Justice League #41 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Aaron Lopresti, Penciller; Matt Ryan, Inker; David Baron, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Two issues in, it seems clear that Robert Venditti’s run is going to be a no-holds-barred action extravaganza, pitting the Justice League against some of their most powerful enemies yet. Justice League #41 is a quick read, zooming from one brutal fight scene to another as the Justice League buckles under a constant assault from an invasion of Daxamite soldiers led by the Eradicator.
I’m of two minds regarding the villain here, since I grew up when the Eradicator was a well-intentioned extremist, trying to protect Krypton’s legacy at all costs. He was somewhere between Zod and Superman, and eventually got a redemption arc of sorts. Here that’s all gone, and he’s actually far worse than Zod – a genocidal maniac who sees no problem with liquidating an entire planet to make a new colony. He works his way through the League with brutal efficiency, and it actually feels like the heroes come closer to death than they usually did in the epic run that preceded this one.
The only reprieve from this one huge-scale fight scene is when Batman visits Madame Xanadu in London, getting an unfriendly greeting from a mage who is deeply suspicious of the mainstream hero community. It’s only through Batman being willing to humble himself and plead his case before a hero who was saving the universe long before the idea of a superhero existed that he’s able to get the heroes the assist they need.
The addition of magic to the fight helps the heroes survive for the moment, but not everyone gets away and soon there’s a new crisis on the horizon. The Eradicator and his army remind me a little of Doomsday but with more motivation – they’re an implacable and destructive force that is seemingly unstoppable and has no regard for innocent life. Justice League #41 might not be one of the deeper Justice League stories, but it delivers old-school thrills in fast-paced fashion.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.