If you like big, bright, and action-packed superhero comics, there’s nothing like Justice League Incarnate coming out right now from the Big Two. The second issue comes out this week and further advances the exploits of a metaverse superhero team who hopes to keep it from breaking and killing all dimensions. That, and Josh Williamson and Dennis Culver have them go to the dark world of horror known as Earth-13. It’s gonna be a trippy ride.
And it is indeed a trippy ride, opening with the characters getting attacked in their home base by Parademons and with no time to spare rush off the Earth-13. Right out of the gate, this issue speeds right up as danger seems to loom at every turn. Things slow down on Earth-13, but even then the horror element is strong and there are many strange and weird creatures the characters encounter.
These scenes have a heavily inked look drawn by Kyle Hotz, which suits the Eart-13 horror element. The book doesn’t lose its brightness thanks to Hi-Fi’s colors, but even then they can’t penetrate the dark folds of cloaks and the skin of weird looking creatures. Like something straight out of Star Wars, the heroes end up having to navigate a weird bar with creatures they shouldn’t talk to or even look at. The adventure vibes are real with this one and it’s a fun turn to take in the narrative.
This leads to Williamson and Culver exploring magic, or more specifically the characters who dislike it. Magic is a fickle thing in the DC universe and you grow to understand it’s something not to be trusted.
Andrei Bressan draws the opening and a few pages before the finish. Their strength is putting attitude, and anger, on the faces of key characters. They also get the chance to show off a character design that’s familiar but also a bit new due to the Bat-centric character who is revealed. It’s a well drawn design thanks to the convincingly draped clothing and menacing body language.
There’s a certain point where casual readers may feel lost or left out. There’s no mistaking this book is for fans of the convoluted and giant universes of the Big Two who revel in knowing little details and references. That’s great if you’re a fan with an encyclopedic knowledge, but it does come off as vague and a touch confusing as the story goes on. Given the comics format, characters aren’t fleshed out quite enough to root for them unless you’re familiar with them from the past. That said, it’s hard to not enjoy the bonkers multiversal chaos of the story.
Another misstep of the issue is how the heroes are raced along each location and each interaction with a lack of heroic moments or action by them. They’re practically an audience to the events transpiring before them with little to no control over anything.
Paul Pelletier and Norm Rapmud draw the final pages along with a few in the middle which goes for incredible epic size and height before coming back down to earth by the end. The heroes are thrown for a loop and the danger literally towers over them, which juxtaposes well with the book’s shock ending. The final page is a good indicator things are going to get even crazier now that the heroes are spread across the multiverse.
Justice League Incarnate #2 immediately drops readers into chaos and then sends its heroes on an adventure only superheroes could endure. It’s an adventure that’s hard to resist, especially if you’ve read superhero comics your whole life. If you haven’t, you’ll likely feel a bit lost and left out, but this series isn’t for you!
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