Art by: Thony Silas and Tony Avina
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: July 12, 2015
Up the Institute
I'll give props to J.M. DeMatteis and Bruce Timm for giving us a story that I never saw coming. This is the furthest from a Justice League book featuring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman than I could have imagined...and I'm loving it! One of the biggest reasons is the Forever People. I'm a fan of the team and having them in this book is like getting an extra treat you didn't expect...like an onion ring in your fries or two onion rings in your fries. I'm sorry, I'm hungry right now and was never known for my imagination. Anywho, I may love the Forever People, but I don't trust them. Neither does Superman and whether it's from a true concern or some deeper, more egotistical reasons, last issue ended with him looking for answers. Does he find any and does it make another kick-ass issue? Let's find out...
This week opens with Superman knocking on the front door of the Eternity Institute. Actually, he kind of runs straight into it's force field and after gathering his wits, is face-to-face with the Forever People. That's cool enough, but who is front and center with the team was crazy, sexy, cool...it's Bekka! Yep, Wonder Woman is already hanging with the Forever People and after some pleasantries, she dukes it out with Superman. That sounds awesome because it was. It was also a test setup by Jackson Alpert.
I love the way that DeMatteis is easing the Justice League together. Last issue we saw a tiny bit of friendship and respect between Superman and Batman and he does the same with Supes and Wonder Woman here. We also learn a bit more about Alpert and the Forever People.
It's no shock that Alpert isn't what he seems, but as of now, the Forever People are what you see is what you get. Bekka explains to Superman that anyone who is elevated from a common man to a New God is going to need time to adjust, but Superman doesn't buy it. Neither do I, but that's all shoved aside when Alpert offers Superman the Eternity Institute treatment and the opportunity to once again be alone at the top of the food chain. Superman's insecurity and ego are at it again.
Meanwhile, we peek in at Batman who is looking for answers of his own. He's followed some clues to San Francisco and shakes down a prominent businessman to get information on Jackson Alpert and Doctor Psycho. If you read Wonder Woman's origin story, then the mention of Doctor Psycho alone should have been pretty exciting, but put him in the same sentence with Alpert and you have my undivided attention.
The issue ends with trouble at the Eternity Institute. Superman is undergoing the upgrade process and Bekka's fears and protests may be very legitimate. Hopefully he comes out of this a little less douchey.
I enjoyed this issue even though it was mostly setup. DeMatteis is slowly peeling away the layers of Jackson Alpert and the Eternity Institute and what crazier way to show their intentions than putting Superman through the upgrade process. While we'll have to wait until next issue to see the results, the fact that Batman is willing to kill to find out information about Alpert is foreboding enough. Suggesting he has ties to Doctor Psycho is the icing on the cake that has me salivating for the next issue.
Thony Silas' art is again great even if there wasn't a lot of scenes that let him stretch his wings and fly. Besides the Superman/Wonder Woman fight at the beginning and a couple panels of Batman, this issue was pretty low key. Luckily, his character work was good even when said characters are sitting around talking.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue was a bit heavy on the setup, but watching Superman and Wonder Woman in the Eternity Institute and Batman looking for clues in San Francisco was still great. We are still far from seeing the Justice League, but the pieces of the puzzle are beginning to come together, even as the mystery of Jackson Alpert widens. Thony Silas continues nailing the art and as usual, I can't wait for next issue.