It’s been a year since the DC Universe: Rebirth one-shot was published and DC is finally looking to answer one of the big mysteries from that book. The hunt for Ray Palmer begins in the new Justice League of America story arc. In #12, writer Steve Orlando and artist Ivan Reis lead our heroes to the Microverse to find The Atom.
Here’s the official synopsis from DC Comics:
“CRISIS IN THE MICROVERSE” part one! It’s the story you’ve been waiting for! Ryan Choi leads the JLA on a rescue mission into the microverse to rescue his long-lost mentor, Ray Palmer, the original Atom, and unravel the mystery of his disappearance in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1!
If you haven’t been reading JLA but still want to know what’s going on with Palmer, you can easily pick this issue up without having read the previous 11 issues. All you need to know is that the members of JLA are Lobo, Vixen, Ryan Choi as The Atom, Black Canary and The Ray. Former Suicide Squad member Killer Frost is also part of the team, while Batman is their ringleader.
In “Crisis in the Microverse” part one, Ryan convinces Batman that they need to go to the Microverse to find his physics professor. Palmer is the only other person ever to visit this world that has such a powerful role in the universe. Not everyone can go along, so Batman picks Killer Frost and Lobo to join them. It’s a good thing that it’s taken them this long to get to this mystery, since the characters don’t have to worry about getting to know each other while also on an important mission.
The dynamic for the JLA team is very different from the traditional Justice League, since it has the advantage of a couple of anti-heroes. Lobo is always a fun character, especially when he’s stuck being led around by a younger character he doesn’t completely trust. And Killer Frost is still getting used to her role as a hero, so she’s a wild card still. I wish Black Canary was in on this trip, but not everyone can fit in Ryan’s ship!
Orlando gets to play with the personalities of these different heroes in this issue, even as he sets up their mission. I love the “getting the gang back together” opening, even if not every character will play a role in the trip. It’s never not fun seeing Batman in a bar with aliens.
As for the art by Reis, it’s simply dazzling once our heroes reach the Multiverse. The design of the environment is original and unique. It’s not just as simple as throwing the characters in a place where flowers are tall.
You can feel the tension building towards the last page and it’s shocking when you get there. The Ray Palmer mystery is getting weirder and it will be fun to see what’s next.