Geoff Johns’ Justice League, DC’s flagship team title, has seen a resurgence in recent months once all the madness with Forever Evil got over, Lex Luthor joined the team, and then the AMAZO virus broke out. I skipped the title for more than half the year in 2014, and only came back to it last month, wanting to know what was happening in the title, and also excited to see Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson take over as the artists on the issue. And it has been good actually, better than I expected, that’s for sure. The writing is great, the art is great, and that’s really all I wanted from the title during Forever Evil.
This past week’s Justice League #38 sees the only two uninfected members of the league take on the villain they consider to be Patient Zero for the AMAZO virus. Batman was around as well, but he did get infected towards the end of the issue, and now we deal with the fallout of all of that, even as we learn that duplicitous Lex Luthor had a yet another ace up his sleeve and that he’s still a manipulative bastard as ever, his membership into the League notwithstanding. This was a seriously good issue, and I’m definitely along for the ride.
Coming back to the title with this arc has proven to be quite an exhilarating experience. The writing matches that of what Geoff was turning out before Forever Evil happened and all the new things he was doing with Aquaman over in that character’s solo title before he moved on from it. And right now, despite my initial hesitation about Luthor being a part of the Justice League as a full member, I am definitely liking the overall scenario a lot more. Especially since Geoff has avoided some of the cliches and has actually shown how Luthor works alongside these same heroes on the same level as them and how he changes the entire dynamic of the core team, among other things.
The release of the AMAZO virus doing an assassination attempt on Luthor by parties unknown has caused all kinds of havoc for the world, and I delight in the experiences being generated by the heroes. There is so much uncertainty, what with most of the heroes laid down, except for Wonder Woman and Superman due to their own unique heritages, and so the good guys are even more short-handed than usual.
Hence, the whole thing with searching for the Patient Zero so that Luthor can device some kind of a cure that will stop the random mutations of “normal” humans and give the existing corps of metahumans a leg up in fighting the virus. But of course, this is Luthor we are talking about and over the last several issues Geoff has done some incredible work in fleshing out Superman’s nemesis. He strikes me as a really great villain, perhaps even an anti-hero, and I’m definitely in love with the new Luthor.
Then again, despite all the twists that the world’s greatest genius pulls out, the story still focuses on the good guys, and their fight against Patient Zero, who has manifested more metahuman abilities than any other afflicted patient. And that’s where the story climbed in my estimation. Batman struggling on despite getting infected, Superman and Wonder Woman fighting off Patient Zero, everything was on point and pretty much perfect.
And in addition to all the great dialogue and scene-setting, we end the issue on yet another cliffhanger twist, one that amplifies the threat of the AMAZO virus and basically puts the world on a clock-down.
Jason Fabok is the artist here with Brad Anderson on colours, Carlos M. Mangual on the letters and Jason and Brad on the cover itself. Putting aside the awesome cover for now, I really liked the artwork here. Jason has a big challenge here in portraying the high and mighty of the DCverse and he doesn’t disappoint with his fantastic designs and action scenes and the facial expressions on the characters. And the same thing goes for Brad’s colours, which too are fantastic. As Jason’s art packs so much energy, so do Brad’s colours pack a whole lot of awesome. Perfect contrasts, great mood-setting, and so on.
Loving the new direction on the book!