REVIEW: Justice League #16

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After a year and a half as a team since the 52 reboot, their roster has not changed. Besides Hal Jordan a.k.a. Green Lantern leaving the team, their core has consisted of a six member team: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, and Flash. However, with promotions for a new Justice League (of America) from DC Comics, change seems to be coming very soon.

JL_16_coverJUSTICE LEAGUE #16
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Colorist: Rod Reis
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Justice League: In the mid-Atlantic, an aircraft carrier launches all of its missiles into what they believe to be empty space beneath the ocean. In reality, the missiles were launched into Atlantis, the home of Aquaman. Meanwhile, the Justice League is enjoying some time off from the team. As Superman teaches Wonder Woman the finer points of “civilian disguises,” Aquaman assists Batman in capturing several boat-riding criminals. Their break is short-lived; a giant flood swallows the coastline as the four heroes, with Aquaman’s wife Mera, go to work rescuing people. When Aquaman sees the devastation, he realizes this is a declaration of war by Atlantis.

ATLANTEANS AND ROBOTS

Justice League #16 continues the Throne of Atlantis crossover between Aquaman and Justice league series. Surprisingly, I was able to follow this comic without having read part two of Aquaman #15. This shows the great ability of Geoff Johns to keep a reader focused on the story without having to explain plot points. Unfortunately, this could also suggest nothing significant happened in part two. In the third part of this arc, as Cyborg attempts to find a way to defeat the invading Atlanteans, the rest of the League minus Flash confront Aquaman’s half-brother Orm. Since this is a water-heavy storyline, the big three play second fiddle to Aquaman. Geoff Johns portrays him as the conflicted hero, torn between appeasing his brother and keeping peace with the league, which ultimately leads to his downfall. Although Orm’s motivation for invasion is a bit cliché, it works for this comic. Another character that gets a surprisingly major spotlight is Cyborg a.k.a. Victor Stone. Introduced in the first issue of Throne of Atlantis, Victor loses his human parts as he upgrades himself. With the team captured, he is forced to give up another part of his humanity reluctantly. This is not a new concept for the character since the Teen Titans cartoon tackled it in their series. However, the idea makes for a better heroic background for Cyborg. Included in every Justice League comic is the origin story of Shazam a.k.a Captain Marvel a.k.a. Billy Batson. This issue sees the hero’s first defeat at the hands of Black Adam. It is a nice bonus story that makes me feel less guilty about paying four bucks for a comic book.

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

Ivan Reis’s artwork is exceptionally stunning. Since this is the first time we see the Atlanteans invading, this issue is full of visual appealing battle sequences. Everything from the environments to the characters’ costumes are well-designed and balanced. I cannot find a single flaw with the work. The magic is portrayed nicely, not over the top but still very believable. I also liked Orm’s redesign. It reminds me of a blue version of Aquaman with a cape and a mask. Ivan Reis gives a modern revamp to the ancient Atlanteans.

BOTTOM LINE: A SOLID ARC TO FOLLOW

Geoff Johns continues to churn out solid stories while Ivan Reis does amazing artwork. There were hints of Red Tornado and Dr. Magnus’s Metal Men in this issue, but the main reveal is at the end. I suggest picking up this comic, especially to readers who have been waiting for roster changes since the team was first revealed in the new 52.  Justice League #16 earns 4 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Reader Rating

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