Joshua Williamson’s sci-fi epic falters as it enters its third issue. Despite starting with high ambition and amazing art, the current issue is brought down by a lack of direction and a sudden shift in artist.
Several maddening questions are raised and left unanswered as Odyssey continues its pace. As the new Justice League explores the Ghost Sector (with Darkseid nipping at their heels), Williamson dangles interesting plot threads in front of the reader without revealing much substance. A cosmic conspiracy is afoot here with dire ramifications for the universe. New villains and our heroes are building towards some divine revelation. Why is the Ghost sector special? Who are the Old Gods? What is Darkseid’s agenda? There is obvious potential and reason to this tale, but the way the story is told, it feels directionless.
Nevertheless, the mystery that is teased (whatever it is) is adequate enough for me to pick up another issue. With hope, Wiliamson can jump start this series with consecutive issues and point it in the right direction.
On the other hand, some of character interactions feel very well done. It is good to see Starfire and Cyborg talk with one another, especially as someone who grew up watching the original Teen Titans series. Though Azrael is still needs development, Jessica Cruz is given her time to shine (literally) and makes some pretty awesome constructs with her ring.
One of the primary draws of the series was Stjepan Sejic’s breathtaking artwork and it helped to carry the first few issues magnificently. Being familiar with his numerous independent works and his additions to Suicide Squad and Aquaman I was unsurprisingly impressed and mesmerized. That’s what makes his departure this issue so noticeable and jarring. Philippe Briones is not bad by any means. Characters and fight scenes are well drawn and defined. Alien environments a paid a rich helping of detail. Yet it seems sad that the new Justice League series is facing an artistic shift so early in its run and I would wish for some consistency.
While there are some glaring issues with the delivery, Justice League Odyssey still offers a unique story with an interesting cast of characters. With hope, Williamson can inject life into this story in subsequent issues. Until then, if the series stays on this trajectory it may be taking a crash course sooner than expected.