Justice League has finally caught up with the rest of the DC’s books and just in time — it’s the beginning of a new arc that’s offering up a lot of promise; let’s see what this new roster of heroes can do. Is it good?
Justice League #35 (DC Comics)
It’s official: in a huge press event, Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor announce to the world that LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises are entering a partnership. As the crowd and press cheer, the Justice League remains in the shadows watching from afar. That night during the event, Luthor will be allowing Bruce to look around and inspect all his labs and secrets to show to him that he has nothing to hide, but Bruce suspects he does; that’s why the League is there, ready to arrest him whenever Bruce has the proof.
No kidding; try keeping his birthday and Christmas presents a secret.
Now this issue was a prologue to this new arc so nothing has really taken off yet; the story here is more character focused and laying down the ground work. As such, you could be a bit disappointed that it doesn’t automatically jump into the excitement and intensity that the cover suggests, but what you do get here is still a fairly enjoyable story. Even if the focus is primarily on Bruce and Lex butting heads with each other and the other Justice League members interacting with one another as they wait, it doesn’t really matter since one can easily get wrapped up in these characters’ interactions.
The writing by Geoff Johns in general is very strong, retaining the quality the comic has displayed these past few months. The pacing is decent, though a tad slow at points; the story structure and flow are strong, bolstered by an interesting prologue. There’s also an underlying current of tension and unease surrounding some of the characters and even we, the readers — Bruce definitely know Lex is hiding something, but he has no clue what it is; Lex definitely has something to hide, but he’s trying to keep his cool; and we all definitely know something will be happening (I mean, look at the title for arc) but how and when it’ll happen keeps us nervously anticipating. The characterization is excellent and really good, continuing to build and grow the characters more and more. The dialogue is solid, with some nice touches of emotion and humor. The ending is great and really gets you curious about what’ll happen next. All in all, it’s a solid start for the new arc.
The artwork is curiously enough by both Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke. I don’t even get why Ivan was even involved, considering he only drew a couple of pages while Doug did the rest. Fortunately, it’s not too obvious when they switch artists, but it does seem odd to be that Doug just didn’t draw every page here.
Regardless, the work looks fine as you would expect. The characters look decent enough, except when they are smiling and sometimes in the eye department. The layouts and angles used are decent, while the colors are beautiful and bright. The tiny bit of action we got was decently depicted, but nothing to really write home about. All in all, not a bad looking book, though this will be the last we see of either of these artists due to the artist change next issue.
Is It Good?
Justice League #35 is a good opening prologue to this new arc, setting the stage for what should be an exciting story. While there wasn’t much in the way of action or excitement, the writing and character work here was exceptional and very engaging from start to finish. Along with some decent artwork, this issue definitely gets things going on the right foot for the new storyline. Hopefully it delivers more on what we saw with the cover next time though.