After the dramatic ending from the last issue of Justice League, it makes me wonder as a reader as to where Hitch takes the team from here. It’s also a bit sad that Jessica Cruz quit the Justice League so early without contributing any of real substance to the team. Yes I’m fully aware of extremely short stints on team books (looking at you Thunderbird), but Jessica’s personality provided something different than any other character before. Hopefully this issue will actually mention Jessica’s departure and not overlook it right? Also warning there will be spoilers going forward.
If you happen to miss the first seven issues and heard some positive words about the series, but you’re worried that you’ll be completely confused because it’s issue seven and not issue one? Hitch wrote this chapter as if it we’re the first issue in the series, yes there is a reference to the Kindred from the first arc, but by in large new readers can jump right in without feeling lost or confused as established readers. I am a bit disappointed that Cruz’s departure isn’t mentioned at all, it almost makes that moment of her walking away has considerably less impact, perhaps Hitch intends to bring it up later on in the arc, but it won’t take the sour taste from my mouth that she wasn’t mentioned for this issue.
Not only did this issue read like a fresh start but I do admire that Hitch drops both Batman and Cyborg into an unknown situation without explanation was pure action and despite the fact that this book is called Justice League I enjoyed the focus being on Batman and Cyborg only, It allows the issue to have a tight focus and get across whatever story Hitch has planned. It sets the stage for the threat that the Justice League will be facing. We as readers know that the heroes in these comics are fully capable in most situations and it’s very difficult to put them into dangerous situation with any stakes.
While that isn’t resolved seeing Batman destroy his “toys” and Cyborg deal with an internal hacking of his operating system put both characters out of their comfort zones and think fast before any real danger could befall the people they were protecting. It makes these heroic characters show that it’s not the high tech or the armor that make heroes but their own ability to act quick to save others. I know that’s cliche but I feel that to many writers don’t do enough to get this point across and just rely on superficial abilities and not the true nature of the characters to tell epic stories.
Despite the fact that Hitch has left most of this issue as ambiguous as one can get, I find really interesting that Hitch focused on the death of Diane Palmer the only reported death in the Kindred attack. My inner DC sense wants to believe that this is connected to the Atom considering the last name but I’m gonna put that in the highly unlikely pile. I did enjoy the inner monologue concerning the death of Diane Palmer and reassures the notion that despite the “victories” it’s never enough and you can’t save everyone, a concept I don’t think needs to be said every issue but it brings the right amount of realism to the world of comics.
Neil Edwards pencils this issue and once again it’s either Hitch or the editors at DC who want artist who can draw similar to Hitch. Almost every panel for the first half of the issue had a set piece moment that would roll over into the next page. Given that this issue is high on action Edwards art fit perfectly, his facial expressions were a tad bit exaggerated but it’s that’s more of a nitpick than anything else.
Yes Justice League didn’t discuss the departure of Jessica Cruz still doesn’t sit well with me but I enjoyed the groundwork that Hitch and Edwards laid down for this arc. Trust me when I say this, issue eight of Justice League is a near perfect jumping on point try this issue out and see if you want to read on.
Justice League #8 earns a 4/5