Comic Book Review: Justice League #14
As far as team books go in the world of superheroes, I think Justice League has stepped up transitioning from New 52 into Rebirth. If there was ever one criticism I had when it came to this team, it was always that this was a team you couldn’t quite connect with. Always handling those larger than life threats that sometimes felt empty. Not to mention their connection to one another wasn’t quite as strong as it could be. But as of late that hasn’t been the case. As far as I can remember since Forever Evil it has always been an uphill climb in quality of this story.
Justice League #14 throws our heroes against a new alien threat. Truthfully as strong as they are as a team, it never ceases to amaze you what a situation can look like where they struggle. This story grabs you instantly because we start off with the team indeed broken, battered and pinned down. Not every day that you would see them in this kind of situation. In fact what most of this run in particular what has been appealing is the fact that nothing is ever that simple. These are threats that put them outside of their comfort zones, that make them push a bit farther than they normally would, and most of all think outside of the box which is what makes how they save the day matter. I wasn’t expecting that even from a situation like this we could expect to get so deep into what it means to be a part of the Justice League. Especially from some members who you wouldn’t think to speak in the way they did about that subject. Before getting into this issue they would have made us think they were all at each others throats most of the time, yet what actually came of that supposed long-simmering tension was a new level of understanding of this team.
Not to say that there wasn’t actual tension either. What came of this was a long time coming I guess considering we are still progressing through what was a reboot some years ago. Nonetheless this was the perfect time to get into the only truth that could bring down the League. After this argument they had, you could say that the only way they could go from there is up. That is the best statement I could make about how they dealt with this because when you are engaged in a superhero story, you want them to remind you that moments like this are not enough to distract them from what they are meant to do as heroes.
The way Simon and Jessica have been written into the Justice League has been my favorite part of the book so far. There’s nothing more engaging than their perspective on what it takes to get up every day and face these kinds of threats. Jessica in particular. I feel as though this creative team puts so much more effort into challenging her ability to rise to the occasion and her overall resolve. For both Jessica and Simon this was a powerful moment where we could all take a step back and address what they mean to the team. Up to this point they have kind of made this seem like an unspoken truth to what was said, but it was better to actually read the words from their mouths at a time like this.
A compelling story like this could only be matched by artwork of the same quality and I do have to say this art team rose to the challenge. First of all as usual I do love any book out there where the writer can be both the writer and the artist. That is quite skillful and more times than not the product is beautiful as it was. From the start of this issue I felt taken back because there was so much going on here to absorb. Seeing the Justice League spring into action, and then you have this huge ship that looks like a drill in the background? Lets not even forget the way they blended the ship into the atmosphere to give it the look of something that is enormous. But more important than anything else was the humanizing of the League while they were in this vulnerable position. The way they interacted with each other here was more representing of where a lot of them are right now in their lives. The frustrations with the world around them, the confidence in themselves or what others think of them, the way they react to defeat was all in the way they carried themselves trying to get themselves together. We don’t always have to see them on top of things or having it together which this art team recognizes. Alex Sinclair as usual brings his own excitement to these stories with his colors. Whether it’s the vibrancy of our heroes springing into action, the beauty of the scenery, or getting the darkness of what was their current predicament he was on top of setting the tone and atmosphere. During the cave-in scene I do say the light reflected off of the Lantern ring helped a lot.
One of the best issues so far of the series if you ask me. Justice League #14 got into so many big character moments and revelations that rock the very foundation of this team to its core. Not to mention at the worst possible time for them facing a threat that makes them seem well in over their heads.