Justice League Review #59 | Batman News

Well, we knew that would happen sooner or later.

Brian Michael Bendis’ entry into the world of DC Comics has been one of the biggest creative shakeups the two companies have had in quite some time…although I can’t say I entirely agree. with what DC took out of the deal. Since daredevil for Immortal Hulkfrom Empyrean for x-menMarvel has delivered some very good – and regularly good – comics lately, taking their world in some interesting new directions. In the meantime, if you’ve read our team’s recent reviews, you’ll know the sentiment isn’t exactly shared with DC’s latest endeavors – and Bendis’s contributions to the DC world haven’t done much to really allay fears about the future of the brand. .

Luckily for Bendis, he begins his run at the safest possible moment: no matter how good or bad this comic is, I can guarantee it won’t be the most controversial. Justice League thing posted this week. Like someone who loved her action comics run for a while, I’m happy to go into this book with an open mind – so let’s find out where this acclaimed author will take DC’s greatest comic! After that we will enter Justice League Dark – a shorter but equally important element to this comic and its higher price tag.

Justice League: Prisms

For a five-dollar comic, there’s not much real content in this opening issue – and while I continue to be frustrated with this format, I feel like I’m going to have to come to terms with that in the end. ‘coming . Luckily, the little we have isn’t so bad! Bendis positions the League in a much calmer status quo than Scott Snyder’s run, and it’s a much-needed reset after the events of Death Metal. There are a lot of characters at play in this comic – and while it’s a real shame that Martian Manhunter is no longer part of the team, the additions of Green Arrow and Black Canary are welcome. A conversation between the two is what triggers the issue, and that appears to be Bendis’ mission statement for his run – an attempt to make the League more involved and closer to the people they swear to protect. I like this angle – it seems like an appropriate topic to broach when we live in a world that increasingly values ​​accountability and transparency from those in power.

Meanwhile, the issue also introduces three new players to the League: Black Adam, Naomi, and a mysterious Horned Invader. I’m a huge fan of what I’ve read about Naomi so far, so her inclusion excites me a lot – I’ll try to read all of her original series before coming back for the next issue! On the other hand, I have no enthusiasm for this new villain – their dialogue is energetic and engaging to a degree, but reminds me far too much of countless other Bendis characters and provides little design that manages to interest me. Black Adam is sitting somewhere in the middle of this. I think his storytelling potential as a League member is honestly pretty high, but I don’t know if Bendis is the man for the job. There’s a lot of potential here, and it’s too early to tell whether or not it will be wasted – but I’m definitely on board for whatever this creative team has to try.

David Marquez manages Justice League‘s artwork, and I’m a bit mixed how much I enjoy it – even though I know it’s a perfect style for Bendis’s writing. On the one hand, it’s obvious that Marquez is very good at his job! Everything about the comic is crisp, clear, and distinct: despite being a comic with dialogue coming all over the place, Marquez manages to never create an overly bloated panel of characters. On that note, kudos to letterer Josh Reed for his work on this front. I imagine he’s going to have his work cut out in the coming months, so it’s good to see that Justice League’The first issue doesn’t feel cluttered with its own prose.

Marquez’s action, meanwhile, leaves something to be desired. On the face of it, there’s nothing wrong with that – and I especially love how he handles Hawkgirl’s beating against this new enemy – but there are elements of his work that seem a little difficult. to be continued. Take this double page spread, for example:

To me, this action just seems shy of success. Aside from Aquaman’s “uh oh” seeming to come a bit too soon, the reader doesn’t get any clear guidance on how to navigate their way through the panels. Aquaman’s shot kicking his enemy to the right would lead you to believe your eyes should continue in that direction; but in reality, your gaze has to take a hard downward turn to follow the rest of the scene. From there, the flow of the watery borders guides you the rest of the way – but it’s those little techniques that really add to the immersion of a story, so hopefully Marquez will keep thinking about how to refine these factors as the story progresses.

Finally, a few quibbles. While I really appreciate Marquez’s softer facial features on Superman, the same treatment is given to Black Adam in multiple panels – and I don’t particularly think that gels for the ruler of Kahndaq as well. Meanwhile, Tamra Bonvillain’s coloring is generally excellent, but makes a few mistakes that I take issue with. Black Adam’s skin tone isn’t much different from the rest of the white League members, so I’d appreciate a little more distinction there. More importantly, however, Barry Allen (explicitly named in the comic) is colored as if he were Wally West in this story, which in no way matches his outfit or the dialogue. Many of these things can and could be corrected in a trade, but they do contribute to lowering this comic’s score. There’s nothing wrong with this opening, but I definitely think there’s room for improvement – and an uphill battle for really impress me.

Score: 6.5/10

Justice League Dark: Return to Caledonia

I must say: as someone who was passionate about Arthurian legends in high school, Ram V’s opening to his new series of Justice League Dark ticks all the right boxes to make me addicted. While there’s not much to dig into here, what there is is enough for now – and it surprised me how directly it seemed to follow his future state narrative! The return of a darker and more powerful Merlin, the growing camaraderie between Constantine and Zatanna, and a mysteriously blood-soaked Jason Blood: all of this creates a grim picture of what’s to come in the book, even if it doesn’t touch not the same notes as the horror of the upside down man of the previous saga. There’s a character in the story who makes a brief appearance – who, for suspense, I’ll simply call “the Thirteenth Knight”. They’re not in the story much, and I’m afraid they aren’t anymore – but I hope they make a return, because the idea Ram V presented about them was really compelling and fascinating. It’s hard to say exactly where this story will go right now, but I feel good about how it started.

Xermanico is also a great choice for a story like this. I have reviewed the man’s work several times throughout my tenure on Justice League, and perhaps my most common observation is the comparison between his work and what you would find in a mythology book – particularly in the way he frames the boundaries of his comic. This style is particularly relevant here, where the concept of myth and legend is directly referenced and addressed by the subject of the book; giving his art style even more credibility than it normally would. It also takes a moment to play around with a different style for a page or more, and it’s one that makes a striking impression – adding to a strong start for the first entry in the save.

Score: 8/10

Recommended if:

  • You would like a relevant new stepping stone into the world of Justice League!
  • Naomi and Black Adam fans can’t wait for more content.
  • You’ve been getting addicted to Ram V’s DC work lately – and rightly so.


I see a lot of potential in this comic; even if it’s not realized, it’s nice to see a comic again with an ongoing story. There’s a cool new angle for the mainline Justice Leagueand a fun new topic for Justice League Dark – and if you can top the price, both have the makings of a good story. I look forward to talking about each new development as Bendis and Ram V’s visions unfold…whether I like their final image or not.

Score: 7/10


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

Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch