Justice League has never really been a good comic since it launched, but this issue was probably the best so far. It’s mainly taken up with a fight between Despero and a few of the League’s newest recruits, Atom, Firestorm and Element Girl. This fight did a good job of establishing a lot of things, we got much clearer ideas of the personalities of these three, especially Atom, who narrates the issue (and more on her later), and Johns also manages to make Despero a credible threat, he kicks the crap out these guys.
And then, when Martian Manhunter shows up to make the save, Johns really gets across how scary J’Onn J’Onzz can be. Pre-Flashpoint, J’Onn was a kind, loveable guy who loved Oreos, now… he’s scary. The idea that he’s always listening and that when you say his name he will show up is very effective, and very scary. Then he deals with Despero singlehandedly with some very powerful psychic attacks. I really buy Martian Manhunter as a credible threat to Superman now, which is awesome.
Speaking of Superman, the stuff with the actual League is also pretty interesting, as we find out that Superman gave Batman the Kryptonite as a fail-safe, so this isn’t really a Tower Of Babel rip-off. We also find out that there is nothing inside the Wonder Woman box, she has no Kryptonite, she has no weakness, which is a clever observation on Johns’ part. Just like with J’Onn, you now have to take Wonder Woman seriously.
The final twist on this story is that the Atom is secretly working for Amanda Waller and the Justice League Of America team as a spy! This is a great twist and it once again builds my anticipation for the inevitable confrontation between the teams. It’s dragging on, but I think it will be worth it. The art for this issue was a bit of a mish-mash, but it’s always good to see some Gena Ha artwork.
The Shazam! back-up was once again good, I know I’m in the minority, but I like this take, and I liked what Johns did here with Black Adam’s origin, and of course Gary Frank is the man.