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Mild Mannered Reviews - Justice League Comics

Justice League #3 Justice League #3

Justice League #3

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 16, 2011

Cover date: January 2012

"Justice League - Part Three"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams

Ralph Silver Reviewed by: Ralph Silver

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Justice League #3 Justice League #3 In Washington D.C., military personnel, including Colonel Steve Trevor, are observing TV reports of crowds protesting against Wonder Woman because she is a pagan, and because she, like the other super-powered humans, is perceived as dangerous. Apparently, Diana had previously been with them at their office in the Pentagon, and Trevor asks where she has gone. He is told that she was watching the TV news; and when she spotted a report about a winged monster terrorizing people in downtown D.C., she took off. Efforts to detain her were futile because of her raw power.

Wonder Woman is walking in D.C. as a crowd gathers and gapes at her. The crowd remains silent out of fear, until a young girl seems unafraid and introduces herself. Wonder Woman and her new friend enjoy an ice-cream break together. Steve Trevor arrives and tries to talk Diana into returning with him to the Pentagon. Diana resists, saying that she wants to fight the forces of darkness that are lurking nearby.

Suddenly they are startled to see one of Darkseid's minions, making the same pinging sound as before. Several of the aliens swoop down to attack Wonder Woman. Diana is pleased that the battle has come to her, and beams with excitement.

At S.T.A.R. Labs in Detroit, the winged monsters are terrorizing the workers. One of the monsters snatches and abducts Professor Ivo. Dr. Silas Stone is cradling his son Vic, who was seriously hurt in the explosion last issue and appears to be near death. Dr. Stone defiantly says that he once watched his wife die, and will not let his son die too.

In Metropolis, at the site of the abandoned Daily Planet printing press, we see lots and lots of the winged monsters causing more terror. We are told that portals are opening up across the world; and that the armies of demons are pouring out through the portals. Someone exclaims that this is "judgment day". Superman, Batman, Flash, and Green Lantern are fighting the monsters; but there are now so many of them. Flash, listening to radio broadcasts in his earpiece as he battles, indicates that the attacks are happening all over the world, and that the populace is blaming the super-heroes.

The heroes talk as they fight. Batman and Green Lantern continue to bicker. Flash is surprised to hear that Batman has no powers. Batman wants to step back and regroup because there are just too many of the monsters. He prefers having a strategy instead of just using brute force. Superman is having good success fighting many of the baddies at once, using a nearby 18-wheeler truck as a weapon to pulverize the monsters.

Back in Detroit, we follow Dr. Stone and his co-workers as they enter a secure medical room at S.T.A.R. Labs, carrying Victor as they go. Dr. Stone implores his son to hang on.

Green Lantern is amazed to see Superman swing an 18-wheeler "like a baseball bat". Superman and Batman observe that the winged monsters are abducting many people now; carrying them away rather than hurting them. Batman wonders what their motive is. Several of the monsters chant "For Darkseid" like before. As the nascent Justice League continues to battle the creatures, Wonder Woman joins the battle. She shouts "Back to Hades" as she barrels into the swarm of monsters, swinging her sword. The other heroes are impressed with her display of strength and fighting prowess. They seem to be impressed by her beauty as well.

In Detroit, Vic Stone, barely alive, goes into cardiac arrest as his father works feverishly to save him using experimental technology. As they activate nanites to help with the integration of the new bio-technology, Vic starts spouting binary code. Subsequently, we hear a message from Vic's machinery indicating that he is now online.

Wonder Woman explains that she followed the winged monsters, which led her to the other super-heroes. She saw their battle in progress, and decided to help. The winged monsters are circling above a body of water, and then start again making the pinging sounds, which usually indicates that an explosion or other dramatic event is imminent. A waterspout appears rather explosively, and then a large and mysterious object emerges from the ocean. The object appears to be a conveyance of some kind, like a spaceship or watercraft. But it may be something else entirely. The heroes wonder aloud what it is.

Suddenly Aquaman rises from the water, saying the monsters and their giant mysterious object were visible in the water as well. Aquaman wants to know which one of the heroes is in charge; and suggests that he would be a good choice.

