God, these issues go by fast!

I picked up this comic, ready to dive in and review its pros and cons, tackle the nuances of the book that might go unnoticed on first viewing… and the book was already over. You might attribute this to the book being really good, and an easy read that you won’t put down – I definitely wouldn’t blame you for that assessment. For me, however, it honestly felt like the story breezed by without offering much in the way of anything, aside from a clever resolution to a fight I’m not that invested in.

Honestly, while this entire arc is a fun breather from what we had to deal with in Scott Snyder’s Justice League, I also feel like it’s a story that skips its second act for the sake of a longer fight. Really, in the first three issues, the formula has simply gone as follows:

  1. Eradicator is about to invade.
  2. Eradicator invades.
  3. They come up with a plan to defeat Eradicator.

Presumably the fourth issue will resolve as you’d expect, unless Eradicator is a surprise reoccurring antagonist inside of Robert Venditti’s stint on this book. There’s nothing wrong with something relaxing – I enjoy plenty of comics without connecting to them on a heavy level – but the fact remains that I’m not connecting to this. There are still some good parts, of course: Batman and Green Lantern continue to dig into the conflict that will, presumably, drive how they act going forward in this run.

It’s definitely one of the more interesting parts of the book, because it’s one of the few story beats that isn’t derived from other concurrent DC stories – I’m looking forward to seeing it develop. I do like the connectivity between other issues, though, and I think it helps flesh out the world that these players are currently involved in.

When I last reviewed this book, a commenter was kind enough to point out that the issues Flash is going through in this story are related to his own solo comic, and his unstable connection to the speed force. The realization was a great moment for me, and I appreciate being made aware of this! On the one hand, it continues to prove my point from the last issue, regarding how rewarding it must be to see all these threads from separate comics finally connecting. On the other hand, it had less of an effect on me, seeing as I hadn’t kept up with his books – it likely would have made the following moment more confusing for me, despite it being a very effective scene for Flash.

This also happens to be the scene where Penciller Aaron Lopresti shines. I have to say, I feel that a lot of the action in this issue is pretty generic, and the art doesn’t particularly do much to save it. Not only that, but there is the sense that the artwork is a little rushed – something I’ve felt in several of the comics I’ve tackled lately, such as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. In this scene, though, Lopresti gets a chance to not only show off some interesting action with stakes that actually matter, but display the emotion that’s going through the Flash during the scene. It’s quite a good moment that deserves some credit, especially in how it plays around with the borders of the panel.

I keep mentioning how this story reminds me about an episode of Justice League, but that can only go so far in keeping me entertained – there has to be a little more than that, especially when it’s essentially taking four issues to tell one episode of a Justice League cartoon. I feel like if Venditti homes in on scenarios that create stronger and deeper character moments, that’s where the strength of this comic can be found.

Recommended If…

  • You enjoy a book with some connectivity between other DC stories!
  • Justice League is a book you want to see tackling smaller, character-based conflicts.
  • You’ve got a good ten minutes to spare – it’s not a long read.

Overall

The novelty of a refreshingly small-scale story on Justice League is beginning to wear off, though it’s not without its charm all the same. I hope that when we get into further arcs of Venditti’s story, he either develops these small stories with a deeper sense of style and individuality, or gives us a stronger through line to keep us invested.

Score: 5.5/10

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Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.