I was a big fan of the Rebirth one-shot stories focusing in on each member of this team, as they showed writer Steve Orlando is taking every member of this team very seriously. Which in turn makes Justice League of America stronger due to the team’s dynamics and the believability of each character. Plus there’s Lobo semi-swearing and being a badass. This issue takes the characters into the Microverse which probably puts Batman in a rare unqualified position.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“CRISIS IN THE MICROVERSE” part two! Disaster strikes when the JLA’s shrink ship crashes on a strange world, where the team encounters a mysterious being who claims a connection to the missing Ray Palmer. But nobody’s going anywhere without the help of Shahn-Zi, a sentient planet with the power to find Palmer.
Why does this matter?
Orlando is exploring an aspect of the DC universe we just haven’t seen much of and that’s exciting. Paired with Ivan Reis, the art is detailed and big when it needs to be. The team is dragged into an adventure with the Atom, a character that always delivers on entertainment value.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The big reveal!
This story really opens up the Microverse angle in cool ways. Ryan Choi is attempting to find Professor Palmer, but nothing is as simple as it should be. Orlando has the characters interact with folks who claim they know Palmer and what happened, but can any of them be trusted? Ryan is trying to figure all this out while being the best Atom he can be–with an interesting Killer Frost love angle that Orlando explores well–which culminates into a cliffhanger that should bring even more weirdness to the story arc.
I say more because the “thinking planet” is a rather cool concept that’s illustrated well by Reis. Its name is Moz-Ga and while it doesn’t factor into the story too much, visually it’s pretty damn awesome and it’s fun to see how Orlando and Reis are fleshing out the Microverse. In one incredible nearly full page spread, Reis draws what looks like an eye in the distance and the heroes in the foreground looking in awe at a tower among tents and villagers. The scope of the shot is awe inducing and lends the story a fantasy feel that you’ll want the heroes to explore further.
While each member doesn’t get a ton to do in this issue Lobo does get to throw a little shade and get his body mangled as is customary for the character. He continues to be a fun wild card that adds a little chaos to the team. Ryan gets the most time on the page, as he should given their location, and the heroics of this once shy and normal kid is sprouting well. There’s a solid three page scene with Black Canary that progresses things well back in the real world too.
Get a room!
It can’t be perfect can it?
I still can’t shake the weirdness of Batman standing around saying nothing! It’s like he doesn’t have anything to do but must tag along just because. This is more a failing of this being a team book than a failing of writing Batman. Most of the characters get something to do or say, but Batman doesn’t which makes you wonder why he needs to be in the story at all. Maybe for a later chapter. Either way, the usually overly prepared character seems to stand around and do nothing better than a rock in this issue.
Is It Good?
Dig the relationship building Orlando does with two of the heroes, but stay for the super cool visuals and ideas that are fleshing out the Microverse well.