Review: Justice League #22, Daredevil #28, Batman #22
Justice League #22
And thus begins the long-awaited Trinity War crossover event that DC has been building up to, probably since the start of the New 52 almost two years ago. The event was prequeled in Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 and continue in Justice League #22, penned by DC creative talent extraordinaire Geoff Johns and drawn by Ivan Reis. Also, it has a shiny sleek cover!
As with most things that have an advertisement campaign in comics, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this issue of Justice League, despite the JL being my least favorite of the three League books (JLD topping the charts). I was pleasantly surprised to see Johns weave all three Justice Leagues into this issue, with three stories moving simultaneously in time and coming to a climactic end in which *spoilers* someone bites the bullet and an evil mastermind is revealed. Still, the great reveal wasn’t all that exciting, and perhaps spoilers elsewhere forewarned me and therefore robbed me of the shock of that someone’s death.
Reis delivered his usual, realistic yet larger-than-life art aided by the work of inkers Joe Prado and Oclair Albert, and colorist Rod Reis. It’s understandable why this issue needed so many artistic minds: it’s panel-for-panel action, with superbodies spread across each page and supported by an ominous script and the card-turning Madame Xanadu.
I’m looking forward to where Trinity War takes the DCU, but I believe after this first issue and the Pandora prologue that this specific event might fade into obscurity despite its importance (sorta like the Throne of Atlantis crossover, which fed in part into Trinity War). At the very least, Johns has paved a clear path for the first all-DCU event: Forever Evil, which I hope does not fall flat like Marvel’s recent Age of Ultron.
Story: Geoff Johns Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, Rod Reis
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Waid pens a stellar script about the Man without Fear following in the footsteps of his final crippling of Bullseye, who may have masterminded his way into Daredevil’s life and punched a bit too low. This issue begins what looks to be a new arc, one involving the Sons of the Serpent (and we get a great visual allusion to events from Marvel comics in the 1960s and 1970s) and a childhood friend of Matt Murdock. What’s great about this issue is it challenges Matt in a new way—seriously, Waid’s not going easy on Daredevil, from Foggy’s cancer and the drama there, to the touching realizations he’s presented with by an old elementary school bully. Matt’s been challenged by supervillains, friendship and relationship troubles, cancer, and now…this.
Javier Rodriguez fills in for Samnee, since he’s out having a kid, and Rodriguez does not disappoint. I’m not at all familiar with his work, but he captures the style that Samnee has cultivated for Daredevil to a t, and he brings his own flare in the form of one of the most impressive page spreads I’ve seen in a while. Seriously, if for nothing else, buy this book for pages sixteen and seventeen. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you’re blind (haha, that’s a Daredevil joke).
Daredveil #28 is yet another example of why this series continues to be probably my absolute favorite book on the market right now, despite my great love for Dark Horse’s books and DC more generally.
Story: Mark Waid Art: Javier Rodriguez
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
I’ve been with the New 52 Batman series since the prologue to the Death of the Family crossover (#13), and I have enjoyed Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s work with the Dark Knight. I thought Zero Year sounded like a bit of a strange way to take the comic, but it makes sense given that we haven’t seen much of anything about the New 52 Batman’s origin, and with all of the emotional high-intensity of Bruce’s saga being carried out in books like Batman, Incorporated and Batman and Robin, Zero Year offers a more relaxed, less suffocatingly dark Batman book.
Snyder truly impresses with this issue, an improvement on Batman #21, including more glimpses of a young, not-yet-the-Riddler Riddler, a plot with one of Batman’s earliest enemies, and a real test of faith between Alfred and Bruce. Snyder is skilled at building the tension and turning your anticipation a whole 180—if you read this issue, you’ll know exactly what I mean. I recently chided current comics for being less wordy and more focused on big-panel, muscleman art, but Batman #22 offers a great balance between solid art and plenty of narrative and character development in the speech bubbles.
Capullo continues to capture the Dark Knight in his own way (despite, ironically, the Batman actually being absent…), and the colorist FCO Plascencia brings more light to a Batman book than I’ve seen in a long time. But, the crowning glory of this book, is the full page illustration on page nineteen. At first I was confused, but then I was amused, amazed, and the scholar in me was ready to take out a pen and start drafting an analysis for some semiotics or comic art journal.
I’m looking forward to watching the Riddler develop, since Snyder has been placing him just left of center field, and I want to see how the glimpses of the classic Bruce-fell-in-a-well story play out in the next issue.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo
Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
After reflecting on the three reviews above, I don’t know how anyone (I’m looking at you, curmudgeony fellas who always bicker about there being no good comics, yet are still in the comic shop ever Wednesday so that I can hear you bicker about it) can say that comics today aren’t worth reading. Clearly you haven’t stopped to read any of the above titles (well, I’m iffy myself on Justice League…), and these aren’t even all the books I’d recommend to anyone looking for great books that capture the spirit of comics.