Steve Orlando continues his trek into the Microverse in Justice League of America! Out of the few places the JLA have visited since Rebirth, this is easily the most interesting. Unfortunately, there’s a lot to take in before we can truly understand this world… Possibly too much.
I’m going to be honest, this issue is a step down from JLA #12. There’s not a huge dip in quality, there’s just a ton of exposition. Now, I’m not a fan of exposition, but in this situation, it is needed. I keep viewing the Microverse as a new world, but we all need to remember that this is a separate universe. Key word: universe. As in there are multiple worlds, and with each world, we’re going to encounter different races, lifestyles, and climates/ terrains. This naturally will result in exposition, so swallow that realization now, and it will make your reading experience more enjoyable.
If you haven’t been tuning into Justice League of America, or perhaps you dropped the title earlier in its run, you might want to dip your toes (back) into the water! This is the story we’ve been waiting for since DC Universe Rebirth, where Ryan and the JLA go in search of Ray Palmer.
“Crisis in the Microverse” is easily the most intriguing mission yet for Batman’s Justice League, and considering we’re exploring a new universe with new, interesting characters, we get the sense that anything can happen. In addition to this, Orlando is beginning to hit his stride in regards to balancing plot, pacing, and character develop. Ensembles can be difficult to write, and it’s taken him a little time to reach a level of quality that should satisfy most fans.
At the moment, Batman, Ryan, Frost, and Lobo are in the Microverse, and have been encountered with force. They clearly know nothing about these worlds, or how where to begin in finding Ray. A lead Ryan thought he had led him to Ray’s bio-belt, but not Ray. Instead, the team encounters two separate individuals who claim to know Palmer, but their stories of what happened to him don’t match, and it becomes clear one of them is lying. Just as the team desperately needs assistance from someone who is familiar with not only the universe, but Ray’s last moments before disappearing, they’re forced to make a gambit and choose a stranger to trust. Naturally, the wrong decision could lead to their downfall.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Orlando sets up what appears to be a future arc with a character who previously made a cameo. In all, this is a decent issue that progresses the story well, adds some needed elements of intrigues, and unfortunately lags due to exposition. With this set-up out of the way though, the remainder of the story should be fast and furious!
The Art: Reiss continues art duties for “Crisis in the Microverse,” and considering his work is one of the highlights of the story, I hope he’s able to finish out the arc. If anyone at DC is seeing this, consistency means a lot to fans… Just saying, I know he has a Dark Matter series waiting in the wings. Anyway, not only is his art strong because of his technique and technicality, but also because of the storytelling, he’s able to present through his art. We learn so much from these new worlds strictly because of his vision of that world, and that helps sell Orlando’s script!
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
- You want to follow up on Ray Palmer’s story from Rebirth.
- You read “Crisis in the Microverse: Part One” and thought it was awesome.
- Preon, Aron Aut, and Afterthought! Oh my!
Heavy exposition and a strange, new world create a bit of a speedbump in Justice League of America #13. It’s not a huge issue, but there is a lot of new information to process. Thankfully, with this exposition, Orlando also introduces two interesting plots concerning who the Microverse team can trust, and what Afterthought is planning for the JLA on Earth. Both of these elements add a jolt of momentum and intrigue to an already interesting rescue mission! I’m hoping that the exposition is out of the way, and we can spend the next four issues riding out the plot!