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Mild Mannered Reviews - "Justice League Beyond" Comics

Justice League Beyond 2.0 - Chapter #21

Justice League Beyond 2.0 - Chapter #21

Released Digitally: May 31, 2014

"Justice Lords Beyond" (The Return of Wonder Woman): "Dynasty"

Writer: Christos Gage
Penciller: Dexter Soy
Inker: Dexter Soy
Cover: Khary Randolph & Emilio Lopez

Reviewed by: T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao)

Click to enlarge

Zod transports to the Watchtower to find it the Justice Lords in control. He's overwhelmed by numbers, but not before he alerts Superman of the situation. Superman immediately blames Diana, which leads to fisticuffs that Bruce Wayne quickly breaks-up. Wayne advises that they plan under the cover of the Batcave, and while en route, Diana reveals what remains of her story. Wonder Woman's co-rule with Lord Superman produced more antipathy between them, and to resolve the friction, they decided that an heir was necessary, as he would be a sign of their unity. Their child was stolen by Brainiac and given to Jax-Ur in the Phantom Zone. Wayne decides that it's time to take the fight to the Watchtower, but the sudden arrival of the Justice Lords puts them on the defensive, with Wayne being secured, Superman engaged with both Orion and White Adam, and Wonder Woman facing off against Lord Superman.

5Story - 5: The space of digital comics should really encourage a writer to maximize the space i.e. panels that are going to used as the panels that are available. There is a loss of three pages or 8 panels for a redundant scene, but despite this doing, this installment receives top numbers. Christos has kept up the interest of this reader for several weeks, and more than that, has constructed a story that is linked from issue, making for a very rewarding read if you've kept up. For the first time reader, it's an impetus to dig back and read what had transpired before. The revelation about Zod is quite surprising, almost as much as Wayne stating that he thought what Wonder Woman reveals was the case, as there is little if any clue given to the fact. In twenty-one issues, Christos has taken on many of the tropes that involve the Justice League, and with a freedom and aplomb that regularly evades the canon comics. Superman, Brainiac, Wonder Woman, the doppleganger League, the progeny of the two most powerful heroes, and without using anyone character to the disadvantage of the other. It's no mean feat, but Christos is making it look like child's play.

Wonder Woman's story has been nothing less than compelling up to this issue, and part of the reason for that is Christos' choice to tease out the particulars. Cliffhangers are not beloved by this reviewer, but for the reveal that occurs and the impact of it to set in as needed, doses and drams are the better road as opposed to the whole jar. The misdirection with Zod is interesting, as there was never explanation as to why Zod didn't bear Jax-Ur's in some patronymic fashion, but fitting as it was misdirection that doubly deceives, in that it fools the characters and fools the readers. Wonder Woman's fight with Superman presages the one to come with Lord Superman at the end of the issue, and but barring that, it's completely unnecessary for the two square in such a fashion. Wonder Woman is consciously with holding information, and in doing so is stirring the pot with Wayne and Superman. Her reaction to being "judge" is a shaky one, as she's being judged correctly by not being forthright. It a slip and a needless one, but still not enough to drench the quality of the issue.

Now that Zod is the established son of Lord Superman and Wonder Woman, the son she probably would have rather had with Lord Batman, and the same sone that has bonded with Superman and the League, it will be interesting to see how the dynamic plays out. It's nice to see a legacy character without being too much a facsimile of Damian Wayne. The artificial conception isn't something that I like, but at least it stops there, and Zod has been given a heroic nature despite his less than noble upbringing with Jax-Ur. Why? He's inspired by Superman's example and given a choice. Once again it all boils down to the Man of Tomorrow.

3Art - 3: Feast or famine, it all depends on how you look at it.

Cover Art - N/A:

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Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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