Fucking Time Travel!
Art By: Bryan Hitch, Daniel Henriques, Alex Sinclair, Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 31, 2016
Okay, I'm going to try and explain this issue the best I can, but I'm telling you it's a pain in the ass with the amount of time travel that's going on here. First off, even though the last thing I remember of Flash and the Infinity Corporation was them being sent back to 1961, we start this issue with them apparently time shifting into Rao's cathedral, before the mad god actually ever came to Earth and started converting its populace. What this brings us to is Rao wanting to add these stones to his collection........... which to my surprise, Rao has similar stones, the Stones of Life. Now maybe it's because I'm a big ol' dummy or maybe because this issue has been delayed for so long, but I had no idea that the way Rao siphoned the life out of his worshipers were with stones similar to the ones that have been leaping the Infinity Corp throughout time. Before Rao can get all stone happy though, Flash and the crew from the Infinity Corp run back into their building and take back off to wherever the stones want to take them this time and for whatever reason this leads to Rao saying "Earth" and thus creating the reason this story exists......... Fucking Flash.
Back where we left our villain in the previous issue on Krypton 250,000 years in the past, it seems that Rao has imprisoned Hal Jordan for weeks now as he........ I don't know, soaks in all that nostalgic Krypton ambiance, but it's not all bad news bears here folks because apparently after hearing the future Rao drone on and on about how he gets shit done, the younger Rao thinks he's a douche nozzle. Too bad that his future self is way more powerful than him and has way more control over the Stones of Life because this pretty much means that our only godly savior is a little useless here.
In the end, we head back to our heroes, where after their fight with Rao we saw that Superman had died, but before Aquaman can move in on Wonder Woman, our Amazon takes her bolt of Zeus and plunges it into our Man of Steel and revives him. I don't know how much good it will do though because our team now have one Superman alive and active, but 250,000 years ago the future Rao now has access to a shit ton of Krypton warriors, who just love his ass, not to mention the Life Stones and the Forever Stones and since he's not used to being rejected our villain transports ancient Krypton to the present day Earth to lay a little whoop ass on our heroes and anyone who doesn't bend at the knee........... Weird part is, when Rao shows up it seems that the people of Earth are all about it, but in the previous issue I was pretty sure that the Justice League reversed the whammy that Rao put on everyone....... weird......... Hopefully with Hal flying off at the end of this issue after he got his ring to start working again it means that we'll get a little Green Lantern action in this book.
That's it for this issue of Justice League of America and it seems cruel as hell to throw this issue out after so long of a delay and expect people to know what's going on....... That being said though, this issue did allow all our loose threads to converge into one complete story....... it just had some trouble along the way. Yeah, I don't recall if we ever learned that Rao had Life Stones before this, but it certainly felt forced into this issue, not to mention Flash just showing up wherever it's convenient. Last I remember Flash was just chilling in 1961 for no apparent reason and now all of a sudden he's showing up a few days earlier in our story's timeline to tempt Rao into invading Earth........ so what I get from this is that we don't have anything for Flash to do and it's better to just throw him throughout time like he's some kind of Quantum Leaper, just not as interesting. Overall, I never really liked this story arc and I'm not a fan of Hitch's art........ nor am I a fan of things just happening because the book simply says they do, but even with all of this trash talk, I do have to admit that this did bring the story together and made a lot of what we dealt with already feel like it had more meaning. Is this a good issue? No, it's a convoluted mess, but if you've been invested in this series so far, it's a convoluted mess that you might just love because it gave a purpose to everything we've seen thus far.
Bits and Pieces:
While I really don't like this series and its over the top delays, making reading this thing even more painful because trying to remember what came before is a chore........ I have to say that this issue with its convoluted time travel nonsense actually brings a lot of things we've been dealing with in this series together. With that said though, I still don't care for the story or the art and having this issue come out of nowhere is like the killer in a horror movie showing back up once you thought he was dead to enact one final scare....... Hopefully the scares are over, but this series just refuses to die.