Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Justice League #51 Review

Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Paul Pelletier, Sandra Hope, Adriano Lucas and Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 15, 2016

Here I am folks, my first review of the Justice League book ever.  EVER!  Eric usually reviews Justice League, but since I have taken it over for Rebirth, I asked if I could just start right here, right now and he said "YES!"  While I think that laziness might have played a factor, I thank him from the bottom of my cold, black heart.  Before I continue, though,  I probably should explain the differences between Eric and my reviews so that you long time Eric fans know what to expect.  The main difference is Eric spoils the shit out of his books and I do not.  If that forces you to actually buy this comic, I apologise.  Also, Eric tends to use  "..........." in his reviews, while I go with the more subtle "..."  Other slight differences include...Eric quotes Gremlins, I quote Bloodsport, Eric says "Boosh", I say "Swish", Eric writes his reviews for little, ten year old Eric Shea while I write my reviews for all you people out there.  What I'm really saying is that Eric doesn't care about you, but I do!  Enough said, on with the review... (By the way, "Very good...but brick not hit back" Swish!)

The issue opens with Superman punching Darkseid and it's crazy because of what's gone on in this book recently, but also just badass, crazy, sexy cool!  It's a flashback, but not as far back as you'd imagine because this issue takes place six months after the beginnings of the New 52.

After a very disturbing narration that is somewhere between Golem and a guy driving around in a panel van, we see that Batman forgot to tell the League that it was bring your sidekick to work day. Yep, Batman has brought Dick Grayson to the Watchtower and while it is pretty funny, Wonder Woman and Flash seem a bit out of character here.  Maybe I'm not taking into account the "newness" of their relationship, but it just felt a bit off,  It's not a big deal as we head off to Metropolis where Superman is fighting some unknown monsters.

As the rest of the League (including Dick) join the fight, the creepy narrator returns and it looks like he is after the League's "energy".  In the meantime, the team has to figure out how to fight these giant cybernetic wolves (?) and Batman figures out the best way is to punch the crap out of them, old school like!

That's fine and dandy...until a couple other big players enter the scene.  It all ties into their fight with Darkseid and how defeating him has caused an instability of space and time and is allowing things to "bleed through".  It kind of ties in with Rebirth in that way, right?

While all this is going on, we get a bit of a pep talk from Cyborg to Dick (is it just me or does this mess with your mind, timeline-wise?) and Dick proving that he can hang with the Justice League.  I actually really liked this scene, especially because it was one of the better scenes I've read with Cyborg in a while.

The issue continues with the League teaming up with one of the "invaders" and Cyborg fixing the problem that they had caused in the first place.  Well, I guess you can blame Darkseid as well, but he was just Darkseid being Darkseid.  It all ends with Batman telling his ward that one day, he'll lead the Justice League while the creepy narrator might seem very familiar to those fans of Titans Hunt and Titans going forward.

This is a one-shot issue that ends by telling you that it ties into Titans Rebirth and that's pretty thin Riggs, pretty thin.  However, I had a fun time reading it and since Abnett writes the Titans Rebirth (and Titans Hunt) book, you do get a little origin of that team's biggest problem.  If you are looking for anything big or significant, you'll probably leave disappointed.

One thing that didn't disappoint was Paul Pelletier's art.  He did a really good job with everything here and the panel layouts even mimic the art of regular artist, Jason Fabok.  It kind of looks like he had a little problem trying to nail down the look of Dick Grayson, but that could be the case of trying to figure out just how old to make him look and after all the craziness that's gone on, I can see where that could be a problem.  Whatever the case may be, the art was pretty damn good.

Bits and Pieces:

This was a one-shot Dick Grayson meets the Justice League issue that is not really necessary, but was fun nonetheless.  If you are a Titans (Hunt and Rebirth) completest, you may get a little more mileage out of this story, but I would recommend it for readers looking for some old school fun.



  1. Hey idk if you guys know but it came out a week early last week got it on the 8th on amazon

    1. I think you might have got it by was embargoed for review until the 15th

  2. I liked this issue so much. I really like Geoff Johns story and how it developed through the years, but one thing missing that I saw on JL51 (and also on the Hitch's JLA) is the interaction between the characters that make the story fun to read. Loved it (also, really liked to see Dick as Robin again, even in this flashback)

    1. I love seeing Dick as Robin and this was a lot of fun

  3. I heard a rumor that the dark figure at the end of Grant Morrison's Multiversity is one messing with time and could be the narrator in this issue.

    1. I don't think that the narrator was the Empty Hand like at the end of Multiversity #2 because it really seemed like that character was able to bitch slap every hero in the Multiverse, but I do believe that it's supposed to be the master of Mr. Twister at the end of Titans Hunt #8

  4. Jim,
    As a Titans and Grayson fan, I definitely got a lot of mileage out of this. I still resent the mucked up 5 year timeline, but the fact that Batman makes it clear where Dick is meant to be at the end of the issue was worth it. Because for the past 5 years we haven't received any real indication that Grayson is the natural born leader of the DCU that he should be.
    (That might seem a bit of a stretch to new readers, but for us lifers, we know that old continuity Dick was raised alongside the league and earned all of their respect even before taking off on his own and forming the Titans.)
    Anyway, this was a great step forward, even if it was just a setup for the Titans book.
    All the voices seemed to ring true of the "younger" justice league that was in play at the time, and Pelletier's art was good, but it really just makes me want to see him back on Aquaman duty.

    Good week so far!
    Rock on!

  5. I don't think the time line is too jacked up because the first arc of Justice League was during the first five years we dont know much about if I'm not mistaken ... and the darkseid war the first time was them all meeting each other.

    I surprisinglyrics liked this more than I thought I would ... I was expecting flash 51 or 52 level garbage