Mild Mannered Reviews – Justice League #3
Justice League #3
Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 17, 2016
Cover date: October 2016
“The Extinction Machines” – Part 3
Writer: Bryan Hitch
Penciller: Tony S. Daniel
Inker: Sandu Florea
Cover: Tony S. Daniel & Tomeu Morey
Variant Cover: Yannick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn
Reviewed by: T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao)
People are coalescing into giant beings of speed, magic, color, and star power. Wonder Woman attacks the being of star power, and is taken within, told that she has a purpose unknown to her. Flash and the Green Lanterns deal with an alien pestilence, while the Batman has sought out Superman for a mission to the Earth’s core. The giants come together, uniting for an as yet unknown reason, while Superman tries to sort out his next move at the centre of the Earth.
Story – 4: There’s a lot going on here and most of it works. Frankly, all of it works. The plotting has been tight and layered, without being overdone in any area. The sense of urgency is depicted with precision, as we see the League with their hands and wits full from start to finish. The only contention for this critic is characterization, and, well, legacy; the things Rebirth was supposed to be about. Wonder Woman attacks the Star Giant, even though it is comprised of human beings.
The attack is one that goes along with the treatment of Wonder Woman since that N52 began, one where she’s a weapon wielding brute, with no sense of the concern or compassion that she’s supposed to have. Had her attack been successful, many innocents might have been killed in the process. It’s telling that this directive for Wonder Woman dates back to Kingdom Come, an alternative story where Wonder Woman was acting out of character. Next up, is Superman, of course, but definitely not for character.
Superman has a brief conversation with Cyborg and Batman, where the scenario is spelled out for him in the best doom and gloom you cane expect.
His reaction is priceless, reminiscent of the Bronze Age, where Superman approached such tasks with confidence and optimism. His interaction with Lois Lane before he leaves is also well done, and others need take note. Superman being married was made into a lodestone for too many stories, but here we’re reminded of what the two mean to each other. Do we need to see it all of the time? Of course not, as the scene loses poignancy when that is done, but when it is executed, this is what the readers need to take away: the love between the two. Lois’ shot at Batman is heavy-handed, but still in character for her, as well. However the characterization is hemmed in by Superman’s reaction at the Earth’s core.
Huh? What? The Earth’s core is no problem for a man who can do Ashtanga Yoga in the heart of the sun. The description of pressure and such are for a Superman from the Byrne-era; a Superman who was deliberately limited in his abilities for no reason other than the fear of him being all he could be. If DC Rebirth is about legacy, then embrace it. Superman can definitely have a tough time of it at the Earth’s core, but because of the problem he needs to solve, not the core itself. I’m willing to see how this plays out, but it has taken away from what has been a very entertaining run thus far, and only because Hitch needs a push on this here. Someone, an editor, colleague, letter form a reader, reminding him, “Hey, this is Superman! Focus here, and not there.” Don’t focus on the bullets, focus on the people he needs to save. Don’t focus on the Kryptonite, but how will he accomplish the job in spite of it. Don’t focus on the Earth’s core, but… We will see what Hitch has to offer in a fortnight.
Art – 4: Everything goes Daniel’s way this issue.
This page is a good example of the book overall. Daniel’s faces, primarily the eyes are spot-on for what are dialogue centered scenes, and his action splashes are very much the same. Even Wonder Woman looks good this issue. Good show.
Cover Art – 4: Finally, something new and it’s an improvement as well. Variation, distribution, and it works… well, except for Aquaman, he looks like he’s about to tend to the fields.
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