Not Easily Broken, but Weakened by Mistrust!(Justice League of America #20 Review)

Justice League of America #20
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artists: Hugo Petrus
Cover Artist: Carlos D’anda 
Colorist: Hi-Fi 
Publisher: DC Comics

When Prometheus come to happy harbor to take on the New Justice League of America, he plans for the best! And the worst! And frankly everything in between. Seemingly beaten, Vixen stands alone against him, as the team is trapped!

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What You Need to Know:
In an elaborate ruse, Prometheus and his assistant Afterthought ( Limited Precog abilities and an enhanced Cybersuit) have plotted not only to take down this Justice League but to destroy their team cohesion. They are tearing them apart from the inside, by inciting mistrust and doubts. This was while disguised as a Filmmaker shooting a Documentary about their day to day lives. Prometheus then revealed himself, and systematically neutralizes each member, except Vixen. He has also trapped a crowd of Civilians inside the Headquarters to bear witness.

What is his Beef you ask? He wants to expose their hypocrisy and show that they do not actually care for the people they save. (flimsy at best, but ladies and gentlemen Comic Books!) He wants Vixen to destroy her Tantu Totem, and do it in front of the crowd.

What You’ll Find Out:

What do you do with a Bomb about to blow up your team? Well if you are Black Canary, you feed it to the Last Zarnian! Well right after the Atom shrinks it down to a minuscule bite-sized portion.

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“Lobo’s seen worse,” Canary tells the team. And I thought Frost was Cold Blooded!

 

Vixen faces Prometheus as they hear the  “Ba-Shoom!” sound of the explosion. Prometheus revels in his well planned out victory, although Mari knows they are ok because she can feel them through her connection to her totem. They square and face off, and in some villainous Scenery Chewing, Prometheus Villian-Splains that he has planned for every possible contingency. Vixen cannot defeat him. And in a surprise move, a member of the crowd jams a Tazer into his helmet!

The Tazer seems to dissolve or disintegrate at least the right side of his helmet, and he is surprised that someone would want to defend the Justice League.

Vixen spouts some lines about how anyone can be a part of the Justice League, and she jumps in to defend the woman that Tazed Prometheus. The Team bursts through the nearest wall and all of them contribute to taking the Master Criminal down.

As he was hit by Frost, Atom, canary and then facing his final defeat, he pulls out a key to the Ghost Zone to retreat. However a Bald, and newly recovering Lobo pulls a page out of old Benjamin Grimm’s Playbook, and crushes his hand, with the key in it!

What Just Happened?
With the fight at an end, the group convenes at the table to debrief from the attack. We Learn that Prometheus was successful in keeping the Ray away, as he has not answered his communicator in days.

Vixen mentions that Batman is off fighting “Nightmare versions” of himself, (See Batman Metal), and as a result, they are on their own. Lobo then in his fashion and flowery language tells the group how Frost Killed an entire Battlefield in the Microverse and drained them of their Heat.

The group, especially Ryan (The Atom) are stunned, but they give her a chance to explain. She takes responsibility for it an swears that she will eventually turn herself into Amanda Waller. canary apologizes for telling her to feed off of Afterthought, and they are all a little ashamed of the events. None more than Ryan, who is clearly in love with Frost, and defended her, until she confessed. Lobo sits back and enjoys the show.

The worst part was that Prometheus’s plan worked. The Atom tells them ” All Prometheus needed to Divide us was a Video camera and a list of Questions.”

The last two pages take us up to speed with the Ray, and where he has been during all of this. He stops a Bank Robbery from a gang Dressed as Devils and pokes a bit of fun at them. Then he returns home to his boyfriend Xenos. Last we knew they took off because of the Questions that Prometheus was asking offended Ray.  He says that he feels more comfortable here in the City of Vanity. The people get him. We are left in classic comic Book Cliffhanger fashion as a mysterious On looking woman peers at him from outside in the rain. “Welcome back, Ray. Now Get out of my Way.”

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Rating: 5/10

Final Thought: The funny thing about this book is that it is prophetic, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The is group has the least in common, and certainly, they are a Hodge-podge of randomly selected second stringers. It is only a matter of time before the team looks very different, or someone takes off. We are still not sure what is keeping Lobo interested, and Frost admittedly isn’t the hero type, as she is a heat vampire that will eventually need to answer for her crimes. The ray is distant, and half out the door, leaving the veteran Black Canary, and Vixen to hold this together when Batman is off fighting his counterparts in the Metal series. Though they all seem capable of great things together, this book can be about more than tearing them apart. I do not believe in them nor do I believe in the capabilities of a Team like this to take down Prometheus, and that takes me right out of the story. The Dialogue is fine and speaks to the Character’s voices, but the only interesting portion of this story is the inter-team dynamics, which could have been explored without besmirching the likes of Prometheus ( I thought Green Arrow killed him By the way) on a second rate team. It remains to be seen if this book will improve to grab the readers attention as it did with the Microverse, but in general, it is a stale box of tropes and underutilized characters that is easily left off of your pull list.

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