Comic Book Review: Justice League #14
Credit where it is due for the creative team of this book that they have devised a wonderful story that has split an engaging story ongoing for both the Justice League and the Legion of Doom. For me it has been the Legion of Doom story that has captivated me the most because you just don’t expect the villains to be as interesting as they are. You care about their progress, the powers they continue to unlock, and the troubles they cause for our heroes. You only hope that at the same time the heroes can keep up with the same appeal.
What I mean by that last statement is that they for a good while have been playing catch-up. What makes a conflict like this exciting is when the heroes can at least be seen taking some steps forward instead of being too late.It was a bit tough to keep coming back to Batman and company only to see them dwelling on the same questions and pushing buttons that would likely take them steps behind rather than forward.
As for Martian Manhunter, John Stewart, and Hawkgirl, their story fortunately was the main attraction of this issue and new story arc. As someone reading the Hawkman series, it felt fitting that other big wheels could be turning in that corner of the universe. I personally probably would have found a lot of things about Thanagar-Prime if it was not for that series. With that said, their journey to Thanagar-Prime was engaging for the questions they needed answers to versus what they actually found upon arrival. Kendra’s search in particular for answers about her connection to the Totality popped out most for her sense of ambition. It was exciting to see how she could easily be consumed by the need to have answers. That is something shared between herself and Hawkman that makes them standout from most other heroes. This also pushes her to be that person who tends to ask the right questions. For better or for worse that was what kept the plot moving with great pacing. Especially when Martian Manhunter has a tendency of slowing things down given his personality and ability to handle things that don’t go his way.
Seeing that this story arc is called “Escape From Hawkworld”, the biggest question here was what would cause these three to so urgently feel that they were not safe on this planet. From first introductions to the current state of this planet, it was quite easy to piece together where things would go wrong. It was only a matter of when and how. That was what caught me off guard since one of the last people you would ever think for them to encounter on this planet was revealed to be an enemy. I don’t know how this person even existed the way he does, or what this means for Kendra’s connection to the Totality, but I certainly feel the need for the explanation that has to come next issue.
This issue of Justice League was all hands on deck. It took me by surprise seeing so many names involved in the interior artwork. I could understand why and didn’t have a problem with having certain teams handling one area of this overall story. So there was one style of art for what was unfolding with Batman and company, then the other style for the rest of the team on Thanagar-Prime. Speaking of Thanagar-Prime, I was in a state of awe once again at the sight of this planet. This is a gorgeous planet and setting. To always have the right artists handling its structure is something I can’t help but commend. It takes a lot of work that was put into the details, the scenic colors, and much more. The same quality of work also went into the characters as well. It was interestingly enough a very emotional issue for these three. They wore that on their sleeves reflecting the things that disappointed them, and the things they weren’t prepared for when finding out what has really been unfolding on this planet. The action scenes were also on point. What brought this all together was the selection of colors. They painted beautiful skies, the stunning evolution of Hawkgirl’s powers, and other things that required a little pop. It goes without saying that the depth, highlights, shadows, and textures created were standout too.
Justice League #14 is an issue worth looking forward to when we are getting back to the mystery of the Totality. Side stories and Drowned Earth were cool, but this is where our investment in this book truly lies. So far, “Hawkworld” has flipped everything you thought you knew about the Hawkman/Hawkgirl history right on its head. In a good way of course. Nothing ventured, nothing gained for these heroes.