It has been just over a year and five months since this story arc began, but today we finally get a conclusion. How can the JLA stop Rao, a god who siphons energy from his pupils? More importantly, is it good?
Justice League of America #10 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The full summary reads:
The League members in the ancient past catch up with those in the present, and the whole future is at stake! The League thought they had beaten Rao, at great personal cost, but his final solution for the people of Earth is far more than even The League can stand against.
Why does this book matter?
Bryan Hitch knows how to raise the stakes and that’s evident from his work in the last year on all the DC books he’s touched. Rao is basically an ancient version of Superman who gains powers from people, which is an intriguing premise. With an army of Kryptonians in tow how the heck can the Justice League stop him? We find out here!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Give em the good stuff dad!
Tony Bedard writes the script for this issue, with pencils by Tom Derenick and colors by Jeremiah Skipper. Considering how much has to happen in this issue to reach a conclusion, as well as key information delivered that may be pertinent later, the story arc closes out nicely. Essentially this issue offers up a reduced power Superman army against the Justice League, which allows the more powerful heroes to stretch their legs and Batman to don a pretty cool mech in the process. There’s a lot of fighting in this issue (really it’s not much more than a fight comic), but there’s a clever use of time travel that you won’t want to miss.
The fighting is fun though there isn’t much new to what you get here. Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman do their usual thing. Cyborg and Batman get the mech suits, which is a fun sequence that allows Derenick to draw some sky battle panels; the chaotic nature of the battle is quite nice as Derenick stuffs every panel with multiple characters.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The art does look rushed at times though with background characters not much more than smudges. The plot moves at a fast clip and the layouts seem to rush along too. You won’t find yourself wanting to linger long on pages.
The weakest element of this issue is Rao himself. For a character who has been built up and made nearly impossible to stop he sure does a lot of nothing in this issue. It’s easy to miss due to the chaos of the battle, but Rao literally does nothing more than float along, then gasp in anger as he witnesses Batman’s plan come to fruition. Because of this – and a rather hasty action a certain character takes that’s been telegraphed for ages – you’ll be left wishing there was a more fitting end for the villain. It’s an unfortunate end to a character who had so much promise.
Attack of the smudges!
Is It Good?
Does this issue wrap things up and set up an element or two for future stories? Yes. Does Batman come up with a killer plan that’s intriguing? Yes. Does the entire production feel hastily put together and the villain given a unsatisfying end? Oh ya. Altogether this is a fun issue that’s good, but not great.
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