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Review: Justice League #51


justice leagueSynopsis: This issue of the Justice League opens with a flashback of the first fight that brought the Justice League together for the first time against Darkseid. The mysterious narrator references how the League’s “bright” energy will help to fill his or her hunger. The story then follows six months following the showdown with Darkseid five years ago in the New 52 Universe. Batman brings Robin on to the Justice League’s Watchtower. The team is very surprised to see the sidekick and many jokes are thrown around. Batman reels the team back with the reminder that he was alerted to a particular “crisis”.

 

While the team discusses numerous abnormal weather conditions across the world, they see Superman on screen battling robotic wolves in Metropolis. The League quickly joins him and discovers that the creatures are very difficult to contain with their super speed and apparent intangibility at times. During the fight, the hungry narrator continues to observe and see these “bright ones” as the key to true sustenance.

 

During the fight, Robin shares a few moments with members of the League. He gives Wonder Woman an “R” batarang to throw while helping Cyborg as well. During their attacks, they learn that the creatures are both organic and robotic indicating some evolving genetic technology at work. They are immune to Green Lantern’s energy and Flash repeats Batman’s earlier statements about needing to make direct contact with the monsters.

 

Suddenly, a hulking man appears and faces off against Superman. It seems clear that this new enemy is not connected to the robotic wolf creatures. While the older members of the League rush to help Superman, Robin spots a figure on top of a nearby building and climbs to confront the man. After demanding to know who he is, Robin soon finds out the new figure carries advanced weaponry. Robin is knocked down and Cyborg helps him up and gives him some advice as well as encouragement given his association with Batman.

 

Robin has an idea that although the threats are not working together they may have come to the Earth by similar means. Green Lantern and Cyborg both scan the area and determine that all the threats emerged through inter-dimensional travel. Cyborg also reveals that when they shut down the Mother Box’s to defeat Darkseid they may have fractured space-time and allowed the creatures to enter this dimension. With the help of the third figure and Green Lantern’s energy, Cyborg is able to close the openings and send the creatures back to their own dimensions.

 

The mysterious narrator determines that the League is too strong to try and come to Earth Prime just yet.

 

On Earth, the team congratulates Robin on a successful mission. Robin asks Batman why he was brought along. Batman tells him that he has just as much to offer without superpowers as he does. He also tells Robin that he will someday lead the Justice League. The issue ends ominously as the narrator determines that he can prey on Robin as a stepping stone towards the Justice League.

 

Thoughts: Following the epic Darkseid War, I was curious as to what the new creative team would do for the last two issues before Rebirth changes everything. With this issue going into the Justice League’s past, I have to say it was a pretty forgettable issue. The one thing that this issue did was set up the mysterious narrator as a larger villain that will appear later with more significance. The actual events of the issue just did not make for great reading.

 

Regarding the artwork, the art team delivered a much brighter Justice League story than what I think we have been used to for the New 52. Pelletier, with the help of colorist Adriano Lucas, gave us a very colorful and bombastic issue of Robin’s first fight alongside the Justice League. I did feel that Pelleier captured the personalities of each League member with how he drew their facial expressions. Between the carefree looks of Flash and the shy, “fish out of water” looks of Robin, you were able to understand the characters without a lot of back-story if you happened to be reading this series for the first time.

 

Overall, it just felt like a throwaway story except for the tease of a new villain. Certain elements of the story were nice such as seeing Robin overwhelmed by the star power of the League members and finding his worth among them. However, the story set shortly after that first arc is not really the time frame I was wanting to read a Justice League story in following Darkseid War.

 

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