Justice League #43 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Doug Mahnke, Penciller; Richard Friend, Inker; David Baron, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Robert Venditti concludes the first of his two arcs on Justice League with Justice League #43, an action-packed final issue. The Eradicator and his Daxamite army had been ravaging Earth, but last issue saw Flash and Madame Xanadu pull off a surprising gambit to teleport them off-Earth for a final showdown against the smaller League.
Away from a yellow sun and with the powers of the villains and Superman both flagging, this issue becomes a war of attrition as both sides try to get their shots in before the environment finishes them both off. Venditti’s decision to have a smaller League of only five members plus Xanadu was likely influenced by how many characters are tied into event stories right now, but it works for this storyline. It’s not easy to make a team with Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern feel like the underdogs, but with thirty Kryptonian-like soldiers, it’s a bit easier.
The action comes fast and furious in Justice League #43, with characters falling and the armies on both sides shrinking blow by blow. But despite this, Venditti keeps a solid grasp on his core characters, especially Superman. A sacrifice by the Man of Steel seems to turn the tide of the battle and give the League new life – which Wonder Woman takes full advantage of. It’s all very exciting, but I still feel like Eradicator was mostly wasted as a villain in this storyline. He’s become a fairly generic evil conqueror villain, with zero of the nuance that he used to display when he was trying to save Krypton and convert Superman. Even Zod has more nuance than him lately.
But the ending segment involving Sodam Yat was strong, as was Batman’s second visit to Xanadu. Venditti always delivers classic-style superhero action with great visuals from his artists, and this is no exception.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.