Both Marvel and DC continue to look to thrill and excite with their re-launched takes on classic characters, super-teams and events. The status-quo has changed dramatically as allegiances shift and loyalties are questioned.
Easily, the biggest changes have been noticed within the Justice League; following the events of Forever Evil, a new player has reluctantly been brought into the fold – Lex Luthor. That’s right. The super-intelligent billionaire scientist found to wrest the world from the grip of Ultraman and his allies and found himself an unlikely savior. For a moment, being a hero – more specifically, acting selflessly – appealed to Luthor and he liked it.
Another ‘devil-in-disguise’ is Sinestro. His efforts are much less subtle though. Sinestro has taken control of his corps again and looks to find his place again in the galaxy under the supposed quest of saving the stranded civilization of Korugar.
The villains may not be the monsters they once were, for the moment at least…
The Devil You Know
Justice League #32
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Doug Mahnke
Inks by: Keith Champagne
Colours by: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by: Nick J. Napolitano
Published by: DC Comics
Injustice League chapter 3 hits us initially by reminding us that the Crime Syndicate is still very much alive and well on our own Earth. Firstly, there’s a glimpse of Superwoman singing a sinister and skewed version of Rock-a-bye Baby to her unborn child before we switch to the Doom Patrol battling the reluctant bearer of the Power Ring, Jessica Cruz. Caulder’s Doom Patrol seems more like the Chief’s slaves in this iteration, almost beholden to him for bringing them together. He
belittles them to keep them in tow in an effort to retrieve the Power Ring before the Justice League intervenes. It’s here get a glimpse into oncoming events, as Power Ring suggests that something powerful is coming, something that wants Superwoman’s child…
The addition of Element Woman to the Doom Patrol makes perfect sense; she’s a little off-beat, kooky but ultimately has a good heart – something she shares with the rest of the team. John’s writing of Caulder made him far too unlikable. He’s a control freak and a bully who seems to have no redeeming characteristics at all. I struggled accepting that any of these powerful meta-humans would even rally to his cause at all and not just bolt the moment they were free, regardless of any
misplaced sense of loyalty they had to him.
That’s not the only thing that seemed off. The Justice League stories now seem to be jumping from event to event rather than having any downtime or focusing on a smaller arc. This constant sense of set-up seems tired now. Rather than hanging on every cliff hanger and tease, I found myself just longing for a pay-off so I could move on.
Mahnke’s art is consistently brilliant. The attention to detail is superior to most and I am always drawn to how he draws metal, making the surfaces dazzle and shine (supplemented by Champagne and Dalhouse’s colours and inks).
The issue, like many titles of late, is saved by its art. A series of teases does not make a story; neither does it seem to speed it on any. The pay-offs offer very little in a way of a resolution of late and I’m craving the old four-issue story format.
6 out of 10
A Devil By Another Name
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Art by: Rags Morales
Colours by: Jason Wright
Letters by: Taylor Esposito
Published by: DC Comics
No one ever is really prepared for the Inquisition, are they? The creatures – who have lost all sense of emotion – weaponize the residual emotions of those they face and use them against their foes. Unfortunately, they’ve tried to take on Sinestro and no Lantern has ever been more equipped to channel his emotional strength. They try to make Sinestro insignificant by haranguing him with images of Hal Jordan – as expected, this pushes the Korugarian despot over the edge and they feel his full fury. With the Inquisition defeated, Sinestro sets off on his quest
again only to be confronted by the real-life nemesis that has been haunting him…
Bunn’s handling of Sinestro is solid, playing to the fact that his own ego is the most important thing to him. In all honesty, I expect that he never intends to save his people from any sense of honour; it’s more to re-establish himself as a hero and gain some sense of influence over others. You get the feeling that having a yellow ring or leading his own corps is enough for Sinestro – he’ll always be after another trophy.
Morales has brought back the lithe and toned Sinestro of old but the art really jars against Eaglesham’s from the previous issues. I expected more and it does detract from the epic sense of what has gone before. This smaller, more contained issue is hampered rather than bolstered by the return of Hal Jordan at its close – are we in for another Sinestro/Jordan face-off? More importantly, will it be more of the same?
6 out of 10