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Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Justice League #16



As the flagship title of the New 52, Justice League has not pretended to be anything other than a book for tons of superhero action.  So far, this has not been a problem as the action and the story have both been written expertly by Geoff Johns, with amazing art from Ivan Reis.


Issue 16 does nothing to derail the action of the series as "Throne of Atlantis" bumps everything up quite a few notches.  The Justice League was beginning to show cracks, but everything begins to fall apart in this chapter, with Cyborg being the only hope for the team's survival.

While Darkseid may have been a threat large enough to warrant the formation of the Justice League, Orm (brother of Aquaman) is proving to be the most dangerous foe the League has faced since the New 52 began.  Perhaps the main reason for this is that Orm's attacks have been so much more personal and less random.  Metropolis and Gotham have both been flooded extensively, and Orm's ties to Aquaman have only caused further strain on their relationship as well as Aquaman's relationship with the rest of the League.

It is in this chapter that one sees which members of the League are truly dedicated to their cause.  Batman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg in particular show a willingness to risk their lives for the greater good.  Sure, this is standard fare for a big superhero story, but sometimes we need to be reminded of what makes these people superheroes in order for us to love them even more.  If we weren't invested in them as people, this book would not be nearly as fun of a read.

The only thing that is strikingly odd about "Throne of Atlantis" is the noticeable absence of The Flash.  While he was written off as dealing with his own issues in Central City (He has been fighting off an invasion from Gorilla Grodd since The Flash Annual), it still seems very strange that this keeps him from being involved with the events of Justice League.  Every one of the other heroes with solo books except Aquaman are dealing with their own struggles. Batman is wrapping up the "Death of the Family" arc and Wonder Woman has steam-rolled from arc to arc so quickly it is surprising Wonder Woman even has time to be on the Justice League.  So the question remains, then, why exclude Flash? Perhaps the answer lies ahead.

Overall, Justice League #16 is a fantastic read.  If you are a fan of large superhero action, then it will be very hard for you to get to the cliffhanger of this issue without getting chills.  

In the back-up for this issue the fight between Shazam and Black Adam finally begins.  Though this chapter of the Shazam story has more action than previous back-ups, there is once again this worry that things may not work out well.  None of which would be possible if Johns had not taken the time to develop Billy Batson methodically.  Seriously, though, why have we not given Shazam his own series?  Come on, DC, get on that!

Rating: A+
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