Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Justice League #19 - A Review

It is a credit to Geoff Johns' skill as a writer that he manages to do in two pages what Scott Lobdell and Judd Winick failed to do in two years - make Jason Todd into a sympathetic figure.  This is perhaps the most minor of the subplots we see in Justice League #19 yet it is perhaps the most compelling.  It's certainly more interesting than watching Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch arguing with one another (honestly, didn't we get enough of this in Brightest Day?) or the revelation that the new Atom can use her powers to play her favorite MMORPG from the inside... I think.  That sequence isn't particularly clear, though it is a nice nod to the old Sword of The Atom series.

The actual meat of the issue is more enjoyable, with Batman coping with a burglary in the Batcave that bodes ill for the entire team and Wonder Woman encouraging Superman towards a more proactive approach to crime-fighting.  There's a lot going on here and Johns is no doubt setting things up for the upcoming Trinity War storyline.  Thankfully, he does a good job keeping his ducks in a row.  I just wish he hadn't bothered with some of the story-lines that do little to develop the already well-established characters.

Ivan Reis continues to flourish as the series' new penciler, despite being somewhat crippled by a team of three inkers.  Does the book look bad?  No, but you can tell that three different artists were handling the inking duties.  There's little sense of continuity and cohesion visually.  Any who doubt the power of an inker to completely change the feeling of a penciler's work would do well to check out this issue.

I shan't bother offering my two cents on the Shazam back-up anymore.  You all know what I'm going to say at this point and I'm sick of saying it, over and over and over again..  Johns' script is good, but I loathe the new take on Billy Batson, who doesn't feel at all like he should.  Gary Frank's art is far better than the story deserves.  They had to call this Shazam because this mess sure isn't Captain Marvel.  Blah blah yakkity smackity. 

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