Justice League #10
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Mark Irwin, Jonathan Glapion, Alex Sinclair, Gabe Eltaub, and Tony Avina & Hifi
SHAZAM! Art by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson.
The short of it:
Three years ago a very sick man travels by boat across a cold snowy river in Asia, finding giant Gods that will help him if he can help himself. Throughout the issue we’re shown the trek of David Graves as he received weird and uncapped powers from giant multi-armed armored Gods.
Back in the present Steve Trevor is being tortured, Aquaman is saving boats, and Batman is calling a meeting. About Graves. This unknown threat seems to know everything about them, as he’s been torturing their villains for information, but this revelation leads to the League discussing how well anyone really knows anyone. Secret identities seem randomly known, personal lives protected, but Cyborg seems to know everything there is to know. Graves shows up in their satellite to hand everyone their asses by using some sort of…I don’t even know what to attack everyone with their personal losses. Really, the fight left me more confused than I’d like since half of the Graves stuff from the first paragraph happens during it. Every other panel is back and forth.
Meanwhile, in SHAZAM! Billy sneaks out of the house and Freddie follows him. We meet a tiger named Tawny and learn quite a bit more about both Billy and Freddie than we knew before, while they learn quite a bit about each other. Billy may have just made his best friend, well, aside from the tiger that doesn’t like pickles. Then, just to make things awesome, Doctor Sivana’s magic eye reads the magic words and releases the most bad ass champion the Wizard ever had.
What I liked:
- Cyborg is awesome and easily the star of the issue for me. I love the updating of his powers, I love that he knows EVERYTHING whether he wants to or not, and I especially love how there’s no real outward resentment to him for it.
- The team dynamic as a whole is fun, and the few pages spent with the League just talking are some of the best of the entire issue. Like, if the whole issue was like these few pages, I’d have loved it.
- The Shazam backup story makes me want a Johns and Frank ongoing series. Geoff does a great job with the writing, as Billy went from little dick to a pretty fun character in a really short amount of time.
- I actually like that the League got their asses handed to them here, it will make their eventual win feel a bit better.
- Best. Last page. Yet.
- As awesome as Jim Lee is, Gary Frank completely kicks his ass in this issue. I really do love just about anything Gary draws, and Geoff really gets a lot out of him when they collaborate.
What I didn’t like:
- The horribly defined villain. We’ve got a name, a general idea for who he is, and apparently he got his powers from super sized Gods hidden in the mountains of Central Asia. Now, I couldn’t begin to tell you what those powers are, because while the effects of them are clear…how it happens isn’t.
- Aquaman jokes. Joy. The media hates Aquaman, and he simply brushes it off. I had actually managed to forget about that over the last nine months since the first issue was pure Aquaman jokes.
- The pacing for this book is just all over the place and at no point did I really ever feel grounded and like the story was moving in one direction. The framing sequence with Graves at the end was just odd and explained little. I mean, unless his powers being the angry ghosts of his family that apparently died at some point is the only explanation we needed.
- ARMY OF INKERS AND COLORISTS!
So the parts I like most about this book are the interactions between the characters, as Johns has always been great at character development, and everyone has their own little moments throughout the issue. At the same time, everything outside of the dialog and development was just…I don’t know how to describe it.
I don’t care about this villain at all.
Wait, so you give Steve Trevor access that sets off an alarm, but by the time the alarm goes off whoever uses his card has time to get to the main meeting room? That seems pretty fail.
So dude goes from mystery novels, to a book about the Justice League being Gods, to being deathly ill with no family, to hunting down giant four armed Gods in Asia? In two years? I don’t like his timeline, and his motivations feel horribly forced, but at the same time…it’s whatever. My gut is telling me that we’ll never hear about this guy again after this arc.
Sivana being normal people sized still makes me a sad panda. There aren’t enough awesome tiny people in comics.
Man, how bad ass does the Mighty Adam look?
Seriously, two of these points are just from the last page…alright, the entire backup story really balances this score positively. That’s the best part of the book.
Tags: DC Comics Relaunch, gary frank, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Justice League, New 52 (DC Comics), Reviews, Shazam (Captain Marvel)