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.

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?

Freedom Fighters 8 and 9

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Freedom Fighters (Volume 2) #8
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art by Travis Moore

This book was just as beautifully drawn and written as  I remembered it being. I have been a huge fan of the Freedom Fighters since Palmiotti and Gray did their first miniseries with them. I am sad they aren’t around anymore because we could really use these characters during this awful period in US history. DC if you are reading this I would love to write a Freedom Fighters book for you! Anyways, in this issue the team mourns the loss of Firebrand while the President tells Uncle Sam and Miss America he is sadly going to have to cut any government funding to the superhero team. I love the statement Uncle Sam makes about Superman can’t just stand for the American Way in the modern world he stands for the whole human race. Who knew Palmiotti and Gray would get me to respect this character so much.

Freedom Fighters (Volume 2) #9freedom_fighters_vol_2_9
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art by Travis Moore

This is sadly the final issue of this short lived book that I loved! In this issue the team disbands after the government cuts their funding. We see Black Condor bust a meth lab (why did Travis Moore draw all the people in the lab as being in their underwear? Is that normal in Meth labs?) and the team go on one last adventure which at the end of the government takes the Human Bomb into custody. This is left on a cliffhanger. Was this ever resolved somewhere?