Justice League: Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, David Finch, Scott Williams, Sandra Hope, Jonathan Glapion, Mark Irwin, Matt Banning, Rob Hunter, Joe Weems, Alex Garner, Trevor Scott, Alex Sinclair, Gabe Eltaeb, Tony Avina, Sonia Oback, Pete Pantazis, Patrick Brosseau
Wow, look at all those freaking artists! Maybe that’s why this issue looks kinda messy. It’s never clear who did what pages when it comes to inking, so I can’t tell if Scott did everything Jim penciled, or if others stepped in to help out. Point is, for some reason this issue does NOT look like all the others in terms of Lee’s art. It’s either how he drew it, himself, or the inkers making it look different. The lines don’t seem as thick and bold, and it’s much sketchier than normal.
That was pretty much the only thing I have to say about the art in this issue…is how it doesn’t feel like normal Jim Lee stuff. Anyway, the story opens up with folks on TMZ talking about the Justice League and their recent, very public fighting, and how people are losing faith in the League.
This seems interesting, but unfortunately because we haven’t seen these guys in action for that five years everyone’s mentioning, it’s hard to go along with the feeling that the JL’s been screwing up and causing people grief. I think it’d carry much more weight if we had actually seen them over time, slowly eroding and falling apart, making more and more mistakes. Instead, this whole plot is driven on the one mistake, David Graves and his family.
Graves’ motivation finally makes a bit of sense as he reveals he’s going to use the parasitic creatures from Mount Sumeru to bring joy and happiness to the people of Earth, because they can take the form of people’s loved ones…like they have for him. So we finally get to see what’s been behind Graves’ transformation, his drive, and his goals. It makes sense now, especially his targeting Steve Trevor…because that was kind of random before.
Why we had to wait 3 issues to find this out is still a question…but at least we know now. And, to be honest, I’m considering liking how it was executed. It was kind of fun being on the same page as the heroes - they didn’t know why Graves was doing what he was doing, and he didn’t go on spouting his whole plan at every chance he got, before, which was also good.
The part where Graves is finally freed from the creatures’ grasp was very tragic and emotional. I really enjoyed watching this reversal, and seeing the expression on Wonder Woman’s face as she reconsiders going in for the kill. Look at Graves here, and then compare it to how he looked before: young and healthy. It’s truly sad.
The League goes on to question their goals and practices, seeing as how the world is now closely watching them through the media. Questions are rising about how effective they really are, and just how much protecting they actually do. One of the members actually quits. Superman and Wonder Woman share a tender moment that actually feels good. Johns does a good job of making it feel natural between them, and not so forced as I had feared.
Because this is the year-end issue, and because Geoff Johns is writing it, we get the typical Johns-prophecy-hint-teaser pages at the end. Age-old Wonder Woman villain Cheetah will be making an appearance soon, and Shazam is going to come and fight Superman (ugh, more in-fighting?) and Cyborg talks of a traitor. There’s also the tease of…THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA! DC’s and Geoff Johns’ newest book, which starts in 2013. Ugh, just…please…no more David Finch.
Justice League #12, the verdict: We’re at the end. The end of what feels like an era with this book. It’s been a year, and we’ve seen some interesting stories. Not a lot of development for some of the characters on the team, especially poor Cyborg and Aquaman, and way too much in-fighting for my tastes. Hopefully this romance budding between Supes and Wondy will keep them from hitting each other anymore. This issue did a great job of wrapping things up, and putting a definite “close” on the chapter. The teases at the end also really helped make it seem like a whole new thing is starting with this book, coming next. I like that, and I’m into it. Let’s bring it.
(Photo Source: Atomic Books)