Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Justice League of America #21 Review

Lights Out

Written by: Steve Orlando
Art by: Steven Byrne and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 27, 2017

The last issue of Justice League of America was one of the better ones of this run.  Steve Orlando put aside the crazy action scenes and focused on his characters and I liked what we got.  Killer Frost having to come clean about what she did in the Microverse and The Ray doing his thing in Vanity showed me that when Orlando focuses on his characters, he can do good things.  So, does this issue continue that focus and does it pay dividends for the reader?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with The Ray taking care of business while he talks to Xenos on his phone.  The dialogue is not the greatest here with a couple word bubbles seemingly mixed up though I'm sure that's not the case.  It all ends with the reader being reminded that Ray is still a jerk and Xenos is heading back to Rhode Island.  So much for paying dividends.

We stay in Vanity with Ray heading to the next bit of trouble and this is the beginning of me feeling like I missed something.  Ray mentions the "Sons of Earth" like it's supposed to mean something and while I am familiar with the Sons of Liberty (who actually were seen in The Ray's Rebirth #1), I was left scratching my head.  The scene ends with Ray meeting up with Aztek, the pointy-headed gal from last issue's cliffhanger.

We then get to see the Sons of Earth, but again, it feels like Steve Orlando thinks we know what's what.  This really is the most convoluted introduction of a villain I've read and because of that, the threat never really sinks in.  As for Aztek, she seems to be included only to throw shade at The Ray for leaving Vanity earlier and to give us more of a connection to the Sons of Earth.  We do get her origin, but it's rushed and pretty silly.

Continuing, we get a little bit of Killer Frost and Ryan in the Sanctuary before returning to Vanity and The Ray and Aztek.  Orlando gives us more Sons of Earth information, but because it's not interesting, I was left wondering why he decided to string it out so long.  By the time you find out the twist, Ray and Aztek are on the scene kicking ass and taking names.  It ends with an odd "everyone is guilty" moment and Ray and Aztek bonding afterward.

The issue then gets back to the Might Beyond the Mirror story as we end in Rhode Island for a cliffhanger that was okay, but far from surprising.  I liked seeing it just because I want this whole wishing story to conclude, I just am afraid of what it will mean from one of the few characters I like in this book.

Well, I guess I should have been the one who was careful what I wished for!  Steve Orlando gives us a character moment filled story and it was not good.  I am right back to not liking the Ray and the addition of Aztek did nothing but increase the bad dialogue quotient.  The Sons of Earth were a ridiculous throwaway villain group and even if they were set up better, they would still be uninteresting.  All in all, just another down issue in a series of down issues.  I did like the art as usual, but by now, there is no way a pretty picture is going to help this book out.

Bits and Pieces:

After a decent issue the last time around, the Justice League of America is back in familiar territory.  Poor setup and bad dialogue make the story here hard to get through and while it ends on an overdue cliffhanger, I can't say I'm excited to see what comes next.



  1. Im just intrigued with aztec. Shes a woman now. The way i remember it, she was a he before. But nice of dc to change it up. I see they havent dropped steve orlando from the book yet. Didnt like him before, and i still dont like him. Ive said it before and ill say it again, they should put someone else with good writig skills on jla. I mean goddamn its one of the flagships of DC comics! Why are they just treating it as a "small league" book?? Seriously? Im still not gonna put this in to my pull list. Ill wait till they get rid of orlando.

    1. Aztec was a man before...I just worry this will be a lame reboot of the character like Prometheus.