Justice League of America #8
The JLA meet the monster man and nothing will ever be the same again?
Maybe that’s a stretch. It’s more of the same for the JLA. While one part shines the other underwhelms. In a nice change of pace it’s not the story. Writer Steve Orlando has gotten a better hang of juggling the team dynamics though I’m still unsure if Vixen, Black Canary or Batman is the team leader.
The team discovers Makson, the man from Monster Valley. After the JLA returns him to civilization, Makson starts taking back control of his life and a previously unknown fortune. Predictably, Batman’s not buying it for a second. Orlando works in some nice team conflict as half the JLA wants to believe Makson. The others know better than to bet against Batman.
If his work on Batman/The Shadow wasn’t a clue, Orlando really thrives in a mystery setting. The second half of the issue has a nice intense, pending sense of doom feel as Orlando slowly reveals the twist. It’s cleverly done and hopefully that’s an avenue he can continue exploring with this team.
Orlando is also improving on the team dialogue. The Lobo/Batman scenes still read awkward, but the rest of the team reads much improved.
This issue’s biggest hurdle though is Felipe Watanabe’s artwork. It’s a little too soft and rough on most pages. The characters are drawn too simplified in almost a cartoonish manner. The action scenes are cluttered and there’s a general stilted and clunky look throughout. The artwork really takes the issue down, which is unfortunate as Justice League never seems to get a quality story and art in the same issue. If Ivan Reis for example drew this issue, this could have marked an encouraging sign that JLA is ready to be a prime time title.
For now, it’s still a book largely getting readers due to its title, not so much the quality of the story and art within.
Rating: 5 out of 10