Justice League #50 – Simon Spurrier, Writer; Aaron Lopresti, Penciller; Matt Ryan, Inker; David Baron, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Simon Spurrier’s Justice League arc concludes with a double-sized issue, finishing out an unexpected but fascinating story. The Justice League aided an alien civilization—and then wound up helping them depose a tyrant, only to find themselves faced with a civil war. As they battle over how much to get involved and whether they should listen to the people and become the rulers, things start to unravel. Batman seems to be becoming increasingly unstable, embracing his role as ruler too much and suggesting authoritarian security state measures to restore peace. Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern find that their old tricks are often just making the situation worse. And Wonder Woman, always the most uneasy with this new role, finds herself getting involved in the conflict of the two children the League rescued in the first issue—now on opposite sides as the society’s natural divisions rip them apart.
This story has been a very morally complex one, which is why I was a little disappointed that the resolution tied things up VERY neatly with a clear-cut villain for everyone to unite against. It was the most obvious choice for a villain, as well. Thankfully, that’s only a minor part of the issue and much of this issue is as fascinating as the ones that came before it. WW and Batman, who seemed to be heading towards a serious schism, instead are able to work together to put together a pretty complex gambit that counters the anti-League propaganda the villain has been using. Spurrier, often working with surreal fantasy beings on his indie and Black Label work, has given us some very unique aliens with distinct cultural traits that go way beyond “blue human vs. orange human” as we often see in superhero universes. This has been an arc with a lot of surprises, and with the title in flux right now, this is going to be an unexpected gem I’ll remember for a while.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.