Justice League #27 review

Justice League 27

Young Justice! Sort of! After evading Sovereign and journeying through time to find their parents, the Kids in the Hall (of Justice) set about convincing the League of their authenticity. But not everyone is happy to see everyone, and not everything is as everything seems. Something bad is bound to happen soon. Right? SPOILERS AHEAD

Who’s that on the cover?

Covers are covers, I get it. They aren’t (necessarily) closely linked to the contents of the book, and it’s perfectly fine for cover artists to have a bit of latitude. When, however, the artist has made a clear attempt to link the cover to the contents, we have to judge with a different standard. So I’ll just ask the question: what’s up with Mera’s hair and outfit? She isn’t blonde in Aquaman, and she isn’t blonde on the pages of Justice League #27, so why is she blonde on the cover? And while it’s true that she wore something Aquamanly in some earlier issues of Aquaman, she isn’t dressed like that anymore, either there or here in Justice League. You could understandably look at the cover of this book and wonder who this lady is fighting with the League. In fact, given how much she resembles Arthur himself, and that she carries his weapon (which she doesn’t in the book), you might come to the conclusion that someone had made yours Marvel without telling you. It’s ultimately what’s inside the book that concerns me, but covers matter, too. If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be such a racket with variants. I’m disappointed that they got this one so wrong.

Things that just don’t make sense

Speaking of what’s inside the book, it isn’t any better. Even if I ignore the sea of disturbing faces…

…there’s just too much in here—in the writing and the art—that doesn’t add up. For starters, there’s this line:

I cannot conceive of a world in which Batman would allow the children of his fellow Leaguers to come up and play in the Watchtower. As far as I can tell, neither Jon nor Damian spend much time up there, even though both have a fair bit of experience fighting crime at this point. A bunch of kids tearing through the Watchtower sounds like a fun idea, but not one that would actually come to pass.

On the next page, Cyborg scans everybody, as Cyborg does. Here’s how Pasarin renders it:

Why does Victor need to manipulate glowy-blue Minority Report interfaces to conduct this scan? He’s connected to all of the Watchtower’s systems, and generally completes all sorts of analysis before the rest of the League has a thought. Even if the interface exists for the sake of the others, why would he choose this slower method of interaction with the computer?

On the same page, at the bottom, we have two instances where the kiddos appeal to “but you’re our parents” logic when the League questions their identities and purpose. This might make a little more sense if they were eight, but based on the timeline laid out in the book, they’ve got to be in their middle teens or older. Why would they find it surprising that their parents—who fight crime and come up against deception all the time—would want to be certain before accepting their story?

A few pages later, Diana suspects that Hunter is hiding something, and she references an earlier comment he made about “not having the right to care.” Only, Hunter never said any such thing in this book or the last, and her allusion is too vague. Did an earlier version of the script contain the comment? Did Hitch forget that he took it out? I’m not sure, but it just feels weird having a major point depend on something that we didn’t know happened until right at this moment.

While we’re on Diana and Hunter, let me point out at that, at first, I was very upset by Hunter’s story—that Diana would not want him because he was a he. But then I realized that his story might not be true. Granted, he grabs the Lasso of Truth and sings the same song, and Diana proclaims that he isn’t lying; but it’s entirely possible that he is simply telling the truth that he knows, and that the truth he knows isn’t actually the truth. I’m willing to give Hitch a pass on this one with the expectation that he isn’t going to let this character assassination stand.

But then, once that’s over, one of the Cruz-Allen kids has a meltdown, and Cruise Cruz-Allen has this to say about it:

How exactly did Jenny and Jason get the “Lantern Light”? Cruise getting the speed has plausibility, given her paternity; but “Lantern Light” isn’t something genetic, nor are rings passed down from generation to generation. To be sure, certain families may exhibit similar characteristics, and so produce multiple lanterns (Tomar-Re and Tomar-Tu come to mind); but the idea that one child would get speed from their father, and the other two would get “Lantern Light” from their mother is flat-out ridiculous. And all of that is to say nothing of the notion that they would just get it, without any ring. Or that they would get the entire spectrum. Did Jessica use the Phantom Ring for a pacifier or something?

A brief break for a question: did anyone else think Cube was a girl last issue? Am I the only one who’s surprised? To me, Pasarin drew him with fairly feminine features in #26.

This brings us to what might be the only part of this book that I like:

Serenity sells it really well right here, and Mera’s reaction is priceless.

Anyway, right below that, we reengage the Diana/Hunter/Clark drama triangle, and it’s just bad. Hunter’s dialogue is terribly unnatural, and his whole countenance stinks of the Under the Red Hood Jason Todd, even if his alleged reason for being upset is a lot more justifiable.

Moving along, we’re treated to a flashback, courtesy of Cube, that catches us up on all of the things that happened to get us where we are. It’s actually not bad, though there isn’t anything special to note. I do like the notion of the kids being stowed in Olympus for safekeeping, but I also had the impression that Olympus was on another plane, so I’m not sure how they were expected to get to and fro (or how they actually did).

There isn’t really much else to say. In a bad run, this issue is definitely one of the worst. I can barely get through a page without encountering another hole. What little enjoyment there is to be found here is lost in the muck that surrounds it.

Recommended if…

  • You like your plots like Guy Gardner’s underpants—full of holes.

Overall

November is coming, but Justice League #27 makes it seem awfully far away. A pile of questionable plot points and a bevy of bizarre character faces makes it impossible to enjoy this one. Give your wallet—and your brain—a break for another few months, and then hop back on when this arc is over.

SCORE: 2/10

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