The story opens with a newscaster reporting on all of the destruction going on around the world. During the broadcast, the reporter gets possessed by the Kindred and talks about their rising and how the world is theirs. The story then cuts to the Green Lanterns and the Flash; who seem to overcome the Zombies by overwhelming them with what is essentially magic ‘no reason’ lightning, at each of their respective battles. After his fight with the Zombies, The Flash gets summoned by Batman to Gotham and makes quick work of the spider-like things that attacked Gotham in the last issue.
Cut to Aquaman, who wakes up in the ruins of Atlantis surrounded by crystal figurines which may or may not have been stolen from my grandma’s china cabinet. (Honestly, he may as well have been revived by a bust of Elvis or those little Russian dolls with other little dolls inside… Whatever they’re called).
The Justice League then meet at the Watchtower to compare notes: There are apparently devices around the globe causing the earthquakes and more are coming; Wonder Woman shows up to let everyone know the Zombies are called “The Kindred”; The team decides that Batman should go recruit Superman.
While this is going on, thousands of ships (like the one that crash landed in Gotham) are coming to earth. The Zombies are rallying around the globe and the people of Atlantis are coming together to form a giant, made up of all of their bodies. The issue ends with Batman reaching Superman and telling him he has to go to the Earth’s core because, you know, reasons.
Where do I begin? To start on a positive note I thought Tony Daniel’s art was pretty solid although it seemed to lack some of the energy of last issue. I liked the inner monologue of how Batman doesn’t trust this Superman while he’s speaking with him, as I found that to be a fitting character moment for Batman.
The abrupt and nonsensical way that the Leaguers get out of the dangers that they find themselves in after the last issue, seems lazy and convenient. I don’t think it’s going to matter how they explain it all later, it completely removes the stakes set up in the previous issue. You never get the sense that anyone is in any actual danger.
The biggest problem continues to be the villains of the story. If you include the Rebirth issue, it has now been three issues of set up with no payoff on the horizon. The Kindred are no more established in this issue and don’t do anything to keep me interested in learning more about them. I’m sure at some point an actual villain will show up in the story but as it stands, right now it comes across as disconnected and there just isn’t enough of anything really, to make me care. Much like with Hitch’s JLA storyline with Rao, there is also too much going on and the League never gets much of an opportunity to interact with one another, aside from some long winded exposition.
Given the time and opportunity, Hitch is a fantastic artist but I think his skills as a writer are extremely suspect, especially in juggling an ensemble cast of characters.