Review: Justice League of America #6 by Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, and Doug Mahnke


Justice League of America #6

Written by Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire

Art by Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen, Gabe Eltaeb, and Nathan Eyring


The short of it:

As the Outsider readies his Society, the Question wonders who the true evil behind it all is, but that’s just set up. The real start? Superman just blasted Dr. Light’s face off last week, so now we have a good old fashioned hero team versus hero team brawl on our hands! Everybody is fighting, Trevor and Waller are trying to get their anti-Justice League plans into action, and Superman? He’s just trying to not hurt anybody else. J’onn tries to help him, but he has bad karma with the League so Flash doesn’t let him. Vibe is then thrown in there because he is only on the team to take out the Flash. Superman stops the fight, smashing the ground around him and demanding to be imprisoned for his crimes.

Waller debriefs Steve Trevor and is practically salivating about how she can spin Superman killing Dr. Light in her favor. ARGUS patches everybody up, Shazam wants to leave, and Waller asks Firestorm if he can make her some kryptonite. Then Steve walks Wonder Woman down to go see Superman and she asks him about the JLA and then points out that their secrecy and refusal to communicate is the entire reason this mess started, and that Dr. Light would be alive if they’d just called the League and talked to them. Because the result we have?

Superman in a big metal contraption that binds his wrist and covers his eyes. And he’s coughing. A lot. Superman is getting sick. Batman wants to know what’s wrong with him, but Superman just wants to know about Light. Every little excruciating detail that he can punish himself with. Diana doesn’t like the looks of Superman and decides this is all Pandora’s fault for trying to make him open the box, so she goes hunting on her own. Amazon style. In other words, she goes and plays bad cop with Hephaestus, Greek God of blacksmithing, and decides to use her lasso to get him to spill his guts on the Box. He does. He didn’t build it.

So now her mystery takes her to a new place, seeking out the Justice League Dark in hopes that they can help her understand Pandora’s Box and save Superman. Of course, Superman has a brand new question of his own.


What I liked:

  • I didn’t look at the artist credit my first time reading through this issue and all I could think was “When did David Finch turn into Doug Mahnke?” Well, apparently Doug is on the book, and that’s why I was treated to the incomparable awesome that is Doug Mahnke drawing Justice League’s!

  • Wonder Woman just completely owns Steve Trevor at one point by pointing out how everything that happened is entirely his fault because his team needed to wave their dicks around and start a confrontation where none was needed.

  • More Wonder Woman, but her quest to try and understand Pandora’s Box to save Superman was great. It’s one of those things that comes about because of their relationship that you wouldn’t have had before the New 52. It would have been all Batman all the time. I love the change of pace.

  • For as much of a bitch as Amanda Waller is in this issue, I’d be pissed if she wasn’t. She should be the heartless boss that doesn’t care that they just suffered a casualty if it means getting her end results.

  • I’m glad we got a portrayal of the Question more up the classic alley.

  • Hawkman was given a single moment in this issue, and it was great. Something healed wrong so he gives the medical staff one of his knives to cut him back open to fix it.

  • Superman demanding his own imprisonment was a fantastic and instant classic Superman moment. Everyone around him is fighting because he just blasted a guys face off and one side wants to jail him and one side wants to get out and regroup, and the most powerful man in the world? He does the right thing and he ends the hostilities to turn himself in.


What I didn’t like:

  • The Justice League Dark is introduced in exactly the way I didn’t want to see happen. Thrown in at the very end of the issue just to not make the next part of the crossover, their issue, completely out of left field. Just shoehorned in for the climax.

  • I loved Atom the first few issues she was used, but now she exists solely to whine about how she was supposed to be a traitor despite never really doing anything too serious. I mean, come on, she was on the team for less than a week and she’s acting like she was there for years with a deep dark secret. This reveal needed way more build up to have any real whammy effect, and it’s just annoying now.

  • I understand not prominently featuring too many Justice League members, but pretty much the entire JLA got shoved to the background as well.


Final thoughts:

I know that way back in the “Grey isn’t born yet” times of past, The Outsider was Alfred all evil and insane for reasons I don’t really care about. Why does this matter? Because that haircut totally makes him look like Alfred.

They need to pick a characterization for The Question and stick with it, because now he’s more of a classic Victor Szasz, but prior to this issue all I was getting was ‘crazy powerful faceless evil immortal’. For the record? This version? So much better. Gels not at all with what we’ve seen in Phantom Stranger (pretty damn good book, by the way), but I’ll take it.

Where is Phantom Stranger? Trinity War is about the Trinity of Sin, right?

I like Vibe’s book, and I understand his purpose on the team is to counter Flash, but did it have to be such a boring moment when it did happen?

They had that anti-Superman chair ready to go REALLY quick. I’m not surprised at all, but man, they were really expecting to get Superman as a prisoner.

Not nearly enough follow up on Xanadu getting blown up.

Is Doug Mahnke awesome or is he awesome?

Overall: 8/10

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