Justice League Odyssey #8 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Daniel Sampere, Penciller; Juan Albarran, Inker; Ivan Plascencia, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: Some Answers, Not Enough
Ray: Under this new creative team, Justice League Odyssey seems to be finding its focus – and it’s a lot less ambitious than the original pitch. Essentially a cosmic scavenger hunt interrupted by a lot of huge-scale space battles, it’s entertaining but rarely more than that. When we last left off, the odd group of four cosmic heroes had cornered Darkseid and imprisoned him on an alien planet. When they interrogate him, he delivers a lot of exposition – but enemy forces led by Rapture’s cult and Blackfire’s army are bearing down. When I say a lot of exposition, I mean a LOT of exposition. There’s a good eight pages of mostly Darkseid talking and the heroes reacting with incredulity before anything else happens. The plot seems to tie into the ongoing battle with Perpetua and the Totality that’s unfolding in the main Justice League title, but with a lot more wordiness and a lot less character depth.
Then the enemy forces arrive, and the issue turns into a non-stop action fest for the back half. Blackfire has been turned into a pretty generic foe for this run, but Rapture remains more intriguing. A religious fanatic who views Azrael alternately as his God and a false prophet, he’s been the biggest mystery of this run. Darkseid, by comparison, has been made pretty small by this run. He just comes off as a generic barking alien warlord, sending his minions on one easter egg hunt after another. By the end of the issue, Cyborg has been split off from the rest of his group to begin the hunt, leading him to a spooky temple full of monsters. It’s not a bad book, but with two spectacular JL titles going on right now, this one is definitely the weak link. It doesn’t help that Jessica Cruz has been thoroughly homogenized until she’s just vaguely quirky, with no real mention of her social anxiety struggles. This book still lacks a real POV hero.
Corrina: The main purpose of this book seems to be, in the end, Darkseid creating the ark that he believes will save some people from Perpetua. Apparently, he’s behind all the worlds that worship our team members as gods.
It’s good to get that answer after eight issues, but Justice League Odyssey still seems stuck in having to draw out the plot forever. Starfire’s people and those on the other planets are still hostile. Darkseid and the rest of the team are still after some sort of relic. Darkseid is still not to be trusted.
And, Jean-Paul, despite his spotlight this issue, is still a terrible fit for this kind of cosmic story. He’s about faith and the lack of faith battling with each other. I guess that will spool out as a universal thing but it’s still not a great use of the character. Sometimes weird character pairings work, like Detective Chimp and Wonder Woman. Sometimes they don’t, particularly everybody in this issue. That’s probably because it’s mostly all plot, with little strong characterization.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.