Comic Book Review: Justice League #8
When an issue of Justice League is hyped up to me, I have no other choice than to see what all the talk is about. If there’s one thing I have liked about this run of Justice League, I have to say it was the villains of the story. It took some time for other things to grab my attention, but foremost it was the use of these villains and their writing which popped out most. They’re ambitious, and they are up to some twisted means to get what they want. Lex Luthor in particular.
I will admit that when it comes to Lex Luthor, my history of books involving him is very limited. Never being too invested in the Superman books in turn meant that I never got to appreciate enough of what this particular villain had to offer when he set his mind to evil deeds. For this Legion of Doom story, I admire the boldness for him to turn back to evil. As much as I loved the Lex Luthor who could prove everyone wrong about the way he could save the day versus them, there was no denying that this could only last for so long when his habits tend to get the best of him. Especially when it comes to sources of unlimited power, and the thirst for knowledge. His kryptonite is worn on his sleeve, and this creative team didn’t let us forget us through the first scene of this issue.
Now one of the big surprises of this issue was how they addressed Lex Luthor having the Batman Who Laughs locked in the basement of the Legion’s base. Since I was never too up to date on the events of METAL, I can’t say I understood how this came about, but still that is quite the twist to throw our way since this is not someone you want to simply lock up, or use. The reactions said more than enough for someone like me as well. The reveal to others who the Batman Who Laughs had an effect on was a worthwhile page to follow since it makes a big difference to see three big time villains who are made uneasy about one person. Batman is one thing, but for the emotional response he got out of each of them, that really set the atmosphere for what this grand scheme is building up to. With that said, I also loved the dialogue written for the Batman Who Laughs. This was all the madness of The Joker, mixed with the brilliance and confidence of Batman. A twisted combination that creates the most chilling string of words. Some could say that there was a lot of talking here, but I feel like you can overlook that easily when the conversation and atmosphere is so engaging.
The other anticipated moment was to see where Cheetah and Black Manta fit into this story and on the Legion of Doom. It was a bit surprising to see both of them together the way they were, but nothing too shocking considering how feral these two are when given an objective and target. What was given and promised to both of them was pretty crazy. You think of the worst kind of power to put into the hands of both of them, and that was what you had to brace for if they were to ever get what they wanted. For two who came later than the rest, I enjoyed that they came with their own individuality and motivations which made them more than what would have probably been background characters under different circumstances.
It has been a while since I’ve been able to pick up a book where Mikel Janin was artist, and it was worth the wait. I’ve always enjoyed his style of artwork. His pencils are clean, he’s very detailed in his artwork and does not skip a beat in fully rendering a scene as well. Coupled with Jeremy Cox’s brilliant pallet of colors, there was a surreal intensity given to the visual appeal of this issue. The Batman Who Laughs, I still can’t personally get over the band covering his eyes, but that’s a topic for a different time. The way he is drawn here was nothing short of terrifying. There wasn’t any room given for him to movie and do his usual thing, but that didn’t take away from the fear he instilled when simply given the right head gestures or grins. Even just that little bit of blood spurt that had to run down his face was a great touch if not to only remind you that the guy is a little bat**** crazy. No pun intended. As for Cheetah and Black Manta, it was more their actions that stood out in contrast. With Janin, everything is very fluent and to the point. Having these two to draw worked for his style since they also have no problem with leaving a little destruction in their wake. Something which also taps into the visual appeal of the settings that are just as engaging as the characters. The prison itself that was used to hold the Batman Who Laughs was an excellent mix of colors that made the natural elements and supernatural elements pop. Portals, doors, whatever you want to call them, it was a very unique design all around.
I was very impressed by the events of Justice League #8. I can’t say that I was very invested in the series at the start, but reaching this point in the plot I have to say that this is exciting. Some people will root for the heroes, but I found myself oddly captivated by the ambition of the villains. They are playing a dangerous game, and for better or worse you want to see what happens when their plans are followed through to the end.