Batman overcompensates for losing the Totality to Luthor and his Legion of Doom, while Hawkgirl and a Justice League contingency find a shock waiting for them on Thangar Prime in yet another jaw-dropping issue of Justice League by writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV and artists Jim Cheung and Stephen Segovia.
It’s a shock that even had me scratching my head, but will cause Hawkgirl, Green Lantern (John Stewart) and The Martian Manhunter to have headaches as the promise of said shock soon sours and turns bad. Leading to a further shocking revelation at the end of the book that certainly would explain why this is only the first part of a story entitled ‘Escape From Thanagar’.
Opening this issue up, I was blown away by the return of Jim Cheung, but that moment of initial excitement didn’t last too long. All of two pages. But glorious pages nonetheless as Cheung delivers a Superman that really looks like bullets would bounce off his solid form, and a decaying Starman (Will Payton) with a vast power inside his head. But, upon witnessing the art of Stephen Segovia, I was not too disappointed. His first splash page alone – a depiction of Thangar Prime enveloped by the vast majesty of an orbiting spacestation-cum-protective shell, The Raptor Superstructure – proved him worthy to draw a flagship book that has not yet had a dull moment or a dull issue as the combined forces of Earth’s meta-human community continue to do battle against the oncoming universal onslaught foreshadowed since Dark Night: Metal. A series often referred to in this book.
Of course, great colour work by Tomeu Moray and Will Quintana helps create a false sense of security when we visit Thangar (Qunitana over Segovia’s art?) with an atmosphere of brightness and hope, even when the Thangarian cops are present to keep an eye on things. After all, as I learnt, Thangar Prime is the primo planet upon which the universes secrets are stored. Hmmm, all those secrets and all in one place. I can’t see that being the greatest of ideas, can you?
But what makes this book something more than your average team book is the relationships and Snyder and Tynion’s ability to pull back from the widescreen action synonymous with this book and refocus our attention on this quieter moment. Or, in many cases, those brief moments of respite between each call to action. And on Thangar, at least for some time, the titanic trio are able to do just that.
Superheroics are all well and good, but the superhero soap operatics are important, too. I want my two dimensional superheroes to live and breath and Snyder and Tynion are deft hands at this. Yes, Snyder gets Batman. After all the stories he’s told, of course he would. But, he also gets Superman, Wonder Woman and all the others, too. And that makes for a comic that encapsulates all that’s great and good about these iconic characters.
Another ramped-up, amped-up corker of a comic and my favourite team book on the shelves today. Hands’ down. And out now, from DC Comics.