Justice League Odyssey #14 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Chriscross, Cliff Richards, Pencillers; LeBeau Underwood, Danny Miki, Scott Hanna, Cliff Richards, Inkers; Rain Beredo, Pete Pantazis, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: I’m going to make a bold statement – Jessica Cruz is the best new character DC has introduced in a good number of years. She was intriguing from the start, then Sam Humphries and Tim Seeley took her characterization to the next level and made her the best superhero struggling with a mental illness since Moon Knight. That’s why this series was frustrating for me at first – she seemed to have little to do beyond gape at cosmic weirdness while Starfire, Cyborg, and Azrael went on adventures. That’s why it turns out the best thing to ever happen to Jessica was…to die.
When her trio of allies was converted to Apokalips and Darkseid killed Jessica, she was reborn on a mysterious ship with a new set of powers. That’s upped the stakes significantly and allowed Jessica, especially in Justice League Odyssey #14, to take the lead and push past her old anxieties to become a hero without the safety of the Green Lantern Corps or Justice League.
Jessica’s new cast of heroes includes a semi-reformed Blackfire, a Zamaron scientist willing to make any deal she can to fend off Darkseid, a mysterious masked vigilante named Okkult, and Dex-Starr. Yes, that Dex-Starr, who is drawn as fluffier than usual and seems to appreciate Jessica a lot more than the rest of her team.
This ragtag group of heroes, villains, and miscellaneous has a bit of a Dirty Dozen vibe, as the end of the universe has caused them to put aside all sorts of individual issues. There isn’t much in the way of danger this issue, as they’re mostly chasing Darkseid before he can seal off the universe but the villain isn’t seen. No, the heroes make their own trouble, and the reveal of Okkult’s identity – and why he was taking such pains to conceal it – sets up a major new threat that leaves us with a strong cliffhanger. This is easily the best the series has been.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.