Superman is down.  Black Adam is defeated.  What chance do the rest of the League stand against Brutus?  Your Major Spoilers review of Justice League #62 from DC Comics awaits!


Writer: Brian Michael Bendis/Ram V
Artist: David Marquez/Xermanico
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia/Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: Josh Reed/Rob Leigh
Editor: Jamie S. Rich/Brittany Holzherr
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: June 1, 2021

Previously in Justice League:  The Justice League!  The biggest heroes!  The biggest threats!  With their powers out of control and trapped on a world they do not understand, the League must band together like never before.  Queen Hippolyta is forced to confront her new destiny.


As Justice League #62 begins, Queen Hippolyta arrives at the Hall of Justice to track down the League, only to find The Flash is the only one present, having teleported the rest of the team to Naomi’s homeworld.  As they speak, he suddenly (and awkwardly) freezes, realizing that he miscalculated the teleportation calculations.  In response, he grabs a phone and makes a panicked call to Mister Terrific.  The League is already aware of the miscommunication, though, as Aquaman lands in the middle of someone’s home, while the rest of the team faces down a villain called Brutus with their powers out of whack.  Both Black Adam and Superman are down and out, but the quick arrival of Aquaman (in a tank), HIppolyta (taking her daughter’s place) and The Flash (screaming like a freaked out teenage) turn the tide for a moment, only to have an even BIGGER threat show up to confront them.  In the Justice League Dark half of the book, Merlin has gone on a search for Atlantis, forcing John Constantine and Jason Blood to combine their wits and powers to find out where Merlin has gone..


The high point of Justice League #62 comes in the middle of the Dark team’s investigation of a mystical library, where everything that ever is or was is written down.  Ragman picks up a book entitled ‘Justice League Dark – 2021, by Ram V’ and literally *reads* the secret that one of his teammates has been hiding.  It’s a moment that could have been too meta, but in this context, it works perfectly.  Sadly, Bendis lead feature is less successful for me, as we’re four issues in and we’re still seeing characters arriving for the first time, even though they’ve been on the cover for the last six months.  Much like the ‘Young Justice’ series, the actual amount of incident in the pages of the story is minimal, taking place over less than an hour, making for a difficult read.  I’m worried that, once again, we’re going to get to the end of the arc and have to assume things that happened off panel, like when Geo-Force was a member of the Justice League for seven minutes or the short time that Storm was an Avenger.  The arrival of the big new villain, who immediately says “Hey, Naomi”, like they’re old schoolmates is doubly disappointing.


On the one hand, it’s nice to have two stories in the issue, because Justice League Dark does most of the heavy lifting in these pages.  On the other, Justice League #62 highlights the biggest weaknesses of its primary writer, with strange character interactions, overly casual dialogue and suddenly deus ex machinas galore, making for a mixed bag issue that looks great, but it really hard to justify as a single-issue story, earning 2.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I love this lineup and I’m interested in what might be happening with Black Adam, but I don’t know if I can keep coming back for a few grains of story month after month in the hopes that it’ll all piece together eventually.

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The main story is a mess, but the Justice League Dark backup is a lot of fun, and the art in both halves of the story is pretty good. I'd really like to get things moving, though, and Bendis' dialogue is just... NOT working.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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