Mild Mannered Reviews – Justice League #14

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Justice League #14

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 1, 2017

Cover date: April 2017


Writer: Bryan Hitch
Penciller: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Bryan Hitch/Daniel Henriques
Cover: Bryan Hitch & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover: Yannick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn

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

Click to enlarge

A new menace threatens the world, and the Justice League sets out to meet the challenge. However, they are easily repulsed, and trapped. While regrouping, the League airs out many differences and concerns they have, before determining a plan to defeat their latest threat.

4Story – 4: Ensemble books need storylines such as this one perennially. Group dynamics are challenging, and when you add superpowers and the motivation to save the world, while protecting the people, there can be a wee bit that needs to be relieved of. The energy of this Justice League is still somewhat uncertain, which is mainly due to the unsteady approach of Hitch in handling the characters individually and as a group. This installment reads more like an episode of the Super Friends, with a “done in one” agenda, to highlight a sub-plot as opposed to the standard story. Everyone gets a turn at confession and accusation, and while the dialogue is entertaining, it’s altogether pointless at the end of the day. Flash states correctly, to Batman’s concerns of a League gone rogue, that they would never do such a thing. Batman counters about mind control, Eclipso, etc., but Flash is correct, the Justice League would never do such a thing. The other situations are contrivances to make the League fight so that readers can see whatever supposed clever failsafes the Batman has in store, or so Superman and Wonder Woman will fight… or some other hero vs hero malarkey. This issue should be a reminder of what the Justice League is supposed to be about, but as it is done in one, the likelihood is doubtful.

The major problem with the story is the needless enervating of the League for it to happen. Flash can’t vibrate through the pile-on. Superman is weakened, though he’s powered by solar energy, and not merely sunlight. The Green Lanterns are reduced to tapers. Aquaman, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman are the only ones who are plausibly stifled. It’s really a silly thing, as we know they will escape somehow, but it was also a lost opportunity to show them working together, being stronger as a unit, as opposed to the diaphanous reasons to just suit the plot.

3Art – 3: Hitch turns in some of his best stuff here, which is telling as most of the story involves mostly being stationary and talking.
3Cover Art – 3: It’s just not an intriguing image.
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February 9, 2017 6:08 pm

I gotta say I really enjoyed Superman calling out Batman on his stupid failsafes. Awkward as the whole set-up of having Pre-Flashpoint Superman in 52burg is it does have it’s advantages sometimes. “Go ahead Bruce and tell em about your precious prep-time bulls**t before it comes back to bite everybody including yourself.”

February 9, 2017 9:15 pm
Reply to  MattComics

Yep. What’s the failsafe for Batman screwing up?

February 9, 2017 10:24 pm
Reply to  liheibao

None are allowed to challenge the perfection of all mighty god ninja. He is the greatest scientist, the most unbeatable fighter, the master of everything there is to know about anything. He can see into the future to and better than Kyle! ..and of course he’s still the more “relatable” one. Seriously though, the whole failsafe thing is representative of a problem DC has because even when they design a story around having Batman fail at something they still make him come off awesome anyway. They came up with a way to critique how Batman’s world view has gotten completely… Read more »