Hold on a sec…the Weapon’s Master is back??? I guess the DC reboot hasn’t forgotten everything that made the Dan Jurgens run of the Justice League so good! In fact, it was issue #61 of the Justice League that featured the Weapon’s Master from April of 1992 that birthed my love of comic books.
Much to my dismay however, the Weapon’s Master is neglected the spotlight and used more as a comic relief, along with Flash and Green Lantern’s bantering over who plays who in the old “good cop-bad cop” routine. But Wonder Woman never misses a beat with her ever-so-subtle entrances to help calm the storm.
Meanwhile, Supes, Bats, and Cyborg take on a riot at Arkham Asylum, seemingly started by the notorious villain, “The Key.” Apart from Bruce Wayne’s text to Clark Kent about his dinner plans, this a much more angst driven fight, filled with the kind of gothic sensibilities that follow Batman like a plague.
However, hovering in the shadows is the crippled author, David Graves who mysteriously disappeared and now walks with a super powered metal suit (so it would seem) attacking Colonel Steve Trevor and forcing him to reveal the secrets of the JL Satellite base. From author to potential arch villain? From respected JL fan to revenge driven old man? This I gotta see!!!
There’s an interesting juxtapose coming out of #9; Graves is shown being an expert on the Justice League, having written multiple books on them and other super-powered phenomenons, and the book continually (and randomly) flashes back to each League member’s past, showing very stressful times in their lives that directly connected to their current situation as superheroes. Unlike last month’s installment, this issue is working on almost every level, providing us with some very cool story building elements. I’m going to make the educated guess that these flashbacks are both memories which haunt the League but also have to do with the knowledge Grave’s has in which he will use against the League within an issue or two. I wonder why Aquaman wasn’t included in the festivities though? Hhhhmmmmm…
One of the most terrifying moments in the book is when Graves shoots his doctor. It doesn’t matter that superheroes and villains have died of much more devastating causes due to supernatural, explosive, or cataclysmic events, the visual of a bullet to the chest and blood flowing out on the carpet seems to have a different and much more emotional impact. Would you agree?
I love Jim Lee, but am I the only one who sees his work as…unchanging? Comic books, especially the much more main stream ones, have gotten to a point where even their BEST artists follow a similar format when it comes to penciling. With Jim Lee, so many of the poses and stances each character has in THIS issue can be found in almost every issue Jim Lee has ever drawn. I love his work, don’t get me wrong, but due to its unevolving nature, I find myself enjoying the artwork of Amanda Conner, Francis Manapul, and others that tend to keep their style fresh and unique.
And of course, a secondary storyline involving Billy Batson and company comes to us right after Steve Trevor ends the Justice League section of the book, being forced to do something that Wondy will, most likely, whoop his butt for! Billy is having to endure being apart of a family he never wanted in the first place, a school that seems to be against him, and anger issues he should probably seek therapy for. But it’s all part of the plan for the upcoming change destined for little Batson. I’m enjoying the slow pace, I just wish it wasn’t in the Justice League book! I appriciate not feeling compelled to buy another title, but unless there’s an eventual connection Captain Marvel will have with the League, (Possibly replacing the uninteresting Cyborg???? pleaseohpleasohpleaseohplease…) I’d really like the Cap to have his own solo book.
And there we have it, issue #9! It’s a great read and an undeniably fantastic improvement on an already fun title. Three more issue to go before we hit the one year mark, and things are just starting to boil!
9 out of 10 stars