Justice League #40 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Doug Mahnke, Penciller; Richard Friend, Inker; David Baron, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Robert Venditti has a tendency to take on the toughest jobs in comics. First he was chosen to take over the Green Lantern line immediately after Geoff Johns left, and now with Justice League #40 he’s spinning out of Scott Snyder’s run. But here it’s an even trickier job, because the Justice League are in a holding pattern after the end of the last run, with the story continuing in an epic summer event.
That means Venditti and new artist Doug Mahnke have to flash back to tell a past story while keeping it feeling relevant. I’m not sure how far back this story takes, but it can’t be much – Alfred’s death and Clark’s identity reveal are referenced. Venditti’s strength has always been fast-paced action-driven storytelling, and he starts strong here with the crash-landing of an atmosphere-poisoned Sodam Yat on Earth. Yat is a character Venditti worked with in his GL run, and after the requisite fight between confused allies, it becomes clear a far bigger threat is coming.
That threat would be the Eradicator, who has continued his mad quest to resurrect the legacy of Krypton by traveling to the xenophobic planet of Daxam and recruiting them into his army. An army of ruthless conquering Kryptonians who have had their Kryptonite weakness bred out of them is a potential world-destroying threat, so the team goes searching for other weaknesses. This includes magic, which sends Batman to dark corners of London to search for Madame Xanadu. She seems to have been through a rough time, as she immediately goes to trapping him with tentacle demons.
Overall, Venditti seems most connected here to the Green Lantern characters, which isn’t a big surprise given his extended history on the line. His John Stewart is very strong, although the team is down to a bare five right now (with a sixth member revealed on the cover). It’s a back-to-basics run with some interesting subplots, and should keep the title strong while it waits for the next big development.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.