The Justice League is targeted by an old friend who plans to use Steve Trevor’s knowledge of the team to take it apart from the inside, in Justice League #9.
Justice League #9
Four years ago, Justice League biographer David Graves seemingly succumbed to a debilitating illness, blaming the team of heroes he helped make famous for not saving him in his hour of need. In the present day, various isolated super-villain incidents all mysteriously add up to one fact: someone is gathering knowledge in preparation to take down the League. At the same time, JL Liaison Steve Trevor is kidnapped by a super-powered and deranged Graves, and is forced to give up League secrets or watch his sister’s family die.
In this third issue since the opening arc, I’ve come to a realization: For a book called Justice League, we sure do spend a lot of time focusing on people who are not the Justice League. I was willing to overlook that fact in the last two issues, because they were structured as fillers, or side-stories, giving us a view of the team from the outside, as seen by guys like Trevor and Green Arrow. I kind of figured that once the next big arc began, we’d get back “into” the team.
And yes, in this issue, as with the last two, the League has gotten plenty of screen-time. But they were just sort of… there. I can’t shake the feeling of disconnect to these supposed main characters. Once again, Steve Trevor is given center stage and all the character work, even if it is basically retreading the same info we got in issue 7.
What passes for “character” in regards to the League members themselves amounts to little more than the self-pitying flashbacks that have become a staple of Geoff Johns’ work, as each hero reflects, for no real reason story-wise, on moments in their past that make them feel sad, like Clark Kent getting picked last in dodge ball, and Bruce Wayne repainting his bedroom after his parents deaths.
I suspect (hope) that these bizarre asides will make sense in a few issues, possibly expanding into short stories with resolutions, perhaps showing that like the villains, heroes had bad times too, but that unlike the bad guys, they didn’t use those slights as an excuse to punish the whole world.
Or maybe I’m giving Geoff Johns too much credit?
In the Shazam back-up, we get more of Billy Batson not being Captain Marvel, or doing anything even remotely magic-y. Despite being a jerk-face, he actually shows some character by defending his new brothers and sisters from a trio of rich brothers who are picking on them, even going so far as to tell their Lionel Luthor-clone of a father to go to hell as well.
I know Johns is laying the foundations for the characters here, and honestly he’s doing a good job. I AM intrigued by this CW family soap opera. It’s just the magic stuff that’s falling flat for me. First off, it’s part three of this story and Billy is nowhere close to getting the power of SHAZAM. It’s not even on his radar. Meanwhile, Sivana is zapped by magic and gains the power to… um, “see magic.” Whatever the heck that means. Refresh my memory anyone, is that even remotely in Sivana’s wheelhouse, or is that completely out of left field for the character?
Overall, this whole issue kind of falls flat. Superheroes do some stuff, feel bad for themselves, and the villain plans his next move. Both stories are really going to need to kick it into high-gear next issue. Reading comics should be fun, not a chore.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|The art for both stories is still good||I thought we were done with filler. Can I get some story, please?|
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