Two proper issues of Justice League from Bryan Hitch and Tony Daniel brought us two very different types of comics. I won’t waste time recapping what both issues did differently as you can read my reviews on them yourself. With the release of this third chapter it seems that Hitch might be settling into a pattern with how he wants to structure Justice League going forward, as he’s still adjusting to writing for a premier book like Justice League, it’s vastly improved but I like seeing continuous progression. So let’s see where Hitch and Daniel take us time around. Also spoilers are to follow, you’ve been warned.
Once I was put this issue down, I began to understand what sorta story that Bryan Hitch wants to tell with the Justice League. Even though last issue was heavy with exposition that really didn’t explain much of anything, this issue instead felt more like the first chapter but with a touch of silver age DC. Seeing four large humanoid creatures with various powers of the Justice League calls back to early days of the Justice League with them fighting giant tree monsters or Starro, obviously Hitch and Daniel obviously mix the classic silver age feel with giving the Kindred an ominous design and lack of any proper explanation of the nature of their existence. It’s not Grant Morrison level of weirdness but it’s nice to see a call back to Justice League villains of old.
What doesn’t shock me is Bryan Hitch’s ability to understand the Man of Steel, the best character scenes for this issue centered around Superman saying goodbye to his family before taking on a seemingly impossible mission. It comes off as genuine and heartfelt,plus after the pure action rush that begins the issue this moment of Superman prepping to enter the Earth’s core allows readers to catch their own breath before the action can ramp up once again.
Tony Daniel returns to form with this issue of Justice League, with amazing double splash pages of Wonder Woman throwing the bolt of Zeus down one of the Kindred. It’s real striking image that sets the tone for the issue to follow. Since the writing for the most part was lighter than the previous issue it allowed Tony Daniel to tell most of the story with detailed facial expressions and great body language. Going back to the scene where Superman says goodbye to Lois and his son, the heartbreak on Lois’s face tells the reader all the need to know about her emotions. Even Superman himself with a slight hint of doubt that he can actually help given the situation that he might die and can’t be resurrected.
The only real criticism I have for this issue and it’s more a nitpick really given the nature of team books, but I wish that Hitch would have found some way to incorporate Aquaman into the fold. I understand that there are only twenty pages per chapter but seeing the rest other Justice League members have significant moments and Aquaman really do nothing that showcases why he’s part of the Justice League other than he’s the water guy. The arc isn’t over so perhaps he’s saving Aquaman’s “moment” once the JL have completely assembled. Other than that, both Hitch and Daniel recaptured the quality from the first issue. Outside of all that, it was an epic issue of Justice League.
Justice League #3 earns a 4/5