Justice League #44 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Xermanico, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Robert Venditti never wastes any time getting the action started in his comics, and that makes him a good fit for a Justice League book. With the team pared down to DC’s five most iconic characters and a sixth wild card – this time Aquaman – Venditti is able to give each member of the team more attention as they go up against a huge-scale threat. But it takes a little bit to figure out what that threat is, as they’re too busy trying to survive. The issue kicks off mid-action as the Justice League’s plane comes under attack by an army of monsters, including a giant Hydra-like creature. It doesn’t take long to figure out that these are all creatures from Greek myth – particularly, ones that were sealed up in Tartarus – and they seem to have a blood vendetta against Wonder Woman in particular. It’s only with the help of Aquaman that they’re able to fend them off and eventually banish them.
The main appeal of this issue is the action and fight scenes, and guest artist Xermanico does a great job of bringing these creatures to life. Scylla in particular is basically a kaiju, and the scope of the battle is well-captured. But other than that, the dialogue is mostly just the heroes debating what these monsters are and why they’re coming after the heroes. Not exactly thrilling – until the dialogue shifts suddenly, and the heroes start airing out their grievances with each other, leading to a surprising last-page reveal. This definitely isn’t groundbreaking comics, definitely not compared to the last run or even compared to Venditti’s own Hawkman run. But a Justice League book should be a good introduction to the DCU and its top heroes for new readers, and this issue definitely hits that bar. Good use of the core characters and some genuinely thrilling monster action.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.