Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Justice League of America #13 Review

Written by: Steve Orlando
Art by: Ivan Reis, Julio Ferreira, Marcelo Maiolo and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 30, 2017

It's time to continue the Hunt for Ray Palmer Panic in the Microverse! story.  We ended last issue with the JLA team (those in the Microverse at least) finding who we were lead to believe was Ray.  Of course, without seeing a face, I had my doubts and that was one of the main reasons I couldn't wait for this issue.  So, was it Ray and will Ryan head the warning Ray gave him in the Rebirth Special...and is that still a thing?  Let's find out...

Steve Orlando doesn't waste much time showing us that indeed, the person they found is not Ray Palmer.  It is Preon (?) and she tells the team how she got Ray's Bio Belt and that he is now missing.  It's not a horrible start, but Orlando's insistence in just throwing name after name at the reader is a bit annoying without any ground to stand on just yet.  Plus, it seems Ryan is upset that Ray didn't tell him everything he was doing in the Microverse...when was he supposed to do that?!?!  It's not like they have been pen pals through all this!  Ryan basically got an emergency transmission from Ray and acted on it. It's a very odd angle that Orlando is playing here.

After some forced tension between Lobo and Killer Frost, we find out what Ray was searching for...the Ignition Point.  Again, these things don't mean much at this point since we have no history with it, but it seems cool enough.  Before heading back to Seattle, we get one more name for good measure...New Katarth.

In Seattle, we get Black Canary and The Ray hanging out, drinking and talking.  I like seeing Dinah help out Ray, but it's interrupted by Afterthought...a name that goes well for this character I had enough of in Orlando's Midnighter run at the end of the New 52.

Back in the Microverse, we are introduced to Moz-Ga, the Thinking Planet...okay.  It seems that with the problems in the Microverse, most have put hope in asking Moz-Ga for miracles which leads to an accidentally hilarious scene between Batman and a family with a son in a bag.  It does make a little more sense when you read it, but just a little.

Things get out of hand quickly and the League tries to protect Preon...until she is Aron Aut.  It seems that Preon was actually a pirate and had betrayed Ray and Aut and he is back to set things right..or is he?

That's when a Quantum Storm suddenly hits and everyone scatters.  As Lobo gets torn apart, Ryan comes up with a solution to everyone's problems.  It's faith over science, but also out of left field and brings up the forced issue of continued shrinking that Ryan talked about last issue.  The issue ends with Ryan heading off to hopefully save the day.

I really want to like this story.  I want Ray Palmer back in the DCU, but why is Steve Orlando making it so hard to get there?  I already mentioned the overabundance of names and places he just heaves at the reader, but there is so much more wrong with this issue.  The pacing is way off and he seems content to develop things that mean nothing and then force feed us the important stuff out of nowhere.  Ryan and Frost talk about Moz-Ga as if they have known about him for years and it leads to Ryan going to save the day based on...what the hell is his plan based on?  I don't really know!!!  Oh well, I will continue reading this to get Ray back, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

I liked Ivan Reis' art enough, but it is not up to his usual standards.  Some of the pages look unfinished and the character work is inconsistent.  His Microverse landscapes, however, are gorgeous.  

Bits and Pieces:

I really want Ray Palmer back in the DCU, but Steve Orlando is giving us a story that seems thrown together.  We get a lot of names, but little explanation and some of the worst pacing in an issue this big.  I was left scratching my head by the end I was praying to Moz-Ga for something better.


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