The League meets its biggest fan! Sadly, it’s not Bat-Mite, but he does enjoy coordinated tights just the same. Can the team take out a threat that knows everything about them, or will his deranged devotion to their cause irreparably damage their credibility first? Find out in Justice League #37.
Looks like a different book
I know it’s a frequent reality of double-shipping, but I still have a hard time accepting multiple pencilers on one arc. Briones and Eltaeb are good artists in their own right, but we’ve had three consecutive issues drawn and colored very distinctly by Pete Woods. Woods’s work has been as much a part of this story as Priest’s, but this type of switcheroo implies—intentionally or otherwise—that the art is a less-important factor—one that can be adjusted as needed without hurting “the story.” Right off the bat, my impression of this issue was lesser than it could have been if the artwork had been consistent.
On its own merits, it’s alright
That aside, the story manages to be entertaining, though it falls short of what I think it could be. Priest repeatedly trips over himself this time around, trying to do too much and not nailing any of it.
The villain’s narration begins the issue with a very particular voice, but we never really get that voice again; and, in isolation, this stylized speech seems like a bizarre choice. Cyborg’s scene features some entirely unnecessary misdirection, with Priest leading us to believe that Victor has taken Glenn Gammaron’s words about leadership to heart. I don’t mind spoiling that for you, either, because it’s completely pointless. There are also several “from the League’s mouth to your ears” moments in which we find out the facts of the case a bit more directly than I would prefer.
But the book still reads well-enough. Inconsistent voice aside, the villain is an interesting guy. He may be intended to serve as a stand-in for all of the people that complain about Baz, Jess, and other diverse characters (I’ll let you make your own judgments), but he never comes across as a rod of rebuke to the reader (even if he is ultimately intended to be).
Briones lays things out nicely, and much of Eltaeb’s work looks good, too; but there are also quite a few panels where Eltaeb goes a bit too nuts with the lighting. He colored Briones like this on Aquaman, and I’m not sure why. His work on Green Arrow at the start of DC You was much better. Like Patch Zircher (the artist on that book), I think Briones benefits from subtler lighting that doesn’t edge too close toward realism. He’s not Jason Fabok or Gary Frank, which is fine—but colorists shouldn’t color him like he is, either.
Schu is a very capable letter, and I like his font choices throughout. I appreciate his attention to detail, even for nitpicky things like ensuring tails point toward their speaker’s mouth, and he employs several subtle techniques to aid in storytelling without crossing any boundaries. I’m particularly fond of balloons containing interrupting speech “talking over” other balloons (though he does commit a no-no in this same panel with the off-panel speaker’s balloon tail pointing to the margin):
- You’re following along.
- You’re curious about the identity of the impostor that’s been plaguing the League.
- You don’t mind multiple artists per arc, so long as the work is good.
Another downgrade from the preceding issue, Justice League #37 is still entertaining. An interesting villain overcomes his inconsistent voice, and the stand-in team of Briones and Eltaeb do a respectable job while Woods is out. I wish it was better, but it’s a decent book, and worth a few reads.