Comic Book Review: Justice League Annual #1
It’s annual time for the Justice League! This is already a pretty big book, so what do you do to turn up the heat? You go even bigger! The only way to do that is to use the advantage of an annual being a longer issue than the normal to get into one of the most crucial chapters of the story. In other words what happens when the Source Wall has degraded too much, and the League must patch the hole right now or the whole Multiverse will collapse!
Right now Justice League is one of those books where you either get what’s going on, you don’t, or you just let yourself be carried away by the intensity of this story. I would say I’m one of those who allows myself to ride the wave of the story. The atmosphere set in a universe where everything in existence is at risk of coming to an end. I mean you have all this craziness about the Totality, about the Source Wall, about these seven energies of creation released back into the universe from the wall. At some points it can be a lot to absorb. Especially when this is one of those books when you also have to have the patience for a fair bit of dialogue to take in. Not at all a bad thing because some readers enjoy this kind of engagement whether it takes the form of conversation or narration.
With that said, I enjoyed how at this stage there was plenty about this plot that was met with clarity. That does come easier when all sides of this conflict converge as well. A lot of things that were still in question for me I was able to grasp when there was a clear explanation of the part that everyone of importance had to play. This includes the full reveal of the role that Starman had to play in all of this. I would call this character the shining star (no pun intended) of the issue for the way that he took charge. Honestly it was worth the wait that he was out of action all of this time just to see what he had to offer when that call to action came. The build-up to sealing the wall was full of suspense that knocks you at the edge of your seat. For all the tension building across the universe, it said a lot when so many who have a stake in this fight made their way to the Source Wall for what you would have assumed was all or nothing.
It was anyone’s guess if this could actually be a satisfying climax, and surprisingly it was. Some things are just worth seeing all the way through. This isn’t your average superhero story where everything is straightforward or without complications. Fortunately none of those complications were overly complex either. The end of this attempt to seal the wall was one heck of a way to shake things up when the end of one fight only becomes the start of another. You want to put this book down looking forward to the next.
This is one of very few times that I have ever picked up a book with the pencils of Daniel Sampere, and I have to say that I was blown away with what kind of work this artist produced. I mean what he did with the couple issue of Justice League Dark was amazing, but this here was a new height in quality and mastery of the characters he drew. I mean there was so much going on in every page and I couldn’t believe the way that he was able to render these pages without cutting corners. The Omega Titans and the Source Wall are work enough with the creative design that went into those creations. There was no better colorist to have on board than the one and only Adrian Lucas. I don’t say it enough, but this guy really is one of the best in the industry right now. The kind of colors he creates and gives to stories makes so much of a difference between any other story and something spectacular. There was so much cosmic beauty from the interiors of this issue and that was largely due to his choice in colors for the explosive Starman, the radiantly glowing Omega Titans, and the intensity of the Source Wall. Every opportunity taken to breathe life into this story was taken, along with some much appreciated depth as well. The highlights, textures,and all really brought it together.
Talk about a multiversal meltdown, am I right? Justice League Annual #1 was all the hype for everything we got out of this moment that was a long time coming. For this run of Justice League, this might actually be the strongest issue of the series currently. This was that time for all sides of this war to play their hands, and not one person failed to stand out for what they had to give to their respective efforts. There was action, there was high stakes, and there was so much engaging when it came to these destinies being fulfilled.