Justice League is back this week (read the preview) and it’s an opportune time to jump on, and not just because there’s a lack of comics. No, this is the first part of Robert Venditti’s “Monsters Within” storyline. In it, we witness the Justice League fighting ancient beasts, Wonder Woman being the center of attention, and Aquaman fighting to keep his people alive. It’s a fight comic through and through, sharply written and sharply drawn by Xermanico.
This book looks really good — similar in style to Bilquis Evely at times, with creative layout design to amp up the action. Xermanico draws some tightly detailed monsters straight from the history books. The heroes look great too and Batman even has a slick coat to add to the action figure companies’ to-do lists. This is about all you can ask for visually from a fight comic with a bunch of your favorite superheroes.
The story and character work are quite good too. Each character gets a moment to do something, play a part in the fight, and be a part of the issue. This is a classic depiction of the team but reminds us of recent events, like Clark revealing to the world his identity, proving that this team is tight-knit and well oiled. The final few pages play into their friendships and trust quite well. That’s informed by good teamwork and little off-hand comments to each other during the fight.
It all ends well, too. The cliffhanger is glorious, something fans of deeper DCU stuff shouldn’t miss, and it’ll be fun to see how this test plays out. Ultimately, this reads like a solid one-shot with a twist — the enemy is vanquished more or less and the setup secured — so I can imagine many will derive enjoyment from the narrative itself. The fact that the cliffhanger offers a delicious entree that’s slightly different is the icing on the cake.
Justice League #44 is good fight comics
Since it’s mostly a fight comic, it does feel quick. You can’t really know the work for this though, since the characters get into the fight, do the fighting, and get us into the cliffhanger before closing things out. Could there be more complexity to the enemy at hand? Sure, but that’s likely what the rest of the story arc is for.
I liked this issue and how it sets things up with a big fight sequence. The art is incredible and some of the best you’ll see probably for the entire month. If you like a smash hit of fight scenes with your favorite superheroes, don’t pass on Justice League.
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