Justice League: Gods and Monsters [Blu-ray]
In an alternative history Zod is Superman's father, Batman is a vampiric Man-Bat, and Wonder Woman is the child of Ares, God of War. When these dark heroes form an alliance, the question everyone asks is will they save the world, or rule it?
Also available on DVD.
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Cover date: April 15, 2009
Main Story: "They Who Taught Us"
Main Writers: Kurt Busiek
Main Pencillers: Mark Bagley
Main Inker: Art Thibert
Main Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Cover Art: Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher
Back-Up Story: "Not What Heroes Do"
Back-Up Story Writer: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Back-Up Story Penciller: Scott McDaniels
Back-Up Story Inker: Andy Owens
Back-Up Colors: Allen Passalaqua
Alfred sits alone in the Batcave annoyed.
The heroes discover the hidden pieces of Batman's, Wonder Woman's, and Superman's lives.
Lois throws Ma Kent's chocolate chip cookies at Clark.
Gangbuster and Charity are off to rescue Tarot - still.
Meanwhile, up north, the bad guys plot and scheme.
The emotionless three and the JLA/JSA head north to take the fight to the bad guys.
To be continued...
Konvikt wanders the Arctic. He runs into the Dreambound who want him to be a hero and help save the world.
On the anti-matter Earth, the Crime Syndicate fight to save their world and they are fully aware of the irony. Enigma appears and asks for their help.
To be continued...
Main Story - 1: Martha Kent doesn't make cookies. She makes pie. Can't you even get the little things right?
Main Art - 2: Wasted talent wastes talent.
Back-Up Story - 1: The Dreambound are suddenly good guys? Sure Primat was leaning in that direction but the rest have gone from ambivalence to super-protectors in another huge logic leap. This isn't a story - it's two unconnected stories, neither of which were meaty enough to fill the entire issue.
Back-Up Art - 2: The art is really sloppy. There's no more spine to the art than there is in Enigma's body.
Cover Art - 2: I'm so bored I need a new word for bored. Inaction in action.
Main Story - 1: This is page 1:
"Miss Lane" "Alfred" and "Firestorm" as names in dialogue for our benefit, not theirs, long after the characters and their names have been established in the narrative. This despite Raven appearing sans introduction, with no name.
Eastern Europe as a caption instead of, say, a picture of anything from Eastern Europe, seeing as this is a comic book.
"Gotham City" put before "The Batcave," just in case we might mysteriously somehow mistake the location of the Batcave as Metropolis.
Explanation of what the Justice League is doing when that would be infinitely more cool than watching Lois and Alfred talk about it.
A reporter who files reports every few hours.
Mr. Terrific, an avowed atheist and scientist, suggesting that they use mystics to quantify some residual energy they cannot get a grasp upon. Sigh.
The astonishing revelation that all of this happened in one page, and would be sufficient to 1 a review.
End page 1.
Now, this is like coming upon dead fish in a barrel and saying, "Look! I killed this!" But I can't. Suffice it to say, there are other crummy things at work here. The wasted Alfred page. The need of the Trinity to wax in a completely antithetical way to the character that's been established (what little there is) over ten or so issues. Krona explaining his plans to people who well know it despite it already being in motion for our benefit, despite the fact that it was explained last issue.
The Kanjar Ro self-extrapolation was especially, particularly awful, for most of the same reasons mentioned above.
I mean, writing this, I feel terrible, you feel terrible. I don't wish Mr. Busiek ill, and I wanted this to be a good series. It's just not. It's really not. It's abysmally awful. It is written in a fashion that is both rushed and padded, which is to say, it seems like this is a series that is fifty-two issues in length simply because it wanted to be fifty-two issues in length, not because the story, the characters, or the concept could bear any of it.
Main Art - 4: Despite an insane schedule, Bagley manages to make the art still pop, no matter the concepts behind it. There are some missing backgrounds, but not nearly so many here as has been typical, and some really strong work in terms of unique visualizations. The bodies coming out of Krona's device, the Batcave, and even the opening splash.
The lone exception, I think, is the UN guy on the bottom of the double splash who looks like he has some weird kind of Liefeld sideye.
Back-Up Story - 3: Konvikt and the Dreambound teaming up is pat and obvious. I also can't stand any of the characters on either team.
The scene on Earth-3, however, was pretty darned well executed for the most part, if a bit indulgent. It still has an air of inherent contradiction, though, because Enigma apparently still has his powers, and yet he's letting the world fall to hell.
Beyond that, he knows how to make the tech that can get you between universes, so why does he need the CSA?
Back-Up Art - 5: The CSA scenes are great because of the art in many ways, and it's the only way I could even begin to stand the scenes with Konvikt and the Dreambond. Great stuff.
Cover Art - 1: I understand why WW has her shield up. It looks like Bats is trying to pulverize it with his groin. Beyond that, man, Blue Superman needs to go on a diet and regrow a foot. Wonder Woman also looks like her spine is broken. Either that, or she grew two extra ribs. Sweet god.
To say nothing of the lackluster subject chosen for the cover, which is about as enthralling as an alka-seltzer enema.
Main Story - 1: I barely made it through this issue. I stopped reading it no less than FIVE times, and I'm only talking about the main story.
I stared at my cat laying on the floor for a while. Once I got distracted by the large blank white wall in front of me, but that's not "Trinity's" fault. I mean, after all, a blank white wall is ten times more interesting.
Main Art - 3: Nothing special...
Back-Up Story - 1: Stopped another three times. Did you know light switches go both up AND down?
Now THAT is interesting.
Back-Up Art - 3: ...nothing horrible. Just is.
Cover Art - 3: Despite my complete apathy toward this book, this issue and those character designs, this cover is at least more interesting than the last six or so.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2009.