Review – Justice League #45: Spectre’s Rage

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Justice League #45 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Justice League #45 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Eddy Barrows, Penciller; Eber Ferreira, Inker; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist

– 8/10

Ray: Last issue came out of nowhere, with a plot involving the Justice League up against an army of monsters from Tartarus suddenly veering sideways into a plot involving the Spectre turning the League against each other. As we open, the spirit of vengeance is looming overhead and the heroes are suddenly expressing old resentments and attacking each other. Superman vs. Batman, Green Lantern vs. Flash, and Wonder Woman vs. Aquaman all turn violent, and the characters briefly snap back to sanity before returning to the fight more vicious than ever. How does this tie back into a mysterious prequel involving the Amazons sealing up an unknown man inside the gate to Tartarus? It turns out that the Spectre isn’t acting like he normally does because he no longer has a human mind grounding him. Jim Corrigan has decided to quit after what feels like an eternity, and he’s willing to do anything to get free.

Secrets of the Amazons. Via DC Comics.

We’ve seen some interesting Spectre stories lately, including a team-up with Batman, but this issue has the scale to show just how scary the character can be when used well. Out of control, he’s little more than a barely controlled god of rage, and he’s threatening to take that rage out on the entire world if he’s not reunited with his better half. A preview of a doomed world in a prophecy gives artist Eddy Barrows the chance to really show off his skills. However, my biggest problem with this issue has to be the handling of the Amazons. Venditti has never written them before outside of Diana, and he seems to be going full-on into the man-hating warrior women portrayal. They frequently make extreme references to men as vermin, and they seem willing to kill any that arrives on the island – and view Diana as a traitor worthy of death herself. It’s a harsh take on Themyscira that doesn’t really wash with what’s come before.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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