Justice League of America #28 – Steve Orlando, Writer; Hugo Petrus, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Time Fight
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: As Justice League of America heads towards the finish line, this final arc pits the entire team against Chronos for the fate of the God of Superheroes. If that concept is unfamiliar to you, I wouldn’t be surprised – Ahl is a new character who just appeared in Milk Wars and is now being brought into the main continuity. His nature means that if Chronos is able to kill him, he can send a ripple effect through time to wipe out all superheroes, which adds stakes to this story bigger than your average superhero fight. In the opening segment, the League and Chronos’ army face off in prehistoric times, with Ryan taking a huge risk to confront the villain himself and give the heroes time to make a move. One thing Orlando does really well in this series is to provide every one of the main cast a chance to shine. Ray might have been a little underused in this series overall, but his giant fortress of light is easily the showiest moment of the issue.
As villains go, Chronos is fairly weak in physical strength, but he’s coming in with more prep time than Batman and can summon any threat he wants to weaken the League. Case in point – Chemo. The walking nuke is brought in, which brings down the castle, and the final battle begins. Chronos essentially has an army from across time and space, with everything from World War I soldiers to Shogun warriors showing up in the background, but ultimately everyone is playing a supporting role to Atom and Chronos, the only two who understand the full scope of the battle. The Diablo ex machina that Chronos pulls out of his hat at the end of the issue, another unexpected Doom Patrol crossover, shows off Orlando’s love for the obscure and bizarre elements of the DCU. Overall, with one issue to go, this series may not have been perfect, but it calls back to the classic Justice League runs that featured odd characters playing off the icons. I’m hoping Orlando gets a big new project soon, and that the upcoming titles keep some of this series’ spirit.
Corrina: I always admire Orlando’s imagination and commitment to the odd corners of the DCU, such as Aztek and The Ray. Most of the time, it lands, but this time, relying on a brand new hero who was just created and using that new character as the “god of heroes,” with their survival the center of the final arc of the title, is a stretch for me because it’s hard to accept a completely new character as so pivotal to the DCU, especially with so little set-up.
The book, then, is carried on the moments between the characters, such as how they finally work together as a team, especially when Chemo appears. It’s a nice showcase for both Atoms, both forgotten characters until this run.
It’s also a great showcase for the art team, depicting all these characters across all time periods in battle (and dinosaurs!) and Petrus is more than up to the challenge.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.