Monday, October 21, 2013

Justice League of America #8 - A Review

Justice League of America #8 starts promisingly enough, with Martian Manhunter and Stargirl awakening in a field and quickly becoming aware that they are trapped in some kind of prison.  This apparently is the fate of all the world's greatest superheroes in the wake of Trinity War. Placing these two heroes together is a brilliant conceit and one that plays wells to Kindt's experience writing Martian Manhunter.

The main problem is the story fails to build past this concept.  Most of the issue depicts Martian Manhunter as he explores the prison and discovers the ingenious ways that most of the other heroes are being held captive.  There's very little plot or action here, though the ways in which the various heroes are trapped are interesting academically for those fans who like to discuss these sorts of things.

Indeed, Kindt may well be offering some of the best metaphysical examination these characters have received in years.  Superman, for instance is bound both by his belief that he cannot take a life and his desire to make things right.  This has him trapped in a never-ending orbit around the Earth, desperately trying to fly fast enough to go back in time and prevent the mistakes he believes started his current problems.  Why?  Because he's Superman and he has to be perfect.  In just one page, Kindt has exposed the folly of the classicist Superman fans who would have Superman literally running around in circles to remain perfectly pure. 

Wonder Woman is in a similar bind, trapped fighting two armies - Amazons and the US Army - to save her two appointed love interests - Superman and Steve Trevor.  Diana decries how the whole situation has left her paralyzed by her feelings, "simpering (and) weak".  These are the last things Wonder Woman should ever be and the idea of her fighting her own people to save a love interest - much less two of them - is similarly anathema though similarly rooted in the classic stories of the Silver Age.  Thus we have the problem of the modern Diana, who is also forced into contrived and unnatural situations based on what people think her character should be.      

As before, the artwork is largely excellent.  Doug Mahnke continues to show the same skill and quality that he did during his time on Green Lantern.  The only problem is that the general look of his work throughout the book is inconsistent due to four different inkers being employed to handle the shading and detail work.  None of this looks bad as such but it does make the whole affair seem erratic. 

No comments:

Post a Comment