Justice League #8
Through Starman’s memories (broadcasted by J’onn J’onzz’s telepathy) the League learns how he was created by the Totality coming to Earth. They also see how he first encountered Lex Luthor and was held captive until he somehow escaped. Through Starman’s memories, the League also catches a glimpse of the base of the Legion of Doom, a fortress recognized by Hawkgirl as having belonged to Vandal Savage.
In Canada, Cheetah and Black Manta are still on their own mission, having not returned to base with the rest of the Legion. They intend to kill a god. And they find one: Poseidon. Cheetah delivers the killing blow as they leave him to burn.
Inside the Legion’s fortress, Luthor goes to discuss things with his new “guest”: the Batman Who Laughs. Grodd, Joker, and Sinestro are not too happy about Luthor’s alliance with this demonic version of Batman. Luthor agrees to release the Batman in exchange for his help…and information. A name. The woman held captive by the Source Wall.
Who is trapped inside the Totality.
I can’t help but squeal for joy at the return of the Batman Who Laughs. He was easily the most memorable character introduced in Dark Nights Metal. And Tynion has written him perfectly here. You’ve got the brilliance of Batman with the cruelty of the Joker, perfectly blended, almost as if he’d been written by Snyder. Of course with how much Tynion was involved with Dark Nights Metal, it makes sense that he’d be able to take over for an issue.
Cheetah and Black Manta’s abject cruelty are perfect and make you really afraid of those villains. They can kill gods and slaughtermen. It really does add a level of threat to these otherwise almost cliched antagonists.
And unfortunately, after you get past the Batman Who Laughs and Cheetah/Black Manta, the issue is fairly mundane. The origin to Starman is boring. The introduction of Perpetua is adding yet another plot thread and it’s getting hard to keep all of this straight. And Batman in a hovering wheel chair? Batxavier?
And unfortunately, the art just doesn’t fit the issue. It’s too bright, too safe. The art is boring and when dealing with this particular subject matter, “boring” should be nowhere near on my list of appropriate descriptions. It’s not just Mikel’s pencils and inks…it’s Jeromy Cox’s colors. Everything, especially the scenes with the laughing Batman, need a lot of work.
It’s a weakened effort from a series I’ve mostly enjoyed. Which is a shame.
Another one-shot with guest writer James Tynion IV leaves me wanting with lackluster art and color and about a third of the book a little boring to read. Still, a good chunk is worthwhile and fans of the Batman Who Laughs should still get plenty of enjoyment.
Justice League #8: Not Laughing Anymore
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Art - 5/105/10
Color - 5/105/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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