The Justice League must discover the secret behind the mysterious Graves, and rescue Steve Trevor in the process. Will their voyage around the world be a success, or will Geoff Johns lead everyone on a wild goose chase?

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank and Jim Lee
Inker: Gary Frank and Scott Williams
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Patrick Brousseau
Editor: Katie Kubert
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Justice League: David Graves has found the Valley of Souls and has been transformed into a revenge driven villain. With Steve Trevor’s life now hanging in the balance, the team must put aside their own sorrows to rescue their friend.


This is the issue where Geoff Johns lays out exactly what Graves is and why he is driven to destroy the members of the Justice League. In a way, it makes sense that the battle with Darkseid has had repercussions for those near ground zero, and those with family, can understand Graves’ anguish or losing his entire family to a mystery illness. But does torturing and killing to get the answers on how to take down the Justice League justify the means? And what kind of retribution will the Justice League deal out once they’ve come face to face with their own ghosts?

In Atonment, Mr. Johns attempts to bring some reality to the team that many in the DC Universe believe to be gods. Once the power goes to one’s head, it can be difficult to grasp what the “mortals” are always complaining about, and that already doesn’t sit well with many – as seen in Steve Tervor’s past dealings with A.R.G.U.S. Though Superman tends to be the most grounded of the Justice League, if this story plays out the way I think it will, it should be that wake up call that unites the members and really puts into perspective what they truly mean to the world, and the impact unbridled fighting in a crowded metropolis (or a crowded Metropolis) has on those around them.

I only wish Mr. Johns wasn’t taking so long to tell this story. Though it seems like it has taken forever to get to this point, in reality, this is only the third installment, and for the Waiting-for-the-Trade crowd, the story is right on target for that collected edition. I do like the spin the writer puts on the tale, by jumping the story forward and backward enough in time to let the reader know that a great deal of time has past since the first arc. Characters continue to develop, and little by little the hard exterior of the characters’ personae are being chipped away to reveal the gooey emotional center that makes each member of the team unique and interesting.


It’s been a while since I read this series, so I had a little catching up to do in regards to the New 52’s take on Billy Batson. And though the first installment of his journey made him look like a real jerk, I’m enjoying this origin story better than the main feature. Dr. Sivana’s evil eye, and the resurrection of Black Adam are a perfect setup to get young Billy to go through the same change as the Justice League. Billy’s motives are slowly starting to reveal that his tough guy attitude is simply a front for someone who doesn’t know how to let people into his life. I think it will be very interesting when Billy finally meets the Wizard in the next issue.


It’s nice to see Jim Lee continuing to push through his art duties on this book, as I’m particularly fond of his style. He has a great grasp of structure and form, and there isn’t a page that doesn’t suck you in and keep you mesmerized by the detail and action. If you are someone who wants to see Wonder Woman kicking everyone’s butts, Mr. Lee plays out the action on the page in dramatic style, and there was at least one moment I was expecting to see her kill someone for all the world to see – ala her Max Lord neck snap in The OMAC Project.

As far as any drawbacks go, there are a few moments when Mr. Lee let’s Wonder Woman’s hair get a little out of control, and her post-battle profile shot looks like she made a visit to a salon in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s.

For the Shazam! backup story, Gary Frank does exactly what Gary Frank does best – deliver an insane amount of detail in a small amount of space. Though I like the look of the pre-52 Black Adam best (nothing beats The Rock – except Batman of course), I think in an issue or two, Mr. Frank’s style will grow on me enough to appreciate the fact he has gone through the trouble to create a character that is instantly recognizable, yet new at the same time. Of all the characters in Mr. Frank’s tale, the one that seems most out of place continues to be Freddy Freeman, who still looks like Flycatcher from Bill Willingham’s Fables series. Though Frank never worked on the character, the resemblance between the two is uncanny.


Following the end of the Darkseid arc, I wasn’t really that interested in picking up the Justice League and reading the adventures of an unknown villain seeking his revenge – it sounds too much like a set-up for the introduction of the New-52 Condiment King. I’m glad this issue fell on my lap (digitally, because I have an iPad), because the tale is rather fascinating when one steps back and looks at the three issues of this arc together. This particular issue has a fair amount of the fighty-fighty that action fans want, and the quiet moments of reflection that the characters need. The art is stellar and I want to take many of the panels and turn them into wallpaper for my desktop. The Justice League continues to chug along, and earns a nice 4 out 5 Stars in this outing.

Rating: ★★★★☆


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Matthew Szekeresh on

    As an individual who just recently decided to reacquaint myself with the DC Universe (starting with the new 52) I have been reading The New Justice League with great interest. Due to the team nature of the book I was excited because it could introduce me to the main players in the DC Universe and I was thinking that from there I could pick and choose which heroes to follow more closely. Unfortunately what I have found is that with a cast this large it’s hard for any character to have what I would consider a distinct voice or style. In particular with this second arc focusing so much on creating a new villain it has not given much room for the heroes themselves to shine and stand out. With so little space being afforded to the JL it’s even hard to understand what type of dynamic they are building if any. The visuals have proven spectacular and part of me appreciates seeing a traditional all out brawl between heroes but I am starting to want more than this title can provide. If anything this is starting to seem like a good read for younger fans who want a flashy introduction to the world of comics without the depth that older readers have come to expect. As far as the ongoing adventures of Billy Batson I am withholding judgment. As I am completely unfamiliar with his character so far his entire story has just been several pages at the end eat issue of a sad snotty little orphan boy being rude. What do other people think? Am I being harsh? Is Billy worth it?

  2. Matthew Szekeresh on

    Thank you for saying that. I am new to the idea of comic book forums and was honestly afraid that this would inspire some for of weird fanboy backlash. Have you been enjoying the book? My favorite issue so far has been the one with Green Arrow despite the sudden change in illustrators.

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