Justice League of America #27 – Steve Orlando, Writer; Hugo Petrus, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Who Is The God of Heroes?
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Justice League of America #27, the beginning of the final arc of Steve Orlando’s Justice League of America picks up on elements from the big Microverse story from last year, and brings in Atom’s arch-nemesis Chronos. In many ways, Ryan Choi has been the heart of this run, since his journey from insecure, asthmatic college student to superhero has been Orlando’s most compelling character journey – even more so than Killer Frost’s journey to redemption, in my eyes. I have to say, though, I’m not sure Chronos works as well as a villain as some of the others in this run. He’s very showy, but that’s mostly all he brings to the table. The issue kicks off with a showdown on the sentient planet Moz-Ga, as Ray Palmer and his allies face off against Chronos and defeat him, only for him to escape. Back in Happy Harbor, the Justice League is getting ready to rebuild their headquarters, and Aztek is officially joining the team following her first team-up with them. However, it’s not long before alarms start going off.
Chronos soon invades the base, bringing in a group of other dimensional mercenaries, and this issue does a really good job with the mechanics of time travel. Chronos is years ahead of everyone else and has had years to plan a single moment of attack. Although the various members of the League have their own advantages, he can neutralize them all, and turn time itself against them – speeding up time so Killer Frost’s hunger becomes unbearable, for instance. However, there are some good flashbacks to Ryan’s training that do a good job of setting him up as the POV character for this arc, and the issue ends with a strong cliffhanger involving the team stranded in the prehistoric era. Chronos is one of those villains that is a compelling adversary, but not exactly a compelling character. Still, as a villain to bring the concept of the run full circle and provide a final trial by fire for Ryan, he works pretty well.
Corrina: After reading Justice League of America #27, I was thinking that a perfect ending to this arc would be if one of the JLA members turned out to be the God of Heroes. Given the small panel with the obscured god, it looks like The Ray could fit the role. Or perhaps it’s everyone. Or perhaps it’s a new character.
But I like the idea that it’s the Ray or a combination of all the heroes, with their idealism reflecting back through time.
I’m also a sucker for heroes simply talking to each other and communicating about their unique lives and this issue filled that craving for me. Aztek, despite her short appearances, fits in well with this group.
You might guess by focusing on two concepts and not the fights that the former interested me more and you’d be right. It’s not that there is anything inherently wrong with Chronos’s attack, it’s simply that he tends to spout a lot of arrogant villain one-liners. He makes a formidable adversary, however, and I felt for Ryan when he failed to stop his arch-enemy.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this issue for review purposes.