JUSTICE LOST, THE CONCLUSION: The Fan’s dead. Deathstroke is ready to help the League with the quagmire they’ve found themselves in, but the League’s not a big fan of cold blooded murder. How can they possibly get out of this situation with their reputation intact?
JUSTICE LEAGUE #43
Authors: Christopher Priest
Artists: Pete Woods
Letters: Willie Schu
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
In Dark Nights Metal, Batman revealed plans for the Hall of Justice. Now, the Hall is almost completed.
The League has found itself in the middle of a conflict that has lasted for millennia in Africa. They’re not sure which side to choose but with news choppers hovering overhead, waiting for the League to violate its own bylaws, hoping for that juicy news footage that would be worth quite a bit.
Meanwhile, the Fan who has plagued the League is dead, killed by Deathstroke. That’s one problem solved. Deathstroke is ready to solve the rest of their problems.
What You’ll Find Out:
With the Fan dead, the rest of the League confront his murderer. Still, did Deathstroke do them a favor? Or commit cold-blooded murder? Or maybe both? Deathstroke taunts the League, laughing at how they got themselves into this mess. The Red Lion set up the refugee problem. In fact, the refugees and warlords have flipped positions before and the League, not being from the area, have no idea. As Deathstroke puts it, they’re “way too white” to be there. But Cyborg is asserting his authority. The League is his to lead. And maybe he’s made some mistakes. But with the news choppers in the air, waiting for the League to make an international incident, he has an idea on how to solve this.
Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Raven is scrambling to heal Wonder Woman, hoping that Diana doesn’t die. But Diana is fighting her own battle inside her soul against Thanatos, the God of Death.
Back in Africa, Deathstroke takes on the League. First Superman, then Aquaman…the Green Lanterns are taken down too. As the League battles Deathstroke and loses, Diana continues her fight for both a physical and moral victory against Thanatos. And in Africa, Cyborg, last of the League, falls against Deathstroke. Seeing the League defeated, the refugees and war tribes alike scatter, running in all different directions.
Thanatos appears to stand triumphant above Wonder Woman, his sword pressed into her neck. But he cannot kill her. Ironically, his battle with her has given her back her inner peace. Wonder Woman wakes up and demands that Flash takes her back to Africa. Within moments, they arrive, Wonder Woman using the momentum from Flash to careen into Deathstroke, defending her friends.
But her friends are fine. It was all a ruse. The “defeat” of the League was necessary to scare the locals back to where they came from. They’re still left with the problem of what to do about the conflict. Cyborg finally lays it down for them. Humans have been at war since the beginning and ultimately, the League cannot be responsible for changing people’s natures. And the League would just have to accept that.
And thus with the conflict over, the League goes on about their lives. Simon has lunch with Superman. Almost. He ends up having an entire conversation with himself and walks away. Jessica confronts Selena Kyle about her kiss with Batman. Turns out, Selena is fine with it.
Batman trains with Cyborg and Superman, explaining why he put Cyborg in charge. He’s hoping that they’ll be at the League’s first meeting in the new Justice Hall (hopefully you read Dark Nights Metal). Superman isn’t entirely sure they can continue as a League, but Batman is sure they can…and must.
And so we continue what we witnessed in the first few pages of this issue…Jessica Cruz, alone in the Hall of Justice. Vixen shows up with coffee, but no one else is there. Nobody from either the JLA or the Justice League has arrived. The League finally appears to be over. But in a beam of light, the League teleports in, asking if she wants to come with them. Apparently, there’s a new threat.
What Just Happened?
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Ultimately, if Christopher Priest wants the League to learn anything, it’s this. They can’t fix the world’s problems. They may be strong, they may be able to fight against massive threats, but they cannot save humanity from itself.
Christopher Priest is leaving this series upon the conclusion of this issue and I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. There’s been some major problems with some of his stories (the opening issue is still pretty bad), and unfortunately, it feels like we didn’t really get much in the way of development for the League. The feel in the same place as they did starting out.
In fact, this issue, in particular, feels like it’s only there to set up the new “No Justice”, but if you read Dark Nights Metal, you already know about the Hall of Justice, so what was the point, exactly?
And maybe that’s the biggest problem I have with this issue. I felt like filler. Wonder Woman’s struggles didn’t feel like there was any real danger. In fact, it didn’t really seem to have a good reason why she had her epiphany. Unfortunately, this goes along with Priest just wanting us to accept what he shows us without providing any sort of in-universe justification.
Still, the issue isn’t a bad one. I do really enjoy the one scene with Cyborg where he gives us our moral lesson (although the fact that everything boils down to a single monologue is another problem I have). I think it’s an important lesson for anybody.
Simon’s lunch with Superman is hilarious. He’s been obsessing over it for so many issues and he finally snaps, having an entire conversation essentially with himself. I can only imagine how much Superman was laughing on the inside. And Jessica Cruz (who’s one of my favorite characters in DC) confronting Selena was great. Turns out, Selena is a little more open-minded than Jessica is. It was just a kiss, after all.
And with that, we say goodbye to Priest. I can’t say I’ll miss his stories, but I will admit he started to grow on me and probably made me think more than any other comic in recent time. And thanks to him, I may have to go pick up some Deathstroke TPB’s.
Final Thoughts: Priest bids farewell as the League is all set to take up residence in the new Hall of Justice. It’s supposed to be an ending filled with the promises of tomorrow, but it feels hollow, almost as if this isn’t the ending Priest wanted, but it’s the ending we get to set up No Justice.
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