JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #10
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TOM DERENICK and EDDY BARROWS
On sale DECEMBER 11
I’m pretty sure it’s not as literal as it sounds and won’t be lasting forever, but DC’s latest epic event, Forever Evil, continues its long march through many DC books, including all of the Justice League titles. As I mentioned in a previous JL-book review, however, each of the three individual Justice League books is taking a unique look at certain aspects of the overall event, with some good things and bad being left in the wake. While JL proper has been taking us on a fun-filled ride through the lives of the individual members of the Crime Syndicate, and JL: Dark has been a lackluster journey through something altogether different and only loosely associated with Forever Evil, Justice League of America has been sitting somewhere in the middle. Yes, the title is completely different, but it remains inherently Forever Evil, and issue #10 sticks to that trend. Although this title is taking on elements and characters that could make it the best of the Forever Evil tie-ins, like other Justice League tie-ins to Forever Evil, the issue is getting bogged down in the slow crawl that is the Forever Evil event itself. Despite a big reveal and some interesting character interactions, a mediocre origin story and seemingly cheap tactics bring JLA down enough to make this issue less than spectacular.
Despite four artists (two on pencils and two more on inks) and an entire company devoted to the coloring working on this issue, the ish does not suffer artistically from there being so many cooks in the kitchen. The art is consistently good throughout; there’s a ton of detail in each and every panel; those panels are quite diverse with sprawling two-page splashes, brilliantly done full-page offerings, and great story-telling done from beginning to end. While I didn’t really care that much about Stargirl’s origin it was nicely told, and didn’t take too much away from the overall story being written. The real gold in this book is the interaction between Manhunter and Stargirl as they attempt to rectify their current desperate situation, although the “how” behind that fix left me wanting. I hate spoilers in my reviews but one’s coming, so be warned and skip to The Bad right now if you must, but the reveal that the entire JL is being imprisoned inside Firestorm and the matrix itself was, while pretty damned predictable, vindicating to say the least. There’s a really interesting element to this reveal that I hope doesn’t get lost somewhere between now and the end of the Forever Evil event.
Understanding that, perhaps, Stargirl was, herself, stuck in the prison along with the other JL members did nothing to help keep her origin story entertaining. I kept waiting for the hook of that aspect of the story to show itself, and, sadly, it never did. The desperate matter that Stargirl and Manhunter deal with in this ish, although quite fun on the surface, seemed equally desperate as a lackluster effort to get from Point A (the end of last issue) to Point B (the rest of this arc). Yes, I know, that IS the goal, but the approach in this case felt way to clunky, and the culminating solution was so cheap that I flipped back and forth a couple of times to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I hadn’t.
Although the artwork, surprisingly, makes issue #10 of Justice League of America almost redeemable, I cannot advise you to pick up this issue. There’s really nothing going on in this issue that won’t be covered down the road as a part of the event tie-in, the big reveal, while interestingly fun, was as predictable as the sun rising in the morning, and Stargirl is nowhere near as intriguing as she needs to be to deserve any kind of origin story, especially in a book meant to make the Forever Evil event more enjoyable. So, unless you are hooked on those pencils, or just have a thing for Stargirl, skip this ish, reread the previous issues in this arc, and wait for what’s coming next. Because, as this filler issue alludes to, there’s plenty to come.