REVIEW: Justice League of America #18

00.jpgWritten by Dwayne McDuffie and Alan BurnettArt by Ed Benes and JonBoy Meyers

Company: DC Comics

The US government is up to shady doings again and the Justice League of America have to figure out how to stop it, on multiple fronts, before things get out of hand.

In this issue, several villains give in to the League for asylum from Amanda Waller’s prison planet. Waller wants those prisoners and the Suicide Squad comes to get them. From there, it’s a game of human chess as Waller tries to maneuver her team into position to get the villains, while the league try and figure out the whereabouts of the planet, the government’s true agenda, and fend off the Suicide Squad.

This is a particularly strong middle issue. There is a lot going on, but it doesn’t overpower most of the characters, with Batman and Waller particularly being an interesting dynamic. Subplots like Red Arrow and Hawkgirl’s romance are pushed forward, and really, pacing and structure wise, this reminds me of an early 90s X-Men comic when things were working particularly will with the main plot being a vehicle the characters act and react around.

The mystery here isn’t especially strong. We know the JLA will find the planet, so the drama is a bit false. There is enough going on here to distract from that, though. There are three threads to be touched on here. With the drama over the first two, those being the Suicide Squad looking to get the villains and figuring out Waller’s agenda, the issue isn’t if they can find the planet, but if they can find it in time. There is an easier way to find it via simply following the villains they have granted asylum to or having a JLA member act as a villain, but that’s a detail that can be worked out next issue.

As of now, the middle of the arc provided good action with a compelling plot that is moving along. Add in good characterization and this book is a clear winner.

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