Justice League: Geoff Johns, Tony S. Daniel, Richard Friend, Batt, Tomeu Morey, Patrick Brosseau, Alex Garner
On the Outs: Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, Brad Walker, Drew Hennessy, Jay David Ramos, Pat Brosseau
Year 2 starts out with a bang! The David Graves incident feels far enough in the past that it’s more than easy to move on into this next story, and we get something that delivers on the fun level: Cheetah’s back. You don’t know Cheetah? The only DC Comics character drawn completely naked, but DC gets away with it? Well, sit right down, kids. It’s time you learned a thing or two.
…Well, truth is, I don’t know much about Cheetah in the preboot universe. I never did follow Wonder Woman that closely. I do know that she’s been a major villain of hers for decades, though. And that she’s fast. Pretty sure about that one.
Anyway, Cheetah and Wonder Woman are fighting in New York, apparently, and Cheetah vehemently declares that she wants nothing to do with her former life or this “humanity” crap Wonder Woman keeps rambling on about. She’s much happier covered in spots, with a tail, and running around completely nude. I don’t blame her, either.
I’m still unsure of her total power set at this point, but she’s displayed speeds faster than the Flash, and strength equal to, or greater than, Wonder Woman. She even bits Superman on the neck, and breaks the skin (which leads to a very interesting final page)…something that not many substances can actually do. This leads me to believe her abilities are magic-based, as Supes is vulnerable to magic.
The rest of the issue is spent covering a few different things…and they’re all character-based. Thank goodness. First, it’s about Wonder Woman learning to accept help from her friends, instead of thinking she needs to handle her own problems by herself (maybe Batman should be here to listen to this), and not to mention that awkward time when Wonder Woman left Superman hanging after that kiss. Ouch.
Then we also get angsty Steve Trevor telling Batman and Aquaman about Cheetah before she became Cheetah, and all but asking if Diana talks about them getting back together soon. Dude needs to move on. Go out with Amanda Waller or something (dear god, wouldn’t they be the pair?). The final bit we see developed is Cyborg. WHOA! Remember him?! That dude! That’s totally NOT a tool for the JL to use whenever convenient? Yeah he’s a person! Well, half.
So Cyborg’s been all mopey because Graves’ spirit thingies messed with his half-head and made him wonder if he’s actually all machine and he just thinks he’s part human. Flash does his best to cheer the big lug up, which does actually help. It’s nice to see them interacting, building a friendship. It’s also really nice to see this whole Justice League thing from Cyborg’s point of view. I like that we get a glimpse into his daily life, his wants and his fears. I hope there’s a lot more of that coming.
In the meantime, though, the group takes a trip to the Amazon to find the nameless tribe of people who last had the sacred ritual dagger that transformed Cheetah into Cheetah to try and save Wonder Woman’s former friend. It doesn’t go well.
I learned in this issue how much I really like Tony S. Daniel’s artwork. The whole ish is full of great images, and, while it’s not Jim Lee or Ivan Reis, it’s still a really fitting style that I enjoyed. It reminds me a bit of Mikel Janin’s work on some pages. The rest of the team, especially Morey on colors, make the issue come alive. Some of it seems a little unnecessary, like Barry running at superspeed to cover, what, ten feet to Cyborg? And Diana’s pouty stance back aboard the Watchtower at the beginning? Superman’s face was the only thing I didn’t like, but at least it was 1) consistent throughout the issue, and 2) different from everyone else’s face.
The backup story features— oh, speaking of Steve Trevor and Amanda Waller…. Waller’s now the new liaison for the Justice League, replacing Trevor. Apparently she wanted this because Trevor’s “too valuable” to the country to be in harm’s way like he was with the JL. I don’t really understand, because I thought she was part of Team 7, which was put together to fight supers. But…I should read that book before jumping to conclusions.
Oliver Queen pays Trevor a visit and talks about a tech heist he foiled, but not before being, well, foiled and left only with a mysterious communicator with a skeletal face on it. Apparently Queen and Trevor know what this is, but we won’t find out until the new Justice League of America book - in which both of these characters star. Tease. The art is very good, though. I really like the style, and this take on Oliver Queen. He looks like Freddie Williams II’s Queen, but in a more “Ivan Reis” style.
Justice League #13, the verdict: I really did enjoy it. I’m glad that we’ve got this cool storyline to kick off the New 52, year 2, on Justice League. I’m glad it’s a major player instead of some new, made-up villain like Graves. That’s what I think Justice League needs tons more of: the development of pre-existing big hitters that take the entire JL to overcome. The new art is very good, quite enjoyable, and does a good job of making each character unique, and look separate from everyone else - which is always very, very important in my book.
(Photo Source: Comic Vine)