Spinning out of the events of Justice League: No Justice, three heroes are called by a mysterious voice to a quarantined sector of space. What is the voice’s origins, and why have these particular heroes been called? We will find out some of these answers on September 26 with Justice League Odyssey #1 from DC Comics.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Stjepan Sejic
Cover: Stjepan Sejic
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: September 26, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Justice League Odyssey: It was discovered that a large number of worlds had been shrunk and stored away on the planet Colu. Their release into the universe caused a chaotic effect, forming what the Guardians of the Universe referred to the Ghost Sector. Sealing the sector off and prohibiting anyone from entering, they left a sole Green Lantern to be the sentry. Now that Green Lantern is about to have visitors, and she didn’t even have time to vacuum.
SPACE MOST FOUL, MYSTERY MOST BIZARRE
The Ghost Sector is a zone of space which was formed after the release of all the shrunken worlds which had been stored on Colu, the home planet of the villainous Brainiac. Now that they are once again in the universe proper, their presence has formed an area of space plagued by intense radiation and unpredictability which was deemed too dangerous to allow access to. To that end, the Guardians of the Universe set up security outpost and assigned a lone Green Lantern to patrol the area. That Green Lantern was Jessica Cruz of Earth. Finding it a lonely existence on the edges of space, she spends much of her time repairing the damaged security outposts which seem to keep getting scorched.
That changes when Brainiac’s skull ship blasts into her sphere of influence, on a direct course to the forbidden Ghost Sector. But this is not an attack by Brainiac or one of his ilk, this is an ill-conceived venture by the alien hero Starfire, Justice League member Cyborg, and an Agent of the Bat known as Azrael. They have a voice in their heads which is calling them to the forbidden sector and they are refusing to let anything stop them from their destination. Too bad they didn’t think to call ahead, making reservations with their local Green Lantern may have made things easier.
What will they do when they discover the identity supposedly behind the voices in their heads, and what about the secret a lone Colu refugee is hiding, one that is so important a Green Lantern sacrifices herself trying to the information out?
SPACE IS A COLD AND DARK MISTRESS
Justice League Odyssey comes to us from the creative team of writer Joshua Williamson (Flash, Nailbiter) and artist Stjepan Sejic (Aquaman, Witchblade). Williamson begins the tale with a sense of epic, universe-shattering events which are happening in a wild and exotic setting that will prove a challenge to all those involved. In the first few pages, we see a Green Lantern fall trying to alert the Guardians of the danger which is brewing. We see a dark and mysterious figure observing the lone sentinel. Then we find that sentinel is facing her own personal fears to be that thin green line. Williamson brings us a great set up for the coming action, but it is not without some faults. Information the characters should have been aware of, such as Jessica’s ring not protecting her from the radiation around the Ghost Sector, seems to have been sacrificed in the effort to move the story forward. With so much time spent explaining the situation to the reader, maybe the Guardians should have given a relatively new Green Lantern a quick primer on her assignment. Her voice is the most fleshed out in the book, and as such, she comes off as the most relatable. While Cyborg, Starfire, and Azreal are shown as the focus of whatever strangeness is going on in the Ghost Sector, it feels like Jessica Cruz will be the one to be a voice of reason and the true hero. Speaking of the plot, it is a little hard to grasp exactly what is going in the Ghost Sector, but Williamson has shown in the past that he is a writer who likes to work the long game. It will be interesting to see where it heads.
The art by Sejic is beautiful. He has a technical precision that is very cinematic, and to that end employees a panel layout that takes advantage of that widescreen mentality. Often his images reach from one side of the page to the other, giving us a wide landscape of color and action to deliver us the fest for the eyes. Perfect? Not exactly, there are little hiccups which stand out occasionally, but overall he delivers the big bang art when it counts. His actual art has an odd, finished but sketch quality which is very appealing, and it always gives the eyes something to appreciate.
BOTTOM LINE: DESPITE THE PROBLEMS, IT SETS UP A GRAND TALE.
When I chose this book I was looking forward to an epic, interstellar tale of a Justice League branch in space. I hoped to get interactions with some of the more exotic worlds, heroes and villains while having that feeling of a team that so many other Justice League titles have delivered over the years. I fondly remember the original Cosmic Odyssey series from the late 80’s and wondered if there could be a connection. I still wonder about that. The biggest problem here is the title and the allusion to a team. These characters just do not feel like a team. There are three people with similar but different objectives and a character in danger of becoming a space babysitter. There is a story here, and it may be a great one, but it really needs to find its voice and purpose in the next issue. All the promise in the world means nothing if it is never delivered.
JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #1 looks to be tying up some loose ends from a previous series but needs to blaze its own path soon. That said, there are qualities here that make it worth a purchase to see if it lives up to the potential.