Art by: Matthew Clark, Tom Derenick,Sean Parsons, Trevor Scott, Ariano Lucas and Richard
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 5, 2016
Justice League has been a complete and utter mess! I really have hated this book since Rebirth and if you asked me to pick an early Christmas present it would be to get some new faces working on what should be DC's biggest book. That said, this issue starts a new arc, State of Fear, and with that comes hope of something good, if not better. So, does Bryan Hitch right the ship and set course to better seas? Let's find out...
The issue starts with Batman and the rest of the Justice League scared. Not worried, not concerned...they are shit-your-pants terrified! We don't find out exactly what is causing the fear and after not getting any answers about anything in the first five issues of this series, you would think I'd be angry, but I wasn't. Unlike Hitch's previous story, this beginning is intriguing and I want to see where it goes. Mark my words, though, if it's another dead end story then I AM OUT!
After seeing the League incapacitated by their fear, it was pretty cool to see Jessica step up and save the day by showing everyone how to conquer it. It all happens pretty quickly (too quick?) and before you can blink, the cleanup is done and our heroes are all going their seperate ways. Superman heads home for dinner, Cyborg invites Simon to a football game, Aquaman asks Wonder Woman for some "help" (he is a creeper!) and best of all, Jessica asks Barry out on a date! I was one of those who thought the whole Jessica-Barry thing that Hitch pushed at the end of last issue was hokey and forced, but here it actually feels good.
The issue continues with Superman at home with Lois and Jon, Jessica and Barry getting ready for their date and Batman brooding at the mansion. Everything seems fine and I especially like seeing Barry nervous for his date, but then things go bad. I'm talking about "biggest fears" type of bad. Jessica's date with Barry goes horribly wrong, Batman can't seem to get in contact with Nightwing and Superman suddenly starts thinking all his problems stem from Batman.
It's pretty obvious that the fear that infected them at the beginning of the issue is still at work here, but what isn't obvious is if anyone will be able to make it right before things get way out of control. If not, this problem could get deadly very quickly!
This is a very fast read, but stacked against the rest of the Justice League issues we've gotten since Rebirth started, this is easily my favorite. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it's good and that's what I've been waiting for. I'm glad that Hitch realized that everything doesn't have to be a global threat to cause trouble for the League because I liked the start of this story and what it means for the team now and in the future.
Matthew Clark and Tom Derenick share art duty on this issue and I liked what they gave us. It's a more subtle issue concentrating on character over spectacle and Clark and Derenick make sure to stress that in the art as well.
Bits and Pieces:
Bryan Hitch slows things down and concentrates on his characters and I liked the results. It's more personal than the global threat the League just faced and that makes it all the better. In fact, this is my favorite Bryan Hitch Justice League issue so far and I hope that's something I can keep on saying in weeks to come.