Heroes and villains working together. Madness, but necessary!
Considering how well made the first issue of No Justice was, I was a bit shocked to find out the second issue is already here a week later. Opening up with Amanda Waller on a mission of utmost importance (she can’t hire someone to do this?) the story reveals there’s a war waging on Earth and for the heroes and villains elsewhere in the universe. Of course this series is epic even in its scale of plot!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The teams arrive at Brainiac’s home world to find it already in chaos. Only by splitting up and journeying to the four cosmic trees of Colu will they have any hope of saving the planet…but what’s waiting for them will test the true mettle of their new alliances!
Why does this matter?
Francis Manapul is drawing out of his mind here — his art is on point every single inch of every single panel. Marcus To joins him this issue as the heroes/villains begin the battle for trillions of lives.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I was surprised by the opening scene with Amanda Waller which helps ground the big-time space adventure most of the heroes are on. There is a real concern for the fate of Earth — Brainiac made it clear last issue he’s let these massive god-like aliens know Earth should be next on their menu. Waller is tenacious — maybe that’s her superpower — and it’s fun to see her riff off of Oliver Queen as they do some detective work.
Meanwhile, the heroes and villains, now teamed up thanks to Brainiac, must figure out how to work together. It seems the characters have resigned themselves to believing Brainiac’s plan is the best course of action with no time to plan themselves, which sets them on a mission to do something about the giant god alien on the horizon. Lex Luthor gives a passionate speech which helps give the acts of the heroes and villains some purpose as they move forward. The connection between concepts like mystery, wonder, entropy, and wisdom is an interesting element of this series — they seem to be totems based on these elements driving the interest of the god-aliens, and direct these teams of four to act. Of the teams, Starro and Martian Manhunter are the most compelling (they share mind reading powers after all) and Lobo gets to have a meaningful talk with Beast Boy that should make fans giddy. Oh, and the cliffhanger comes out of nowhere.
Manapul and To are drawing some wonderfully epic stuff here. From Beast Boy transforming into a wild beast to the unnerving nature of the god-aliens looming, there’s a lot to enjoy. I also appreciate the costume changes of the characters (though Cyborg looks shockingly like Iron Man here) which helps set it apart from their usual adventures.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The trope of heroes reluctantly working with villains has been done before and goes about how you’d expect here. That means running through the paces of the characters learning the hard way that doing whatever and not working together is only going to make them fail. After all the adventures they’ve been on you’d think the heroes would be a little more open-minded.
The only other gripe I have is how little the plot moves forward. The Earth-based moments certainly raise some stakes, but for the most part, the heroes get almost nowhere in the issue. New details are revealed, it all looks great, but I was hoping things would progress a little more than they do here.
Is it good?
This is a fun event that has the stakes raised to adequate levels and some fun new dynamics to explore between heroes and villains. The needle barely moves on the plot, but I’m intrigued by the cliffhanger.