Bryan Hitch’s on again/off again and back on again series is back! It appears issue #11 and #12 are cancelled once again, which means this is the penultimate issue! It has been a few months, but we finally get to see how the heroes will finally deal with Rao. Yes we already know since the main DCU moved forward in time, but dammit the events of this series are one reason why the New 52 Superman died (presumably)! Question is, is it good?
Justice League of America #9 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC Summary reads:
With Earth as collateral damage, the Kryptonian deity called Rao has the Justice League on the ropes! It would take a miracle to defeat him. Good thing the League makes miracles look easy…
Why does this book matter?
The last issue of Justice League was fantastic and as Hitch nears the end of his story he’s begun pushing our heroes beyond what we thought they were capable of and then some. He also left us on a major cliffhanger as Superman was presumably dead! Can this issue not only carry the story forward, but remind us what was going on (it has been 5 months after all)?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It’s safe to say Hitch understands bombast whether it’s a panel that contains hundreds of soldiers as the sun twinkles in the distance, or Green Lantern sits and ponders his next move. The choice of angles for panels as well as the characters in action are all top notch and make this book feel like a big time action flick. This issue jumps between time and space as Flash meets with Rao, Green Lantern is imprisoned by him, and the rest of the JLA attempt to bring Superman back to life.
Something tells me it should be a little bit more difficult to sneak up on the Flash like that.
Hitch does a good job with the Superman not breathing scene, with Batman perfectly stoic and Wonder Woman never giving up. Though we know how this will end, you feel for the characters and Hitch manages to make it feel big and important. That goes for the Rao scenes too as he amasses power and treats others like crap. Flash also gets a badass moment in the book and Hitch draws him quite well. He reminds us Flash is one of the greats for a reason, which is easy to forget with Superman and others taking all the limelight.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Having not read the last issue in months I can say Hitch attempts at reminding us what’s going on well, but it doesn’t always work. It’s hard to remember the gravity of the situations or the importance of Rao meeting himself from the past. In fact, with so much time hopping and such it’s hard to gather where we are in time and space at times. It’s relatively minor, but part of the reason for this feeling is due to this being a table setting issue. Nothing really happens beyond getting Rao into position for the big cliffhanger, so understanding the relationships and where we are in time becomes all the more important.
There’s a few strange face renderings in the book, with one sticking out like a sore thumb on the Flash, but again, a minor quibble.
A contemplative Green Lantern is a powered down Green Lantern.
Is It Good?
Justice League of America #9 does a good job setting up the final confrontation as well as add complexity to Rao meeting himself in the past. This story spans time and space and seems to be on track for one fitting conclusion.