An enemy from another dimension is attempting to take over various countries and then eventually the world. Looks like it’s a job for the JLA–made up of mostly new heroes–to stop him. Luckily Batman is their leader, but is it good?
Justice League of America #3 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“THE EXTREMISTS” part three! The Extremists now control a nation, and within its borders, all is ordered and protected—all but free will. But how do seven people, even the JLA, fight an entire country? And even if they could, no one can truly prepare for the catastrophic design Dreamslayer has in store for reality itself.
Why does this book matter?
Steve Orlando has the new JLA take on a global threat in a political way. That’s intriguing, because the rules have changed. The heroes’ dynamics are still being fleshed out too.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The heroes make a plee to help.
Boy, does the plot thicken with this issue. The heroes must align their actions with the freedom fighters since directly fighting the villain would possibly peg them as international villains. It’s a tricky pickle, and Orlando makes it even trickier with the actions of mega villain Havok in this one; it appears he’s building up a battle that can’t be fight with fists, but this issue does just that. The heroes take on the multiple cronies of Havok in separate action scenes. In between the fighting there’s a bit of detail revealed of where these villains came from, which helps them become a bit more sympathetic.
A few of the villains may turn out to be long lasting ones, as Orlando does a good job making them more than just evil bastards. Plus Lobo gets to do his thing which is always a plus seeing as he’s an anti-hero of sorts.
Diogenes Neves draws a great issue with a few pages that are truly poster worthy. One of Lobo lighting up a cigar is particularly pretty. Batman gets to do some fighting, but really the whole team gets a moment to shine. The villains look good too and generally the high action is good. The freedom fighters also have a unique look that makes them feel realistic.
Did Batman go on a diet?
It can’t be perfect can it?
As a mostly action oriented issue, there isn’t much time to get into character work for the team members. Many different battles are fought, but overall you don’t get a sense of who is winning just yet. That includes the cliffhanger scene, which seems to suggest the fighting will continue on from here. That makes the arc of this issue less satisfying.
There’s a bit of an issue when it comes to the heroes fighting; an argument is made that the freedom fighters need to be seen with the heroes so they get the credit–if the heroes fought alone it’d look like they were taking over–but that doesn’t really fix the issue at hand. The heroes are helping the freedom fighters which still makes them a direct influencer. Won’t the world see the JLA as what they’re doing as wrong? As basically terrorism? That idea isn’t quelled even though, at this juncture, it seems to have been. We’ll see if that idea is picked up later on.
There is one panel where Batman looks incredibly skinny and oddly concerned. It’s above, and it freaks me out!
Is It Good?
An action first sort of issue that allows the creative team to delve a bit into the villains, but leaves you wanting more from the heroes. The international battle is a compelling one with the right details laid out, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be wrapped up in a satisfying way.