It’s the Justice League vs. Themyscira’s version of Satan! In Robert Venditti’s wrap up to the “Cold War” story arc, the Justice League is essentially trapped in with an ancient — and nearly forgotten — god, and they may only get out with the Spectre’s help. Unfortunately, the Spectre is separated from his human host and making everyone on Earth lose their minds with rage. Is the only way to resolve things to have folks make peace and forgive? The answer is yes — sort of.
This issue looks fabulous, with Eddy Barrows on art with Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on colors. The characters look great, the layout design is as sharp as the details in the lines, and the proportions are fabulous. To see a giant god fight Batman, who is about as big as a finger on this dude, is incredible. The finer details work well to capture the size and scope of this beast. The cutaways to the outside world where folks are killing each other helps break up the action and raise the stakes, too.
As conclusions go, this issue has a great message we can all be reminded of that pays off the squabbles between the characters in an earlier issue. Superman didn’t warn anyone he was coming out with his secret identity and some teammates had resentment around that. Venditti uses that to help curb the relationships of the characters, remind us they are human, and also remind the reader we shouldn’t hold onto things, but be open with each other. This also gives the story arc a bit more meaning and purpose as these characters truck on with their team and solo books.
I will admit, it does seem a bit unbelievable that these characters, who have been fighting alongside each other for decades, need a lesson like this. They fight entities and aliens so impossible to fathom — you’d hope holding on to resentment would be something they automatically get past! The narrative is also a bit slow and it’s pretty clear the story is decompressed to a lot a story that may have been stronger in a two-issue dose.
This issue does a good job establishing this story arc as meaningful for both the characters and the readers. The notion of letting go of resentment is a huge one most of us need to be reminded of, and it’s nice to see messages like this in our superhero comic book stories.
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