Justice and Revenge

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #9
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Felipe Watanabe

The man from Monster Valley’s plan is not as crazy after all he just kind of jumps around like an animal and can’t even kill one of his family members after the Justice League intervene. At first I was dissapointed by that but I liked how the League (led by Batman) taught him justice is better than revenge. They are the Justice League after all. It was a decent issue although I wish there were more moments of discussion between team members because Orlando seems to excel at that.

The Man From Monster Valley Surprise

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #8
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Felipe Watanabe

I enjoyed how this JLA team is really in the spotlight and are becoming almost celebrities. I am forever interested in how the news media treats superheroes in the DC Universe and I am glad that Steve Orlando has brought this to the more “grounded” Justice League team. The dynamics between team members and how they don’t always agree with each other’s actions or Batman’s leadership is why this is the better of the two Justice League books being published right now. The villain that is introduced in this issue is as fascinating as the cover says. I encourage you to read it, I won’t spoil the end like I usually do but let’s just say I did not see that coming. Monster Valley is not really explained well in this issue though, where did this place even come from?

Justice League of America 4 – 7

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #4
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Ivan Reis

Lord Havok and the Extremists are defeated and Kravia is free to build a new country on their own terms. Orlando is subtly making a point about America’s interventionism but I am not sure it quite works here since the League (who stand in for America) don’t screw everything up the way the US does. Or maybe we just haven’t seen it happen yet? I was sad that this had actually nothing to do with Liberty Belle but some Captain America stand-in from Angor. It was cool to see Blue Jay again. I like how they make a good point that there is no way Lobo is meant to inspire anyone…Batman is up to something else he isn’t telling the League.

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #5
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Andy MacDonald

Steve Orlando sure knows his obscure DC History, the reporters at the Justice League press conference are reporters from all over the DC Universe and its history. I love it! Like I always say, more writers should be like Orlando and play with the toys they have been given them. Sure enough an obscure Wonder Woman villain is even the villain in this comic as the League fights Nikos Aegeus who has taken over a bankrupted city. It is cool to see a good use of the Ray’s power. Orlando is good at that, the last issue he actually used Vixen’s powers well.

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The Return of Liberty Belle?

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #3
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Diogenes Neves

Okay this was a huge improvement from the last issue, I am not sure if it was the scripting or the art but hats off to the creative team. In this issue, Havok united the coutnries around Kravia in his fight against the Justice League who each take on a member of the Extremists. The Ray even manages to convince one of them to change sides it looks like. The interesting thing is that the Extremists are shown to actually believe they are doing the right thing just like many villains in the real world. I think Orlando has the ability to make some great statements on world politics and I imagine that is why he chose to open this series with this arc. The final page confused me…why is Batman carrying a shield that looks like it belonged to Liberty Belle? Is this a DC Rebith – JSA crossover? I sure hope, but I could be totally wrong.

Suicide Squad Rebirth 1 – 13

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Suicide Squad (Volume 5) #1
Written by Rob Willaims
Art by Jim Lee and Jason Fabok

Suicide Squad returns post-Rebirth with the exact same line up as the movie. Coincidence? I think not. I can’t say this was Jim Lee’s best work. I usually like his artwork (If not his choices for costumes *cough* Huntress * cough) but this seemed unpolished somehow or rushed. That being said, it was an interesting start as the Suicide Squad is sent to Russia to retrieve a Cosmic object of importance by Amanda Waller and they nearly die while dropping to Russia from space. I question how it is that Harley is living it up in Brooklyn in her own series yet somehow is in jail here? In the back up story, we focus on Deadshot and it looks like his daughter from the movie is being retconned into the main DCU. At least I know he did not have a daughter Pre-Flashpoint. Maybe she existed in the New 52, I don’t know.

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Suicide Squad (Volume 5) #2
Written by Rob Willaims
Art by Jim Lee and Ivan Reis

In this action-packed issue, the Suicide Squad helps a girl named Hack escape from her prison cell and she turns them into digital information to warp to where the cosmic item is – which turns out to be a sphere which acts as a portal to the Phantom Zone. And yes sure enough Zod escapes and it looks like he kills Captain Boomerang. Is he dead again? We shall see I guess. The back-up story focuses on Captain Boomerang as he tells a fake origin to Amanda Waller. It was good fun.

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Looking For More

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #2
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Filipe Watanabe

This new Justice League of America continues their fight with Lord Havok and the Extremists in this issue as they take over an entire country called Kavia. In the end, it looks like they can’t fight further without creating an international catastrophe but they resolve to do so anyways. It was decent but nothing that got me too excited. I guess I want something more from a team with such an interesting group of characters. I will say that a lot happens in this issue. It sure is action-packed and not decompressed. But I can’t say I thought it was that great or that bad. It was just ok and I wanted more than ok.

 

American Heros

Justice League of America (Volume 5) #1
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Ivan Reis

While the main Justice League series is ok at best, the first issue of this new “America” centered team just hit it out of the park for me. The return of the City of Vanity from the Aztek comcis. Yes! The return of the Secret Sanctuary. Yes! The return of Ryan Choi! Hell yes. Not to mention this team doesn’t call each other by their secret identities in the field at all. I can’t say that I like Ryan’s new Legends of the DCU inspired costume but beggers cannot be choosers I guess. He gets a lot of “screen time” in this issue which is fantastic  because I missed him and I hated that they had him kille Pre-Flashpoint. Was he then somehow brought back to life by Dr. Manahattan? It will be interesting to see how this whole Rebirth stuff turns out. This was a great start to what looks to be an incredible Justice League book in both writing and art. The only thing that confuses me is if Batman wanted to build a team of “human” down to earth heroes why did he pick Lobo to be on the team? Also, Lobo kills people right so what are Batman’s motivations for having him around. Also is Batman on both Justice Leagues now?