How often are the DC superheroes compared to gods, become gods, or at the very least trounce around like they are gods? It seems like a recurring theme, especially with the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film laying it on quite thick with the Superman-as-messiah themes. Well in DC Comics’ Justice League series the heroes are actually fighting a god of sorts, but is it good?
Justice League of America #8 (DC Comics)
We have learned Rao is godly because he basically has followers that he sucks energy from. By doing this he’s incredibly strong, and also has lived for many years. He wants to take over Earth but fat chance the Justice League are going to let him do that without a fight! This issue opens with Superman beating his butt as best he can.
Why does this book matter?
This is part seven of Bryan Hitch’s story arc and it’s safe to say the man can draw one epic page, panel or double page spread. He’s been able to capture the larger than life nature of the characters visually, but Rao and this time-bending story have been able to make the story feel large as well.
You got a temper bro!?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
When it comes to superhero action, this is the kind you want. It’s big and loud with Superman going full tilt to stop Rao, but a clever twist makes him pull back. Hitch is basically putting our heroes in a position where they can’t just use their brawn and must think outside the box. It also raises the stakes as they learn Rao’s connection to the humans of Earth has implications every time they punch him. This also forces the heroes to work together and it’s entertaining to see how they work together and how the plan plays out.
Hitch also manages to get this story to come full circle by issue’s end, giving payoff to tidbits revealed earlier. There’s also a surprise villain that pops up that makes a heck of a lot of sense and Batman may just get the most badass line of the week in regards to said villain.
The art is fantastic too, with few to no awkward drawings to speak of. There’s a lot going on and a lot of characters on the page at once at times, yet Hitch continues to draw the rubble and backgrounds in great detail which helps solidify the realism of the scenes.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Okay, I did have one issue with the art and it involves someone getting pierced. The object pops through them unnaturally and just doesn’t look real. Maybe it was an attempt to cut back on gore, but it makes the character look like a hologram. It’s a relatively minor gripe.
If this was the movie version of Superman he’d just kill him right?
Is It Good?
The bottom line is this: the characters are pushed to the brink, great teamwork is on display and the story has a few surprises up its sleeve. The fact that it ends on a cliffhanger we may have seen before doesn’t hurt things as the setup in previous issues promises a different direction, and ultimately an even bigger payoff.