Riding off the heels of San Diego Comic Con, the name Justice League is on the lips of virtually everyone. Make no mistake this isn’t a post dedicated to the recent special footage shown at Comic Con, but seeing the Justice League in brief live action, then noticing that the current writer for Justice League is famous for bringing a “cinematic” approach to comics. Even though Hitch isn’t the artist, last issue proved that Tony S. Daniel can step into that style when needed. With the eyes of the world, let’s see how Hitch and Daniel follow up from a bombastic second issue. Warning, there be spoilers ahead. Ye have been warned.
After a bombastic opening issue with no clear explanation as to why the villains being labeled as the Kindred are attacking the Earth, this issue is centered around exposition. Don’t be mistaken, Hitch takes the time to still give readers gigantic moments, but it’s a sharp stop from the full throttle of the first issue. I don’t see this as negative aspect, it’s almost impossible to keep up the high pace before a reader will ultimately become tired of that pace. Hitch slowing the story down allows readers to catch there breath and absorb the brief amount of information that is given. Smart move on Hitch’s part.
However the scene on the Watchtower, where the Justice League discussed the nature of their current problem. The dialog felt extremely stiff, with no flavor for personality of the characters on the page. I understand that information of the plot needs to be told in a way to readers can digest in a easy manner, but when the characters themselves sound alike instead of the unique individuals they are it’s a slight problem for me. Even though Hitch’s dialog felt stiff during that particular sequence, there were two standout character moments that makes this current iteration of Justice League, different from what Geoff Johns did. Since the current version of Superman is not the New 52 Superman (confusing I know) I did enjoy that Hitch has Batman reach out to him.
While it’s easy to portray Batman as someone who doesn’t trust anyone. While I didn’t actually see much of the relationship between New 52 Batman and Superman, it’s easy to see that similar to previous bonds it’s one built on respect. Seeing Batman actually not immediately trust this new Superman because he’s the friend he knew. It makes Batman come off as a bit more human than his typical brooding self. It balances well with Batman’s pragmatism and his own personal feelings,which makes the final scene that much more powerful. Forcing Batman to accept this new Superman in replace of his friend is a bit heart breaking. Hopefully once Superman properly joins the Justice League this will be explored further down the road.
This is far from Jessica Cruz’s first rodeo with the Justice League, but with her new status as a Green Lantern it’s a new role for her to adjust to. Seeing Jessica being taken over by her own inner doubt and inability to formulate proper constructs, only to overcome it and save the city. It’s a small condensed moment, similar to her current arc in Green Lanterns but to see Hitch take the time to give her a moment like this will only help her character going forward.
Despite Tony Daniel blowing my mind with the first issue, his art for issue two was a bit more rough. The first half of the comic still has the flare from the previous chapter, including those Hitch esque panels but once the comic becomes purely about exposition the detail in Daniels line work become less apparent. Body proportions are changing from panel to panel (namely Cruz and Wonder Woman). Given the fact that these books now have to ship bi-weekly doesn’t surprise me but it’s noticeable enough for me to ponder if a different artist or not. Even during Daniel’s better half of the issue I had one storytelling problem where it was intercutting between Simon and The Flash and it was difficult to tell as to what exactly is occurring. Are the Flash and Simon emitting some weird energy to stop the Kindred, or did the Kindred stop themselves, it wasn’t exactly made clear and that’s a storytelling problem.
Justice League was a bit of a drop off from the first issue, there are still plenty of aspects that both Hitch and Daniel understand what makes the Justice League great within the context of the DCU, there were just to many technical flaws for me to enjoy this issue. Hopefully issue three resumes the quality from the first issue.
Justice League #2 earns a 3/5