It’s time to take the kids home. With the shock worn off, and the technological (and mystical) identity validations complete, the League decides to take their future offspring to warmer environs than the Watchtower has to offer. But what mysterious agenda fuels these mysterious time travelers? And is Diana really the biggest jerk in the DC universe? Find out (some of that) in Justice League #28.
Better script, lousier actors
I enjoyed reading this issue of Justice League more than the last one, in large part because it (mostly) lives in the moment. Hitch has always frustrated me when giving his characters expository monologues for panel after panel, so I appreciate a book that depicts actual conversations. Justice League #28 still has some maddening echoes of Hitch’s usual formula, but I can at least say that it is not characterized by them.
Amidst the dialogue, Hitch treats us to some nicely-expressed sentiments—even if the story ultimately lacks the foundation to sustain them. Lois’s acceptance of Hunter, and her overt embrace of the complicated life that Superman creates for her family—these things move me. In an age where we all seem to demand independence and personal fulfillment, I can’t help but smile at such a depiction of loving self-sacrifice.
Mera and Dory have a sweet moment in Amnesty Bay, as well—one in which the former exhibits incredibly queenly behavior. As Dory laments her situation, Mera responds in a way that essentially says “I don’t know what to believe, but in this moment, I am your mother, because you need me to be your mother.” Again, the story lacks the foundation to make this as moving as it could be, but it’s still pretty moving.
Finally, Cyborg, Cube, and Silas Stone hang out together at the Foundry. And of course, by “hang out”, I mean “run tests.” Whatever—the interactions between the three of them are very fun, and I like Victor’s light frustration at how much Cube’s manner resembles Silas’s.
Unfortunately, these scenes—especially the one between the aqualadies—also display a lack of attention to detail and a looseness in dialogue that undercuts their impact. And these problems carry through the rest of the book, when the scenes aren’t as impactful. There are several instances of characters offering unneeded, unnatural qualifiers:
She wouldn’t have to say “Jonathan’s, I mean”. It’s pretty obvious who she’s talking about.
If “joining” is a technological process of linking up and sharing information, why would he need to tell Silas he can’t do it?
There’s also a bit of mistaken identity, when Mera refers to her daughter “Eldoris” as “Eldora”; and the scene with Barry and family is so rife with the sort of forced dialogue that unfortunately seems to plague any scene in which Hitch writes Barry and Jessica. This scene also has some over-sweet, spoon-fed sentiment that I find distasteful (Cruise asking Cruz if Cruise can call Cruz “Mom”, the spectrum-infested twins glowing blue while they sleep).
Still other scenes have some serious pacing problems from panel to panel, resulting in conversations that feel awkward and full of inappropriate responses. I could go on, but in spite of some solid elements, Justice League #28 contains a lot of the same problem elements that have plagued the series as a whole, so it’s hard to call the improvements a victory.
Slightly better visuals
Pasarin benefits greatly from a different inker this time, but that’s no slight to his usual team. Unfortunately, the benefit derives from inker Batt’s rougher, sloppier line work. In quite a few panels, it pulls Pasarin’s characters farther from realism, and even in spite of Anderson’s very detailed colors, the work looks just a bit more abstract, and less like bizarre-looking real people. Batt’s rough style unfortunately makes backgrounds look a little worse, and it doesn’t save Pasarin as much in the closeups, but on the whole, I find myself less distracted by the artwork this time around.
- You like this run.
- You’ve been collecting them all and you’re this close to the end.
A little better than last time, Justice League #28 is still a mediocre entry in a poorly executed arc and series. If you’ve enjoyed the run so far, you’ll probably still enjoy it now, but for me, November can’t get here fast enough.