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Is It Good? Justice League #16 Review

If Batman is DC Comics’ dramatic Shakespearean masterpiece, Justice League is their explosion-happy action flick. Considering this series focuses a lot less on character—leave that to the solo books I guess—it’s not surprising this series has read at a fast pace with little to no story. Essentially it’s the good guys punching the bad guys, which isn’t bad, but in most cases it isn’t good either. Atlantis has risen from the depths to attack American cities, but as far as this issue, is it good?

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Justice League #16 (DC Comics)

For those of you catching up, Aquaman’s brother is the current king of Atlantis. Before Aquaman came to the surface he and his brother drafted a counterattack plan if the surface world ever attacked. All we know so far is a submarine shot missiles at Atlantis by a crew that didn’t have control of their ship. Like all bad guys the King of Atlantis attacks first and asks questions later.

I find choking the best method to knock some sense into people. Yes my marriage is fine thank you.

Last issue spent most of its time displaying giant waves crashing into Gotham and Boston. The heroes tried to save as many folks as they could, but now the king of Atlantis has risen and the heroes are ready to punch some sense into him. What is the only possible reaction the heroes can take now that Aquaman is attempting to stop them? Why, superhero fight of course! Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman’s argument is, the bastard killed people, let us through. Aquaman’s argument is, “If you do that a war will erupt and an army we can’t ever defeat will rise from the oceans.” Best to err on the side of irrational punching.

A bit of a power boost for Aquaman eh?

You don’t want to see Supes when he’s angry.

Unfortunately for this issue it spends most of its time delivering the pointless hero fighting hero battle. Considering the wonky teamwork that’s gone on in this series so far it’s not too surprising, but as far as comic books go it’s a tired and boring turn of events. At least Ivan Reis pulls his own weight in the pencil department though. Everything is easy to understand and clean.

Atlantis has flying ships too? Also is that a Kraken in the background? I can’t tell.

Lightning hurts Superman? Lame!

The one sign of life however, is Cybrog’s place in this story arc. Clearly he’s taking the reigns as the hero among heroes and will be the one saving the day. It’s not only nice to see African American heroes doing something prominent in a major comic book, but it’s also nice considering how little play he’s had so far in this series. That said, his portions are dialogue heavy and serve as bookends to the pointless inane action that takes up most of the book. It all reads like a Michael Bay action flick where there’s brief yet stuffy explanation of events and then long-winded, never-ending action scenes between them.

This looks familiar.

A surprising turn of events though is the end, which appears to be calling every hero imaginable to join the team. It’s too bad Marvel already did this in Avengers last month, but as far as team books go I guess the next man up mentality is a necessary evil.

The Shazam backup, drawn by Gary Frank, continues the slow but interesting episodic story of kid turned superhero. This issue breaks down to not much more than a fight between Black Adam and Shazam, but it’s interesting to see the seven deadly sin villains get some air time.

The Shazam backup continues to impress.

Final Score: 5.5

  • Action is crisp and clean
  • Yet another hero fighting hero plot

Considering this issue reveals nothing new and consists of heroes punching each other in the face, which will most certainly be forgiven and forgotten next issue, this is a rather vapid comic book indeed. Cyborg gets some much needed attention, but his story so far is more of a window dressing to the action.

Is It Good?

No. Anybody can flip through this and get as much enjoyment as reading every word bubble. It’ll serve better as a nice chapter in the collected format.

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