Review: Justice League #13 by Geoff Johns and Tony Daniel

Review:  Justice League 13

“The Secret of the Cheetah Part One”

“On the Outs” (Art by Brad Walker)

Published by DC Comics

Written by Geoff Johns (and Jeff Lemire on the back-up)

Art by Tony S. Daniels

The Plot

The issue begins with Wonder Woman and Superman still in the throes of romance.  Wonder Woman abruptly flies off and leaves him standing alone (which can be a blow to the ego of any man super or not).  Five days later and Wonder Woman and Cheetah are fighting in Central Park.  Wonder Woman focuses more upon trying to reason with Cheetah who maintains that she has no more ties to her humanity.  Cheetah knocks Wonder Woman out and is later found by the Flash and Cyborg.  Meanwhile at the Medical Care Unit of A.R.G.U.S., Batman and Aquaman are visiting Steve Trevor (still recovering from wounds inflicted by Graves) in order to get some information from him.  Back at the Watchtower, Wonder Woman then explains her history with Cheetah who was previously known as Barbara Minerva.  Superman speaks alone with Diana about their kiss as well as accepting their help with the Cheetah.  At the same time, Flash and Cyborg are having a heart to heart about Cyborg’s humanity.  The Justice League regroups and tracks Cheetah down to the Congo where she ambushes them.  The issue ends Superman suffering from being attacked by Cheetah.

The back-up story begins with Steve Trevor sitting in a bar with him being dumped by Wonder Woman being used as fodder by TMZ on t.v. yet again.  The story shifts back two hours ago where Steve is getting out of the hospital while being visited by Amanda Waller.  They have a heated discussion about his place within A.R.G.U.S.  Amanda reveals that they had extra security in his room and Steve is surprised that “she” was in there.  Back to the present where Steve is in the bar and is visited by Green Arrow who reveals that he has found some vital information during a battle with Multiplex.  Steve then tells Green Arrow that he has another mission for him, which will be continued in Justice League of America #1.

The Breakdown

The awkwardness between Superman and Wonder Woman shows typical reactions after an unplanned romantic encounter.  This is effective at humanizing both characters.  As ferocious as Cheetah was during the battle, Wonder Woman sympathized with her and even held back.  This also further humanized Wonder Woman and it was handled in a way that was less condescending than her previously acting on Steve’s best interests.  In other words, this made her more likeable than the previous attempt to humanize her.  The new history with Cheetah was interesting as it will make for more interesting confrontations and stories between her and Wonder Woman.  Cheetah’s vicious assault did help to do one thing that I hoped that the New 52 would bring to the table, take old villains and re-establish them as threats again rather than just being jobbers.  The art by Tony S. Daniel was very nice in some spots and I enjoyed his job as a fill-in artist more than previous ones.  His fight scenes were dynamic and detailed, which is what they should be in Justice League stories.  In the back-up story, Green Arrow was more of an effective player in this issue than the comic relief he was back in issue 8.  Also, I am very interested in checking out Justice League of America now as opposed to when I first heard about the project.  I am also curious as to who “she” is that was working security detail in Steve’s room.  This was a good comic.

BUT…

The scene with Flash and Cyborg was a good one, especially because it actually gave Cyborg a voice rather than just being the guy in the background.  However, it was the Flash’s response to him that bothered me.  The content of his advice didn’t bother me, but it was the fact that once again it just reminded me of Wally.  The humor used just seemed more Wally than Barry.  Also, if the gossip-mag/trash t.v. approach that is used with Steve continues to get used after this issue, I’m going to be officially tired of it.  I know that it’s trying to reflective of current times, but we still watch the news as well as other sources of information and not just TMZ.  So we get to see Multiplex…and we get to see him job out as per usual.  Why not just make up a new villain just for this purpose? The art became less enjoyable for me during the talking scenes.  I didn’t like how Cyborg looked like he was 40 years old and not like a teenager.  Steve looked like he was about 50 years old and recovering from a stay in an addictions facility and not a medical unit.

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

Buy it.  This isn’t just another blockbuster action extravaganza because it focuses a lot more on interpersonal relationships and character building.  However, when there was action it was intense and dynamic.  All in all, it was very well-balanced.  I have read many stories that precede events where nothing really happens and fails to even try to disguise themselves from being a filler story.  The Throne of Atlantis is just around the corner and this small arc does not feel like it is just biding its time waiting for it to come.

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