Alex Lynch Reviews: JUSTICE LEAGUE #24, RED LANTERNS #24 & JL: DARK #24
Three reviews for you this week! What did I think of Charles Soule's Red Lanterns #24? (hint: it was good), and how did I feel about Geoff Johns' unique origin tales in Justice League #24? Find out my thoughts this week after the jump!
PICK OF THE WEEK - Justice League #24 – Geoff Johns & Ivan Reis
Justice League 24 brings us closer into the minds of the Crime Syndicate, who have seemingly killed the Justice League and are bent on taking over the world. Not only that, but we also get a in-depth look into Ultraman’s origins as we did with Owlman in a previous Forever Evil tie-in. We see how his abusive, aggressive and strong Kryptonian parents shipped him off of the dying planet and on to the farm of “Jonny” and Martha Kent, who raised him until…an incident. Ultraman is, very well, the polar opposite of Superman in this book and we see that throughout. Not only that, but we also get glimpses on how he formed the Crime Syndicate. For example, we see how Power Ring got his powers from a seemingly alternative universe version of Abin Sur, and we also get some more hints as to what destroyed the Syndicate’s world.
Geoff Johns is a fantastic writer, as you know, and I praise him all the time and deservingly so. Everything in this book was fantastic, and there were a lot of moments where I was scared to turn the page because I dreaded what could happen to some of the characters. Ultraman is a dick, and this show’s it. He wants to see how weak this world really is, so he tests the strengths of people he knows best from his world both physically and psychologically, and we also learn the identity of Superwoman and how she came to be. This new version of the Crime Syndicate have interesting chemistry and origins, and I can’t wait for that to play out throughout Forever Evil.
There’s a lot to love in Justice League #24, including the artwork by the incredible Ivan Reis, who never ceases to amaze the world with his visual spectacles. His work only helps the amazingly tragic story told about how such a young and powerful child led his new home to its ultimate doom, much like his original home. That being said, Rod Reis steps in for a wonderful coloring job that fuels the ending battle of the issue, resulting in a spectacular show of strength, destruction and coherent action. Justice League 24 is a MUST HAVE for any fan of DC comics regardless of whether you’re caught up with Forever Evil or not!
Justice League Dark #24 – J.M DeMatteis & Mikel Janin
Despite not being the biggest Constantine fan and not caring about the character until the New 52 relaunch, I found this issue very character-defining. J.M DeMatteis wrote a very unique issue here featuring Constantine and The House of Mystery following the events of Trinity War after each of the Justice Leagues are presumed dead. What happened to the Dark team, though? This book gives us some answers we’ve been longing but even opens up quite a few more questions.
DeMatteis writes a great Constantine and this story really gets into his head and pours out almost everything there is to know about the Brit. His life, his love interests, his relationship to the Justice League Dark and the House of Mystery and what each of the objects in his life mean to him. They’re not just there, in his life, but they really mean something to him. However, this story isn’t just a psycho-analysis of John Constantine, there’s also some action and suspense as expected in a comic book. What’s going on with the House of Mystery and why is John Constantine being transported to multiple places? What is that mysterious object he’s seeing in the shadows? This issue raises a bunch of questions about how John even survives in this world with all the guilt he’s been facing lately and his personal mission to save the Justice League Dark. As I said before, I was never a big Constantine fan and I’ve never really read much of the character, but I’m still looking forward to the TV series and this issue sold me on the character. It delves deep into his brain and extrudes all his thoughts and traits. I loved it.
That being said, Justice League Dark #24 also sports art by the incredible Mikel Janin, whose artwork is realistic and detailed and beautiful. His pencils perfectly showcase action and his facial expressions are gloriously accurate. That being said, Jeremy Cox also provides colors for the issue, which are quite vibrant and personify what it means to be a comic book. These two are glorious together and I can’t wait to read more, especially considering the mystical nature of the book. All in all, Justice League Dark #24 was fantastic as a read and this upcoming Blight event is surely to be one to remember if the writing stays consistent. That’s two-for-two in DC this week!
Red Lanterns #24 – Charles Soule & Alessandro Vitti
GUESS WHAT GUYS? I really liked this issue, I really did. I don’t know why, really, but it was compelling and didn’t have any stupid bullshit with Relic in it until the final few pages, but at least that bullshit with Relic made sense. This issue is by Charles Soule, writer of Superman/Wonder Woman (WHICH IS AMAZINGLY AMAZING AMIRITE?) so going in, I was pretty optimistic despite hating all the earlier issues of LIGHTS OUT.
Charles Soule writes a badass Guy Gardner, even if it is a symptom of the Red Lantern ring or personification. Guy is just out-right badass in this issue, and even though I haven’t been keeping up with Green Lantern post- Geoff Johns, this book was just awesome to read simply for the Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan mini-feud going on, as Hal begs for help from the Red Lanterns against Relic. Guy, however, has become a full-fledged Red Lantern and refuses to help Hal Jordan and instead sees the situation he’s got himself into in a whole different way; he thinks that Hal has betrayed the trust between the two and forgotten about Guy. Guy thinks that Hal just left him in Ysmault to become a Red Lantern and only came crawling back because he needed help. Is Guy seeing the situation in a true light or deep down is this actually what Hal’s doing? Charles Soule crafts a really good story in Red Lanterns #24, and it’s very readable throughout and kept me wanting more from him. He got the characters down to tee.
That being said, Alessandro Vitti’s artwork is incredible in the way that it really feels comical and it really feels what a comic book should be like. It can, sometimes, be inconsistent but overall the story it was telling really worked. It’s not perfect, but it’s simple and flourishing and really feels like a blend of modern and old-school comic book artwork, accompanied by the not-so-great coloring job by Gabe Eltaeb. Overall, though, I felt the art didn’t really hold back the comic but it definitely could have been better. To summarize, Red Lanterns tells a great story and even has some adorable moments between Atrocitus and Dex-Starr, which were surprisingly a pleasure.
Stay tuned for more reviews, including SEVEN upcoming graphic novel collections.
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