Justice League #67 – Brian Michael Bendis, Ram V, Writers; Phil Hester, Sumit Kumar, Artists; Hi-Fi, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Bendis books are instantly recognizable, as he manages to find room for lots of dialogue even in the most action-packed issues. When we last left off, Synmar had come to earth and torn apart the Hall of Justice. As the League battled to survive against the powered-up alien lunatic, they got backup—in the form of The United, the newly deputized warriors of the United Planets who enforce the law around the galaxy. While they take on the villain, we get introduction to the top warriors of this group, including a more ruthless Thanagarian, a Tamaranian prince, and representatives from Daxam and the Dominators who are all working towards a common goal—and have a very distinct way of doing things.
While Synmar is eventually defeated, and is banished to the Phantom Zone, the conflict isn’t over there. The Phantom Zone is under Superman’s protection, but the United Planets now want to take it into their custody to prevent future breakouts. This sets up some conflicts down the line, as the organization Superman and his son helped to found might become their enemy. The other main plot, involving Lois Lane’s long-lost brother and his espionage missions, doesn’t really feel like it fits here. It feels like a tie-in to Checkmate, Bendis’ other book of the moment, and while the character is interesting enough, it often feels like he’s interrupting the main plot for a commercial break.
The backup Justice League Dark story by Ram V and Sumit Kumar has been building for a while, and now we’re at the source of dark magic itself—Atlantis. The visuals here are spectacular, although there is a lot of exposition this issue. By the time things heat up and we get to a showdown between Constantine and Merlin, the stakes are high. It feels like the ancient history of Atlantean magic has been coming up more often lately, and this story is a fitting successor to the main JLD run, although it does feel like it would work better as a larger installment like in the upcoming annual.
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