5Story - 5: Story - 5: I continue to love these early issues of Justice League as part of the DC relaunch, the DCnU, the New 52; whichever phrase you prefer.

The pattern of the first two issues continues. The world is learning about the heroes; the heroes are learning about each other; and the plot featuring Darkseid's minions continues to move forward.

The pacing in this issue is good. I love stories that are in no hurry to get to the finish line. That way, the focus is on characterization, an area where Geoff Johns excels.

I got a kick out of the first panel. The TV news report features a lady carrying a sign that says, "You're going to Hell, pagan!" Someone on the TV says, "She believes in Zeus, for God's sake". And this is very ironic, because Zeus and the other gods of Greek mythology are indeed a part of Diana's world. Calling Diana a pagan because she believes in Zeus is a bit like saying that Hal Jordan is a pagan because he believes in the Guardians of the Universe. These characters are real in the DC Universe, even if the man on the street is not aware of them.


But the irony goes much deeper, however. In Wonder Woman #3, out this week, her origin story undergoes a major revamp! The story that Diana was fashioned out of clay is now superseded. It has now been revealed that Diana is the daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus! As such, I found the statement that, "She believes in Zeus, for God's sake" to be quite amusing. How could she not?!

I loved the scenes of Wonder Woman walking down the street in Washington D.C. People are shocked to see her; and yet they silently gape. One guy takes a photo with his cell phone. The scene with Wonder Woman and young Raquel enjoying ice cream together has a lot of charm. I especially liked when Wonder Woman praised the vendor, thinking he is "the cook" who prepared the treat.

When Wonder Woman is asking everybody about harpies, but nobody answers, she says, "I am speaking your language correctly, am I not?" That line had me laughing out loud! There is something compelling about Wonder Woman as a mix of raw power, immense fighting prowess, yet stunning beauty, kindness, and total innocence (so far) about the ways of the world outside of Themyscira.

When the scene shifts to the other heroes, we see them interacting in ways that continue to showcase their different personalities. Batman and Green Lantern continue to bicker, which makes sense because they are polar opposites. Batman is cautious and analytical. He prefers to analyze a situation and devise a well-thought-out strategy. Green Lantern is cocky and impulsive. He prefers action over deep analysis. They may learn ultimately to respect each other. But not yet. And maybe not for a while. Superman exudes a quiet confidence. At some point, I expect him to settle into a leadership role. Perhaps he will share the team leadership with Batman.

When Wonder Woman arrives and rather dramatically enters the fray, the other heroes are impressed with her display of strength and fighting prowess. But they are probably also impressed by her grace, charisma, and beauty. Green Lantern gives a hint of this when he tells Flash he wants "dibs", meaning he plans to be the first one to ask her out. Somehow, I do not think Green Lantern is her type. Now that Superman is again single, I put my money on a Superman/Wonder Woman romance, or at least the exploration of such a romance. We will see if this happens at some point.

This issue was great fun! Since the relaunch began, I find myself really looking forward to Justice League each month. Next issue, Aquaman!

5Art - 5: Jim Lee hits another home run! I hope that Jim Lee (and Geoff Johns) both decide to stay on this book for a long time.

There were many images I found especially appealing. I loved the full-page splash of Wonder Woman walking down a Washington D.C. street. This is a great image; Wonder Woman never looked better. I like that subdued colors were used in the background, allowing Wonder Woman to stand out in the foreground. This produces a nice effect.

And I loved the two-page spread of Superman using an 18-wheeler to pound the monsters. After swinging the truck like a baseball bat, causing both the monsters and the truck to break apart, Superman then uses the oversized tires to continue the assault. This is great stuff!

4Cover Art - 4: I enjoyed this cover. Wonder Woman, the featured hero this month, takes the center position in the foreground, while the other heroes have a less prominent role, slightly receding into the background. The heroes keep busy battling the monsters. This cover is a little more crowded than I like, but the images are drawn well.

3Cover Art (Variant Edition) - 3: All seven heroes appear on the cover. This time, Superman takes the center spot, while the other heroes surround him. This is more of a posed shot, as the heroes are ready to jump into action; while in the original cover, the battle is already underway. I like this cover; but I prefer the Jim Lee original.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2012

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