Justice League #66 – Brian Michael Bendis, Ram V, Writers; Phil Hester/Eric Gapstur, Sumit Kumar, Artists; Trish Mulvihill, Hi-Fi, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorists
Ray – 8/10
Ray: This continues to be an odd run, with two completely different narratives going on in the main story. The one that seems to have bigger implications for the DCU is the one related to the ongoing mini-event Checkmate. Ollie’s involvement with the shady spy group has come back to bite him, causing rifts in his relationship with Black Canary. But more surprising is the reveal that Lois Lane apparently has a super-spy younger brother that her late father never told her about. This character has some potential, but this is the second sibling of Lois who has been an antagonist at some point, which is a little weird. I am amused that Lois is completely nonplussed by this and instead prefers to get back to the main plot.
And speaking of that—Synmar is here, and has quickly ripped his way through the League and their headquarters. While he’s a slightly more nuanced villain than Rogol Zaar ever was, he’s still a massive threat and his plan to sell Earth to attain a pardon for his crimes is extreme. Superman tries to talk him down, Black Adam tries to beat him down, and it feels like very little actually gets accomplished. Much of the focus is on Naomi, an ordinary girl with extraordinary powers, as she tries to navigate this chaos and protect her non-powered parents. Bendis does a good job putting us inside her head, but the story is a little too chaotic and doesn’t really give us many chances to enjoy the smaller moments.
The Ram V Justice League Dark backup is stronger, as Batman and the lost knight manage to bring the aged sorcerer back to his body—with a surprising twist about who exactly the occupant is. This trio is an odd but enjoyable group to anchor the story, and the villain continues to be an explosive threat. It’s not often your average villain manages to ravage Atlantis, but Merlin isn’t your average villain. There are a lot of great visuals here courtesy of Sumit Kumar, and I’m excited to see how this story continues, although I suspect it’ll read a bit better collected.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.