Chronos has returned, and his feud with The Atom continues. And the fact that this isn’t actually his Atom doesn’t bother him one bit… Your Major Spoilers review of Justice League Of America #28 awaits!
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Hugo Petrus
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 11, 2018
Previously in Justice League Of America: “Chronos starts traveling through time with the Justice League in hot pursuit. At the same time, he’s taunting Ryan Choi, getting in his head and trying to convince him he’s never going to be the real Atom. Will Ryan be able to overcome Chronos’s attack and help his team or will time itself forever belong to Chronos?”
THE GOD OF SUPERHEROES
Sometimes, it’s a bad idea to skip an issue. We open at the very dawn of time, with Chronos and his army of killers harvested from throughout Hypertime, holding an alien called Ahl, the “god of superheroes” in chains and demanding to speak only to The Atom. Batman isn’t having it, but Atom holds his own long enough for The Ray to pull off a daring escape and build a holographic stronghold with the Justice League inside. The team isn’t sure that they’re going to survive but in order to make sure that the very concept of the superhero survives, they’re ready to defend Ahl against Chronos and his horde. Unfortunately, Chronos also has Chemo, the Metal Men’s plastic opponent, whose toxic chemical nature makes short work of Ray’s castle, leading to a hand to hand battle. It goes poorly, and as we end, The Atom is bleeding out, The Ray is unconscious, and Batman and the rest of the team watches in horror as Chronos hits Ahl in the head with a brick…
RYAN CHOI EARNING HIS LEGACY
Man, it doesn’t seem like that long since I read a JLA book, but there’s a lot going on here: The Atom has a new look, Lobo is gone and a new Aztek has joined the ranks of the League. Moreover, while I’m not 100% sure about the concept of the God of Superheroes, it makes for an interesting story and a lot of uncomfortable Batman, which I’m fine with. The art by Hugo Petrus is really nicely done, featuring armies in historical armored uniforms, really nice “choreography” on the fight scenes and large-scale battle stuff. I also enjoy the clever use of The Ray’s powers and Ryan Choi’s smarts in this issue. On the downside, there’s not much for Aztek, Black Canary and Frost to do in these pages, and I’m still borderline on the idea that an actual alien god in the distant past is the archetypical source of all superheroes. That would be a tough story row to hoe in any book, but in a world where Superman (the ur-example and root of many of the tropes of superheroing) exists, it’s even more difficult as a reader to process the plot…
BOTTOM LINE: A GOOD ISSUE FOR ATOM AND RAY
Even with that plot peccadillo, this comic is a good read featuring some nice moments for The Atom, trying to prove himself as useful as his predecessor, Ray Palmer. The Ray also gets some fun stuff to do, leaving Justice League Of America #28 with a still-better than-average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. The real test of this story arc is going to be in how it all winds up and what it says about these characters if their heroic archetype is removed from the narrative, so I’ll reserve judgment until it’s all done. Steve Orlando is a good enough writer to earn that much trust…
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