See all reviews of Justice League (56)

It’s time to learn more about the Secret Society. Let’s find out their past and why exactly the Crime Syndicate has come to Earth 1. And of course, answer the question: is it good?


Justice League #23.4: Featuring the Secret Society (DC Comics)


Justice League #23.4 Cover

Taking place before Earth 3 went to hell, Owlman is on the hunt for the Joker. Meanwhile Owlman’s partner in crime, Talon, has gone missing as well and a terrible secret was revealed to him earlier.

Justice League 23.4 01
Why does the Joker look like he is wearing a mask?

This was a pretty solid issue overall. It gave us our real first glimpse at life on Earth 3 (or at least in Gotham) and a feeling of what it is like living there under the shadow of the Crime Syndicate. We get a brief look at the backstory for the Owlman and why the Outsider is always saying “Ha”. (No, he’s not trying to copy Nelson Muntz from The Simpsons.) It’s not really a Secret Society issue exactly, since the comic does not dive into how the Outsider formed it. It’s more of an Owlman/Outsider issue if anything, which isn’t bad, but might throw some people off.

The rest of the writing is pretty good. The characters have characterization that give you some understanding of what they like (even if there is not much); the dialogue is decent and narration is kind of engaging; the story moves at a good pace for the most part, until it reaches the end and just really rushes through everything (I want to know what Atomica was up to during the time she was on Earth 1); and it ends on a pretty good note that’ll lead directly into Forever Evil #2. All in all, pretty good stuff writing wise.

Justice League 23.4 02
How the hell do you miss with a missile when the guy is that close?!

The artwork is where this issue’s quality becomes a bit debatable. Szymon Kudranski is a good artist no doubt and he really captures the mood and feel of Gotham and its characters in this world, but his stuff can look odd at times. Some faces don’t have much emotion to them when they should or they somehow look off; there’s way too much inking and shadow effects; backgrounds are often nonexistent, and sometimes the backgrounds there are there look like they were made with a computer. It’s really divisive to say, but again, the art style does fit the tone the comic is going for.

Justice League 23.4 03
I think half of Owlman’s body have been devoured by a black hole, since I can’t see anything.

8.0

  • Earth 3 and the characters of Gotham are very interesting.
  • The writing all around is pretty solid.
  • The artwork fits the tone of the story very well.
  • That said, the art is still questionable at points.
  • The last few pages are very rushed.
  • Not really a Secret Society issue, per se.

Is It Good?

This Secret Society/Owlman/Outsider one shot was indeed good. It gives the audience a much needed glance at what everything was like on Earth 3, while giving us some interesting and developed villains. The artwork is questionable at points, but still well-done and befitting of the story overall. If you liked the main event, Forever Evil, make sure to pick this up to get some background material on these characters.