Hey all! Nick’s still on vacation, so I’m covering Justice League for him this week! Shouldn’t be too rough, I love the League! Now, let’s see what we have her-
Justice League: The Biggest Score Ever, Part Two (Alternatively: this issue is a comic! It’s part of a comic book!)
Hey, is Brian Michael Bendis doing okay? Like, can someone check on him? He’s doing a LOT right now, and it’s kind of starting to feel like he might be overextending himself. The dialogue in this issue is just… WOW. I’m usually pretty tolerant towards Bendis-speak, but this issue’s just SO MUCH.
The full page is worse but I can’t just go around posting full pages here. You’re gonna have to trust me on this one.
The dialogue is (thankfully) easier to follow visually than whatever happened last issue, but there’s so much of it that it barely feels like an improvement. The action is still hard to follow, but I think it manages to get its point across for the big fight this issue, that being “two super strong guys are duking it out and causing a lot of property damage”. It’s an issue that I kind of blame on the art as a whole, honestly. I don’t know whether it’s Phil Hester’s pencils, Eric Gapstur’s inks, or a mix of both, but everything looks incredibly mediocre in this book. People’s faces are routinely just lines in the vague shape of a face, bodies will contort and expand from panel to panel, and there’s an ungodly amount of negative space that makes it difficult to tell where people are at times. Absolutely no hate, however, to my main man Romulo Fajardo Jr. His colors have been the saving grace of a lot of books I’ve read recently.
The dialogue bubbles are weird throughout the book, too. For example, that panel of Batman talking up there? He’s on comms to Superman, but his dialogue bubble extends for four. whole. panels. It’s a bit of a mess, and there’s no need for it! The first panel is the only one where we’re in the room with him! Just give him a radio transmission bubble! The whole issue just feels like a rush job from a bunch of people who knew they had to churn out one of DC’s flagship titles because they really need to get back on schedule.
That’s the worst part, I think. This book got delayed for two whole weeks just for it to turn out… this. And there’s a part 3! Have fun, Nick!!
Justice League Dark: Playing at Gods (Alternatively: I think the only reason this is still a backup is so that people will buy Justice League)
It’s like a nice little reward at the end. I will say, I’m less hooked on this particular installment than I was on its predecessors. As Nick pointed out last time, the whole Upside-Down Man thing has been sidelined (aside from about 2 pages of quick acknowledgement at the beginning and a page-long wrap up at the end) for a big magic fight between Merlin’s band of baddies and Aquaman, Eternal Knight, and Doctor Fate. It’s cool enough, not bad by any means, but definitely not this book’s strong suit. Ram V handled the horror of JLD so well for so long that it feels weird seeing the transition to a full on action sequence. I know it’s the nature of cape media, all roads must lead to big cool fight, but I do hope we can get some of that old spirit back in this book.
What we do have, however, is great. The team is well written, and despite how many members there are, no one feels like they don’t belong. It’s less on display physically this issue, as most of the gang is trying to pull Zatanna back from Upside-Down Land, but the big fight does genuinely feel like everyone is pulling their weight.
Speaking of fantastic team efforts, it is time once again for me to shoutout the absolute legend that is Sumit Kumar. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, these pencils have become an instant bonus point for any book I see them in. Paired that with Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s colors, and you’re going to give me a hard time finding anything negative to say. So I won’t!
- JLD is barely a selling point, honestly.
- You want it? Idk.
- I’m struggling here.
I really hope Ram V’s Justice League Dark is sold as its own TPB so I don’t have to buy this. This book is too expensive for what we’re getting, and the creative team feels disjointed and hurried, even when there’s a delay. Not a great sign for the foreseeable future.
Overall Score: 3/10
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.