whose kids they are and how things got to be the way they are. That’s not to say I’m completely past it, as I still want to know who spawned who and why some of them have particular power sets. But if the arc was interrupted now and never had the chance to finish, I wouldn’t lose any sleep.
There are two villains (or maybe one and an anti-hero) this time around, and while one is at least somewhat not interesting because of his ties to the League, the other looks rather goofy, and her speech does not improve things. Where Molly the Keeper was a bit too casual and “cool”, this one is too much of an overwrought, Beowulf-era braggart. At this point, I’m desperate for a villain that looks awesome and shows us how dangerous they are instead of slaying heroes with information overload.
Even one of Hitch’s most intriguing pre-Rebirth ideas fails to generate any excitement within me. The kids find themselves at the ruins of The Infinity Corporation’s headquarters, and they have to use the stones to go back in time (if none of this rings a bell, check out Hitch’s JLA from the end of The New 52). There was a time when I was fascinated by Infinity, and desperately wanted to know more. In fact, I would have loved it if Justice League would have simply picked up these threads from JLA from the start. But at this point, I’m expecting an unsatisfying resolution—if we get one at all—and I’d rather just move on from the whole idea.
What can I say about Pasarin that I haven’t already? Some people love him, but I can’t get past his frequently weird character anatomy—and there’s plenty of that here. He lays the book out well, and his establishing shots are quite good, but his faces and poses and tiny hands are hard to ignore. If an artist is going for a somewhat realistic aesthetic, they need to do better than this. Thankfully, Brad Anderson is in his usual form, and the colors are excellent, and if I stop and stare at those establishing shots, I almost feel like I’m back in Darkseid War, when Anderson and frequent collaborator Jason Fabok were delivering stunning work on almost every page.
- You were going to read it anyway.
- You’re a Pasarin fan, or you can get past his frequently-quirky character anatomy.
A brand new pack of flat characters can’t rescue Justice League’s latest trek through time. It has a few interesting elements poorly realized, and the artwork is a mixed bag, so I can’t say I’m looking forward to the next one. I recommend you pass on this issue—and this arc—and wait for November.