The Amazo Virus Review: Justice League #38 By Geoff Johns And Jason Fabok! Plus A Birthday For DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer!

A happy birthday to DC Comics Chief Creative Officer and writer Geoff Johns who turns 42 today!

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Review: Justice League #38

“Chapter Three: The Secret”
Published by DC Comics
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jason Fabok
Coloured by Brad Anderson

The Plot

Batman is starting to manifest his powers after being infected by the Amazo Virus at the end of the previous issue. Superman and Wonder Woman are still fighting with Patient Zero and struggling with trying to handle him. Fortunately, Batman is able to give a hell of an assist while being able to deduce a bit more of the virus’ nature. Bullet has Luthor subdued, but is stopped by Captain Cold. Luthor tries to find more answers and is willing to ignore any sort of ethical behavior to do so. Luthor is both surprised and disappointed when he finds out more about the virus from Patient Zero. Then he reveals the true reason why he created the virus and knows that the repercussions are very serious. However, the virus starts to take a sudden turn and Superman, Wonder Woman, and Luthor are faced with a very dire situation.

The Breakdown

So the solution isn’t so straightforward and the turn with Patient Zero was a good one. I enjoyed it because it’s not a paint by numbers storyline. Batman manifesting powers is kind of typical fanboyish fantasy stuff, but it was still pretty damn cool how it manifested in the story. Of course, it gave him a pretty badass moment. I liked how he was able to figure out how he manifested his power and how it may not actually be all that random. Captain Cold schooling Bullet was pretty sweet and I like how he isn’t at all altruistic about his intentions and doesn’t hide that fact at all. I’m glad that he’s starting to get more of a role in this title now. Luthor knows he’s totally in the wrong and even though everything is chaotic around him, he still has the foresight to seek immunity in exchange for his help. Luthor’s revelation about what he tried with the virus four years ago was a good moment. Most of the hype with this arc is with Batman, but Luthor has been stealing the show. I’m still curious to see how he’s going to come out of this one. He’s done nothing, but screw up throughout this arc and I want to see how he redeems himself. The art team did some good work in this issue. It’s small, but I really liked the one detail with the silhouette of the President looking at the screen at the beginning. He had eyelashes and although this isn’t anything significant, it’s a detail that’s often ignored in these types of panels. I enjoy it when artists put a bit more effort in different aspects of their work. The cliffhanger had me wondering what’s going to happen in the next issue. Another solid outing for this title.

BUT…

20 pages for 4 bucks??? I didn’t realize this when I first read this issue (which I guess shows I got a bang for my buck at least) and only did a page count to make a point about how I’m glad there isn’t a backup story to take pages away from the main story. I understand if smaller companies charge this amount for 20 pages (and even then sometimes I don’t like it), but it’s one of the Big Two and I honestly expect at least 22-24 pages for the extra dollar.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It. Despite the price, I still recommend it. However, if the next issue does the same thing then I might be less willing to recommend a purchase on this title even if it knocks my socks off. This arc has taken a few turns that I didn’t expect and I’m really digging the hell out of it. I enjoy the Luthor dynamic right now and I hope that this isn’t the beginning of the end of his involvement with the team. Captain Cold was pretty badass in this issue too, which pretty much makes it a win for me even if the rest of the book sucked (which it didn’t of course). The art team continued to do some consistent work in this issue and I like how this arc has kept me guessing. Definitely recommend this one.

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