The Kryptonian sun-god Rao is free on Earth, and even the Man Of Steel isn’t physically powerful enough to stop him. Can the even the combined forces of the League stop him? Your Major Spoilers review of Justice League Of America #8 awaits!
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #8
Writer: Bryan Hitch
Penciler: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Daniel Henriques
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Justice League Of America: Superman has taken the fight directly to Rao, but The Batman has a plan…
…if there’s enough time.
IN THE MIDST OF BATTLE
This issue opens with world-shattering “widescreen” comics action, as two Kryptonians battle for the survival of the human race. It’s pretty impressive art, but the issue makes little attempt to give us the whys and wherefores of the battle, simply throwing us in headlong to the fight. To Hitch’s credit, there are some strong bits of dialogue in the issue, and a nice use of flashback to set up the fact that Batman always has a plan, but Rao’s repeated boasts of his power thanks to his followers quickly become a repetitious. When Aquaman arrives with the patent Geoff Johns “stabbed in the back from off-panel” routine, the story shifts into a “Greatest Hits Of The JLA” mode, with Wonder Woman begin godly, The Flash channeling the Speed Force once again to stop a villain and Batman manipulating the bad guys… It’s very much a Justice League Unlimited episode on the comics page.
SUPER FAMILIAR STORY BEATS
This series is relatively free of current continuity, which is nice, and the use of the Parasite as ace in the hole is surprising, but the last third of the issue sort of shakes apart on the metaphorical launchpad. Hitch’s art is strong, but not as detailed as I usually expect from him (though, to be honest, there aren’t any heroes in quilted short-sleeved costumes, either, so that’s a big plus) and his Wonder Woman is one of the strong versions of the New 52 togs I’ve seen. Unfortunately, the story is all fighty-fighty, and the denouement is just a matter of people shouting “MORE POWER!” until everybody has thrown their particular tricks into the ring. The final-page reveal, though, is a moment that I didn’t see coming (though I probably should have, given this story’s familiar nature) and could mean something dramatic in upcoming issues…
THE BOTTOM LINE: A LITTLE INCOHERENT
A few years ago, DC gave us the 12-issue “Justice” limited series, that amounted to little more than a dozen issues of shouting and melodrama. This issue (and series) is superior to that one, quantitatively, but it shares a couple of important aspects with the previous series: It’s all about fighting, all about capital-p Power and full of dramatic moments that don’t have a whole lot of setup or follow-though. That said, Justice League Of America #8 has above-average art to go with the big battle sequences and shouting, and some nice character work from the non-Superman members of the JLA here and there, earning a pretty okay 2.5 out of 5 stars overall. If you’re a fan of big cinematic set-piece combats, this might be the book for you…