Justice League #65 – Brian Michael Bendis, Ram V, writers; Steve Pugh, Sumit Kumar, Artists; Nick Filardi, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorists
Ray – 8/10
Ray: This book continues to be one of the most chaotic on the stands, with Bendis juggling a whole host of stories in every issue. But this issue seems to pull them together a little better than the last few. I was intrigued by the Green Arrow/Black Canary plotline, which has them facing off against a mysterious hitman who exposed GA’s role in Checkmate. Dina is pissed, but they don’t have time to sort out their relationship issues—especially once the new arrival drops a massive reveal about his link to a major DC character. Between that shocker (which is oddly similar to a cliffhanger followed up on in another book this week) and Deathstroke’s appearance, the spillover from Checkmate is getting ugly.
But that’s dwarfed by the battle against Synmar, as the insane alien guardian tries to rip apart the Justice League headquarters. This battle does a good job of capturing the chaotic feel of a siege on the League’s base, and it has some great moments involving the Wonder Twins, who use their powers to give one Leaguer an unexpected boost. Naomi mostly spends the issue helping her parents escape, but that leads to a fun encounter with a confused Constantine. Synmar, much like Rogol Zaar before him, just doesn’t work that well as a villain—he’s an all-powerful alien madman without the context of a Darkseid or Thanos. But the story surrounding him is pretty entertaining.
The backup has some interesting stuff as well, as Batman and our young knight Elnara battle to free the aged sorcerer Randhir Singh from the prison of his own mind. That involves traveling into his brain and battling a horde of faceless dream beings before discovering the real man split between countless dream selves. It reminds me a bit of Inception with a magical twist, and delivers some great visuals. And in the real world, a showdown in Atlantis is brewing as Merlin makes his move with an ancient being of magic. The short segments kind of make the story hard to pace, but it’s a strong narrative.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.