Sunday, October 12, 2014

Justice League United #5 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Jeff Lemire
Art By: Timothy Green II, Joe Silver
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 8, 2014

SHAZAM!...... Oops I Mean KEEWAHTIN!

Before we were interrupted by the Futures End event, we left our heroes coming back to Earth after saving the people of Rann.  It was a whole thing where Byth created a mega powerful baby based off of many species' genetics to rule the galaxy, but our heroes stopped him and it would appear that Martian Manhunter has somewhat adopted the child, whose growing at an alarming rate.  We had that, Hawkman dying saving the Rann people from an explosion and the Thanagarian people coming to claim their fallen comrade's body, but Hawkman never made it home because Byth broke in killing everyone so he could extract the Nth metal from our hero's body.  So not completely a victory on the JLU's first outing.  The big thing we were waiting for is Miiyahbin to become the hero Equinox and it looks like we're heading in that direction when Alanna and Mii's friend Heather went up against the Whitago trying to save Mii from the monster, but with the simple word Keewahtin the monster was dispelled and Mii and Alanna went to go get some answers from Mii's grandmother.  Okay that's enough catching all you up, let's get to the issue at hand.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with our heroes happy they decided to stay together and become the Justice League United, but all the celebrations have to be put on hold when Hawkman's transmitter goes off and the team suspects that something bad happened during the transport of his body.  Now we all know from reading Futures End and the beginning of this series that Hawkman regenerates and isn't big on the whole dying thing, but our heroes not knowing this decide that they need to investigate this tripped transmitter because........ Well I guess because it seems like the right thing to do.  I'd just chalk it up to a glitch or the Thanagarians fiddling with the body before burial, but it's time to go back into space and check it out.  Luckily the Rann people and Adam Strange are creepy as hell and were secretly monitoring our heroes and offer to teleport the team to the a space station where Hawkman's beacon is located.  Martian Manhunter puts Green Arrow in charge of the away team and Green Arrow, Supergirl, Stargirl and Animal Man head off into the stars to find their friend.  Now this part I don't really get.  Our heroes are transported to the space station and beyond a giant door that says "Professionals Only" Green Arrow says he hears something and wants Supergirl to look with her X-Ray vision.  Maybe Supergirl was just being polite and letting GA run the show, but shouldn't she have heard something first and looked without being told?  I don't know, it just seemed wrong when I read it.  Anyway the team opens the door and finds a barroom full of intergalactic bounty hunters and that's where we leave this leg of the story.

Okay now that we've taken care of most of the team, Martian Manhunter sends Alanna, who apparently is a part of the Justice League United now and it seems almost like a Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne thing from The Avengers.  I'm not saying I don't approve of her joining the team, I just thought I knew all the members when this book got started and at most she was just a girlfriend character only, not a bad ass with a jet pack and ray gun kicking ass and taking names.  I think I'm getting into this too much.  Just two Strange's on the team seems too strange.  I got off story here, Martian Manhunter sends Alanna to find out about Miiyahbin's powers and to investigate this Whitago thing, so the two head back to Mii's grandmother's house to get some answers.  We find out that Miiyahbin's family is a long line of protectors of the Cree land and people and their power is derived from the seven grandfathers that guide them and the seven pillars of Cree life.  Love, Humility, Bravery, Truth, Respect, Wisdom and Honesty.  Pretty much she shouts Keewahtin and becomes a superhero the way Billy Batson shouts Shazam.,  It gets pretty exposition heavy here where we find out that since Mii's the light half of Cree life, the dark half is The Whitago, who is actually Mii's supposedly dead father, who was taken over by the darkness when he was the protector of the Cree people.  I'm okay with the writing here, but I stopped and pictured Mii pulling a Luke Skywalker when she found out her father was the Whitago.  "No That's Impossible!"  Sadly no Star Wars references outside of my own head.

With Mii's new found knowledge, she embraces her new role as protector and goes out into the wilderness with Alanna to confront the Whitago.  Now at this point I was expecting a giant bad ass battle between the forces of good and evil, but what happened was so anticlimactic that I just wondered WTF?  The Whitago attacked Alanna and then Mii simply got the monster's attention and freed her father from the monster's darkness, then her father thanked her and evaporated, joining the grandfather's of the Cree nation.............. and that was all.  So Mii's now Equinox and the Whitago is gone, well at least for now.

In the end we head back to Martian Manhunter who is having a little one on one time with the Ultra toddler until the wall busts in and we see Mon-El from the Legion of Superheroes, who claims he's here to kill the child to save the lives of the entire Legion.  So that's a hell of a cliff hanger.

That's it for this month's Justice League United and besides for the non fight between Mii and The Whitago and Martian Manhunter being drawn in a strange way, it was an alright issue.  This title is just weird because even though I care about all the characters involved and really want this team to be something I can read about, I find myself bored with their stories together.  I don't know if everybody is just long winded or if I want a more Justice League vibe to the book or what, but I just find myself putting this book down and coming back to it later when I'm reading it.  Like I said, I love everything about the concept of this book, but for some reason it just doesn't hold my attention.

Bits and Pieces:

We finally get to see Equinox come into her own in this issue and become a member of the Justice League United and surprising we also get to see Alanna do the same thing.  The strange thing about this story arc is even though we just got the team out of space in the last issue, the majority of the team head back for another mission and it just seems like a odd choice.  Now the majority of the artwork was solid in this issue with the exception of Martian Manhunter who for some reason was going for a more Martian look this issue I guess, whatever it was I couldn't get behind it and it will probably give me nightmares now.  It's another good issue and I shouldn't have any complaints really, but for some reason I find myself being bored by the series and I don't understand how this could happen.  Go get it and read it, because it's a good team with a lot of potential and maybe I'll get on the trolley as the series continues.


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