Review – Justice League #70: Grand Theft Fortress

Comic Books DC This Week
Justice League #70 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Justice League #70 – Brian Michael Bendis, Ram V, Writers; Phil Hester/Eric Gapstur, Sumit Kumar/Jose Marzan Jr, Artists; Hi-Fi, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorists

Ray – 7.5/10

Ray: How do you elevate the Royal Flush Gang to cosmic-level villains? According to this issue, you give them a power-up courtesy of Leviathan… kind of. When Mark Shaw shows up to the perennial also-ran villains and offers them a partnership, they’re less than pleased. How that turns into them stealing the Fortress of Solitude in a scheme right out of Carmen Sandiego is a long and winding road, but it’s one of the funniest and strangest plots this title has had in a long time. We now know that Brian Michael Bendis will be leaving this title shortly—although he has an event comic spinoff that will outlast his run—so this seems an odd story to start his final arc. Amid all that, though, there are some surprisingly good emotional beats, particularly dealing with Superman’s connection to the Fortress and how far he’s willing to go to get it back. The Black Adam characterization also continues to be a bright spot for the title, but overall this title continues to have an odd lack of urgency for a Justice League book.

The void. Via DC Comics,

Meanwhile, it’s the penultimate issue of the Justice League Dark backup, coming off the annual that brought Mister E back to DC continuity. The showdown between Merlin/Arion and the League continues to deliver stunning visuals, as Khalid Nassour wages a lonely battle against ancient forces of evil while trying to maintain control over the Helmet of Fate. But the strongest part of this issue’s installment is a far more intimate battle as Zatanna—still holding the Upside-Down Man contained inside her, confronts a figure that may or may not be her father. Ram V has done some amazing work with these characters both in this backup and previously in the ongoing, and I’m looking forward to re-reading the whole story as a completed narrative. I feel like while it did overall work in this form, the ten-page format rarely works well for serialized comics, especially ones with this many characters.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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