Justice League #19
The longer Bryan Hitch has to tell a story the greater the odds it will unravel before its conclusion. The Timeless storyline started off promising, but the fifth chapter continues the relentless spiral of confusion. This time not even Fernando Pasarin’s stunning art can save it.
Superman and Batman are left to face the true threat of this arc, Molly, who is now supercharged and ready to eliminate the world of everyone with powers. Hitch doesn’t make that goal especially clear since he has Molly doing an extended monologue for half the issue.
Strangely, Superman and Batman don’t point out Molly’s hypocritical stance since now she has powers herself. By the end of the issue, the unstoppable Molly does a lot of posturing and shooting off power blasts that ultimately mean very little.
Meanwhile, the rest of the League is working through the time stream to reunite while The Infinity Building crew works to help stabilize time… maybe. Hitch isn’t entirely clear on their objective let alone explaining their significance to readers who are unfamiliar with this trio. Overall, the dialogue is clunky and overly wordy with Hitch still struggling to appropriately capture Superman and Batman’s voices. That’s a problem when they’re the main focus of the issue.
Hitch’s plotting and overly complex dialogue don’t do Pasarin any favors this issue. The Molly/Superman showdown lacks a big fight feel as it’s just panels and panels of energy waves and explosions. That sequence aside, Pasarin’s work remains strong. If there’s a reason to continue seeing this arc through it’s all due to the art team of Pasarin, inker Matt Ryan and Brad Anderson’s terrific color work.
This arc had a lot of promise, but Hitch isn’t developed enough as a storyteller to deliver on these epic set-ups. As we’re approaching the two-year mark with the title, Hitch has failed to create compelling and engaging stories featuring the world’s greatest heroes. It’s time for DC to start considering moving in a different direction with its flagship title.
Rating: 5 out of 10