Art by: Mike Manley
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 15, 2015
I have to admit it right off the bat, I was not necessarily looking forward to this issue. With this Convergence Event, Eric and myself got to pick the issues we wanted to review...this was one of the leftovers. So, I took one for the team and JLI landed on my review list. Guess what? I'm really glad it did. Why? Let's find out...
This issue starts unlike most of the other Convergence tie-ins...with a cool, under the dome, action scene. Yep, a non super powered Justice League International fighting Metallo and his army of metallic men. Awesome! In Metropolis, technology rules and there is plenty on display. Blue Beetle is in his Bug (again...awesome) and Red Tornado, who has had his tech "adapted", are kicking ass, but so are Fire, Ice and Captain Atom. The later three don't have their powers, but hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid. Check out both Atom and Fire for proof positive of that. The fight ends with the League on top, but on top of what? We never even found out what Metallo was after and I'm not sure there was anything...I think he might have been going through the motions.
Whatever it was, there are repercussions from the fight. Beetle's arm is broken, but so is the Bug and a good chunk of downtown Metropolis. This is where the issue shines. I don't know if there is a better issue in showing how the heroes deal with life under the dome. It's not just the loss of superpowers (which this issue does well too), but the loss of resources that is stressed here. Ron Marz does a great job and picked a great hero as his main character...Blue Beetle.
Blue Beetle never had super powers, he's a tech guy. So, he should be having a grand old time, right? Not really. He's struggling to keep everything going and I don't only mean the JLI tech. Nope, he is having problems being the leader of the League. In the best moment of the issue, him and Martian Manhunter discuss what's worth fighting for and Beetle admits he's way over his head and doesn't know what to do. Then the dome goes down.
With the League's powers restored, they have to decide whether or not to do what Telos has ordered them to do. Beetle has reservations, but he doesn't get much time to express them because they are suddenly confronted with an ominous group of heroes from Kingdom Come.
You can tell me until you turn blue that this issue is all setup, but I don't care. Ron Marz gives readers the best characterization of any Convergence title I've read so far. Sure, we've seen heroes struggling under the dome, but most are sad sacks upset for their own selfish reasons. In this issue, Blue Beetle feels so real and stressed in a way that makes you want to reach into the page and give him a hug...in a manly way.
Speaking of a Manley way (transitions, people), I love the way Mike Manley drew this issue. Like the script, it's all about character(s). Everything and everyone looks so good and I love the way he draws the stressed world under the dome.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue came out of nowhere and proved that even in a huge action packed event, character rules out in the end, Ron Marz uses the dome and it's circumstances to show the real characters beneath the costumes and it pays off big time. If these characters don't survive, I will be genuinely upset at losing them. I wouldn't have guessed I'd be saying that in a million years. Even if you don't like anyone on this team, check out this book. It's really good.