Or – “The New Order Ariseth…”
The first six issues of Justice League brought me to a rather unpleasant realization: I really don’t LIKE these characters, certainly not all together in this fashion, and I still find myself disappointed at the anticlimactic end to the war with Darkseid. Will the addition of Green Arrow be the thing that turns the tide?
JUSTICE LEAGUE #8
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist(s): Carlos D’Anda with Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Cover Artist(s): Jim Lee & Scott Williams with Alex Sinclair
Colorist(s): Gabe Eltaeb with Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Patrick Brossseau
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously, in Justice League: Banded together from remote galaxies and/or cities on the Eastern Seaboard, are seven of the most powerful heroes of all time: The Justice League! Dedicated to a single objective, the protection of the universe! Only one group dares to challenge this intergalactic force: a guy from Seattle with a goatee and medieval weapons!(NOTE: I don’t know if Green Arrow is from Seattle or has a goatee in the new 52, but just work with me on this…)
THE FOUNDING TRINITY OF THE DCU…
Did you know that Steve Trevor was a member of Team 7? This issue drops that bit of knowledge, as well as a cameo by Wonder Woman supporting cast member Etta Candy (who originated Zack Ryder’s catchphrase) as well as another reference to the Justice League as “gods”, a metaphor that really disturbs me. Green Arrow is thrown headlong into a mission with the Big 7 (which, as always, breaks down into the Big Three, The Other Three and a Wildcard slot filled currently by Cyborg) and quickly starts trying to sell them on the idea of his joining the team. An ever-cocky Hal Jordan points at Batman, and snarks “We already have ONE guy who can’t do anything,” although the interplay immediately following this remark makes it almost worth it. Johns does some interesting work in the first half of the issue, but Superman comes off as remote and severe, Green Lantern as overbearing, Aquaman as dismissive and Wonder Woman as a cypher (although she also gets a cute moment wherein she realizes that their foes might not be human, which means no one will yell at her about busting out her sword.)
…AND SOME OTHER GUYS.
Green Arrow spends the whole issue stalking the League like an obsessed Justin Bieber fan, but his eagerness actually comes across a lot more approachable than most of actual JLAers, who are flat-out unpleasant to Green Arrow, as though he were Poindexter and they the Alpha Betas. (New 52 Superman does kind of look like Ted McGinley in this issue, now that you mention it.) Though regular artist Jim Lee is absent this issue, the art is strong throughout, and Green Arrow’s armory costume (and especially his new mask) is awesome throughout the issue. The story redeems itself just a little at the end, as we find out WHY they’ve adapted such a bunker mentality, a story which, unsurprisingly, ties into Stormwatch. There’s also a new chapter in the adventures of Shazam (or rather, I think, the adventures that lead to Shazam) as Billy Batson arrives at his new foster home, and meets his new family. That the group includes Freddy Freeman and Mary Bromfield should surprise no one, but the appearance here of the other three children who were part of the Flashpoint-era Captain Thunder story (Darla, Eugene and Pedro) surprised me. Gary Frank’s art is wonderful in this chapter, curbing some of the sneering expressions that make his work occasionally off-putting, and ending things on an ominous but oh so familiar note…
THE VERDICT: SURPRISINGLY ALIENATING…
There’s a problem with secret societies, especially in fiction: They can quickly turn into a clique of Mean Girls, which quickly happens with the JL here. Even Cyborg’s general awesomeness doesn’t offset how incredibly jerkwad the core seven Leaguers come across, and even the in-story explanation doesn’t fully salve the wound for me. I am quite amused at how the new Justice League is (in all but name) The Authority, teleporting around and making certain to point out their sepearation from the unwashed masses of humanity that they protect, but I’m not entirely certain that it’s something I want to read about, especially at four bucks a pop. The Shazam story is all character and bristling energy, which helps my opinion of the issues, especially in the sass that New 52 Billy Batson possesses. Justice League #8 has the unexpected effect of making me want to read more about Green Arrow, while making the lead characters come across as unsympathetic and unapproachable, earning a composite 2 out of 5 stars overall (much of which was earned by Shazam…)
About Matthew Peterson
Were pop culture a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Matthew still enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear. Surprise. Ruthless efficiency. An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture. And a nice red uniform.