Justice League #24
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, Eber Ferreira, and Rod Reis
The short of it:
Twenty five years ago, Krypton dies in fire. The natives, the Kryptonians, they try to escape; an angry and selfish race, they would kill each other to insure their own places in the escape ships. Jor-Il and his wife Lara, for instance, slaughter many on their way to deposit their son Kal-Il in a ship, and to send him off to Earth where he will either be the strongest there is, or nothing at all. Jor and Lara die hating each other as the planet explodes, and Kal’s rocket takes him to Earth. The ships computers educate him on how weak he is, how pathetic he is, and how his strength will come from ingesting Kryptonite and wane with yellow sunlight. That while Earth will be his home, it will be beneath him. Jon and Martha Kent are in Smallville, fighting again, Jon is angry and unemployed, and Martha is an addict, and if not for the rocket crashing through their house, they’d probably have killed each other like the meth-addict couple in Breaking Bad.
Little Kal climbs from his rocket, eats a piece of Kryptonite, and tells the inebriated couple that they belong to him. He kills them not long after. He kills many people, to be honest, as well as the allies he gathers. The Crime Syndicate ruled their world until someone came in a BOOM and devastated their planet, which is what led them to the events of Trinity War, and now, Forever Evil. Kal-Il noticed that differences in this world instantly, that this world is filled with those who would prop up the weak, and he just needs to see for himself. Even at the expense of delaying his trip to Kahndaq to quell the resistance there. Because he wants to see the Daily Planet, and Jim Olsen, and Lois Lane and see first hand how this is not his world. He smashes Olsen’s hand , backhands Lois, and terrorizes the news room. He makes sure they know that Superman isn’t coming, that on this world he can do whatever he wants to these weak copies of those he knows from his world.
And then there’s the annoying noise, the ‘ZEEEEE’ from Olsen’s signal watch, but without Superman, who is there to come to his rescue?
That ‘problem’ in Kahndaq, that Ultraman put off, has followed that annoying noise. BLACK ADAM IS HERE!
What I liked:
Man, if Ivan wasn’t drawing Justice League, I’d want him on Superman. I know he drew Action Comics ages ago, but I want him to draw a GOOD Superman, one not written by Chuck Austen. I mean, LOOK AT THIS ISSUE! The awesomeness of Ultraman is just a big freaking tease for how great his Superman would be.
The origin is fantastic. The perfect way to riff the old school movies, with the voice in his ship telling him what to expect….and insulting him. And the riots on Krypton to escape? And the last words? Oh, the last words. “This is all your fault, Jor-Il.” “Shut up and die, Lara.” Loved it all!
Their world ended with a BOOOM? DARKSEID!
Jimmy Olsen shows some balls in his near suicide of ‘not running from Ultraman, which is also suicide’.
Ultraman being a petty and vindictive bastard. It’s subtle but effective in showing just how clearly he is the exact opposite of Superman. Superman who would never distract himself from the mission to go do something personal, Superman who wouldn’t toy with a lesser foe, Superman whose only arrogance is thinking he can save everyone. The Daily Planet sequences alone do a wonderful job of showing just how different the two are.
Ultraman’s logic about the nature of this world versus his own is fantastic. Good versus Evil is tried, true, but cliche by this point. Plus, it’s not like Ultraman is going to come from his world and view it in such black and white terms. To him it’s about strength, and being from a world where strength is everything, and now being on a world where the weak are empowered equally instead of snuffed out under the boots of the men who are like Gods.
You never, EVER, forget about BLACK ADAM!
What I didn’t like:
I understand that Lois writing the ‘Superman saves the world’ article is her coping mechanism, but it seems like the most suicidal thing happening in a newsroom full of people who are suicidal enough just by still being there.
While I don’t mind the ingesting of Kryptonite for powers, it was really…perfect? I want to say perfect, that his parents sent him with a small mountain of power supply and that nobody else on Krypton thought of it.
Ultraman, and by proxy Superman, is twenty-five. I feel like I knew that, but it’s nice to know that again.
The Earth 3 Kent’s remind me of that meth family from Breaking Bad that killed each other while Jesse was there, and then he waited with their kid while the cops showed up. This is also known as ‘the episode of Breaking Bad that made me need to take a break…badly’.
Man, that ring ruined Abin Sur. Is that what Power Ring is on the road to looking like?
I want to see Jim Olsen skin Steve Lombard…
The classic spandex looks of the CSA costumes is strange, I keep looking for the piping on Ultraman.
I’ve never understood how Earth 3 Wonder Woman is Lois Lane. Everyone else exists and has their actual analogs, but then Diana becomes Lois?
Kal-El, Kal-Il, and are we going to find out that Earth 2 Superman is Kal-L?
You have no idea how badly I want to see the full fight between Ultraman and BLACK ADAM! Bring on Forever Evil #3!
Tags: DC Comics, forever evil, Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Justice League, New 52 (DC Comics), Reviews, ultraman