Justice League #48 – Simon Spurrier, Writer; Aaron Lopresti, Penciller; Matt Ryan, Inker; David Baron, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Justice League is in flux at the moment, with several creative teams dropping in and out as the main storyline of the Snyder run shifts to Death Metal. The Venditti run delivered solid action, but in this first issue by Black Label mainstay Simon Spurrier, it feels like he’s going for something much bigger. This story starts as a mainstream action-adventure but has heavier things on its mind. When the Justice League – just the core five here – rescues a ship under attack by a massive alien (brought to life with style by Aaron Lopresti), they find a ship of terrified children exiled from a divided world in a constant civil war and ruled over by a cruel empress. After dispatching the monster peacefully, they decide to escort the children back home and try to find a solution – but things have changed since the children departed, and the world is in the throes of a complex revolution by people who have never governed themselves.
From there, the issue turns into a fascinating look at what happens when the Justice League is thrown into a situation they don’t want to be in, with no easy way out. Heralded as saviors by the planet, the League makes the – not unanimous – decision to prevent the execution of the empress, leading the split aliens to decide they want their new alien visitors to be the transitional government. Wonder Woman warns of the dangers of intervention, but it soon becomes clear – especially with an unexpected attack – that the planet is not ready to govern itself. There are a lot of fascinating things around the edges of this world, and it makes me sad that we’re only going to get to explore it for a few issues. The idea of the Justice League as unwilling guardians and leaders of a world is fascinating, but the title hints that something darker is coming. It’s a very different kind of Justice League story, and that’s a win in itself.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.