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‘Justice League #14’ (review)

Written by James T Tynion IV,
Scott Snyder 
Illustrated by Jim Cheung,
Stephen Segovia, Mark Morales 
Published by DC Comics

 

“There’s some secret, something powerful and dangerous, and I think it has to do with us. With the Totality. With everything we’ve faced. The answer is behind the door of the most secure vault in the Universe.”

“And you’re never going to learn it.”

Never say never.

But yeah, anyway, not this month.

This isn’t Scott Snyder and James Tynion’s best effort unfortunately.

Which is a little bit unfair. I mean, let’s see, the dialogue is good. Both Snyder and Tynion do excellent dialogue, and Tynion’s taken the lead for this one, so that’s well taken care of.

Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with the art. That doesn’t always work when there’s two creative teams on a book – generally I’m not a fan of that myself. But it’s great to have Jim Cheung back again to carry through the look he laid down in the first several issues of this run. And with Stephen Segovia as back-up, the main chapter of the book is in excellent hands. Hawkgirl looks especially good.

And the plot’s… fine. I mean, yeah, it’s byzantine. But we knew that by now.

Certainly, that’s provided Snyder and the gang with plenty of opportunity to get in there and tinker around with the whole Justice League mythos, in what has been, by and large, very satisfying ways.

And even if it hasn’t been quite as clear to the rest of us just why J’onn J’onzz has felt an urgency to travel to Thanagar Prime to consult with the Keep, the ancient repository of all Martian culture and lore, at least it tracks with what has unfolded so far.

Kendra and John Stewart are obvious choices for traveling companions. And given what’s been happening to Hawkgirl’s wings since her brush with the Totality, Hawkworld is an obvious place for her to go.

It is perhaps less obvious at the outset that something is… not quite right on Thanagar Prime. That becomes evident to our heroes soon enough. But even if it wasn’t clear to us by the end just how significant that all is – and believe me by the final page, there is plenty to get your attention – the point of it is given plenty of airtime. As in, more than a sufficient amount.

We all know by now that whatever’s been kicked into motion with the advent of the Totality, has swept the Justice League up into a saga which pretty clearly involves matters of central multiversal significance. Matters which seem to have the members of the League themselves as a focal point, even as they themselves seem to know very little of what those matters actually are.

That’s the game. That’s been the story and the structure of this run since our creative team picked up the baton back in May. And that’s fine.

But after cramming a year’s worth of stories into nearly half that span of time, and driving the point home, over and over again, that there are mysteries and secrets and serious things afoot that are simply beyond the awareness of our heroes, even as they continue to scramble desperately to catch up with the narrative, it seems a bit like hitting us over the head to make that exact point the central narrative theme of this issue also.

Again.

I mean, alright already. We get it. Secrets are powerful. Secrets can be… dangerous. Really? By now, I’d say that’s pretty clearly obvious.

Now to be fair, I’m going to guess that whatever is afoot on Thanagar Prime is in fact of central importance to, well, everything. It certainly sounds that way. After all, in a new DCU with a brand New Earth, you gotta wonder if they’re calling it Thanagar Prime for more than just literary effect.

And believe me, I’m a big fan of giving 80’s era Starman a big role in whatever multiversal crisis is upon us. If I were Batman I’d want to crack the secrets of what that ravaged brain holds as well. No matter what it takes. Because that’s what Batman does.

But if you’ve got to tie that all together, how about find another way to do it than expounding on the confounding nature of secrets, especially the one you’re still not going to tell us anything about. Yet.

Because doing that at this point runs a real risk of losing your audience.

Like that’s gonna happen. So, c’mon guys.

I mean, hey, maybe it’s just heightened enthusiasm, because finally we’re there, at the great big reveal, the one that has been behind the curtain all this time and is driving everything forward.

Y’know, the big secret. The one we’ve all been waiting for.

Could be.

Maybe.

Next Issue: All will be revealed. Right?

 

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