Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Justice League #37 Review

Bad Ass...Hey!

Written by: Priest
Art by: Philippe Briones, Gabe Eltaeb, and Willie Shu
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 17, 2018

This is three issues into Priest's run on Justice League and after taking a bit to get acclimated to his Deathstroke run, I realize I have to sit back and relax.  You see, I have not been a huge fan of this more humanized Justice League, but I am a fan of this imposter Batman that ended the last issue taking down Simon Baz.  Give me more of him and I am sure that I can go full steam ahead with this run and put it right next to Deathstroke as one of my Rebirth favorites.  So, did I get what I wanted this week?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with the repercussions of the imposter Batman being a killer and a continuation of the #notsuperfriends movement.  If you are scared that this book is getting closer and closer to Civil War, you are not alone!  I really hope we veer away from that territory and I think that Priest is way too smart a guy to go down that road.

We then go off to spend the rest of the book with what I wanted...Imposter Batman.  We get an origin story before going off to see him with Simon.  I have to admit, I was confused with the origin at first as it was not transitioned to well and even when I wrapped my head around it, I was still stuck between confusion and lack of caring.  The way Priest presented it here left a bit of a disconnect between the story and the reader in a way that he usually doesn't do.

We continue with some villain exposition about the Green Lantern Corps before he leaves Simon to go off to his next bit of evil-doing.  While this is going on, Batman sends Jessica to investigate Simon's last known whereabouts and we see Cyborg and Flash try to figure out how our bad guy infiltrated the Watch Tower.

It really doesn't matter that much, however, as Simon frees himself and the imposter (now as Hal Jordan) is tricked into walking right into a Justice League trap.  We get his name, a little of his game and figure out how he was messing with the Justice League systems, especially the Watch Tower.  Again, when all this was revealed, it wasn't shocking and really didn't even seem to have a real effect on the least not yet.  What was interesting, was the idea of what the League will do with him now that they caught him.  I know it's not even a similar story, but Identity Crisis and it's "solution" jumped into my mind right away.  Maybe I should wipe it out, huh?

Well, I got what I wanted and still was not satisfied by the end of the issue.  Maybe I just am spoiled or maybe this book was full of poor transitioning, plot beats that centered more on extraneous details while seeming to leave important stuff out and really, a very dull villain.  I see what Priest is trying to do, but instead of just going ahead in a clear way, he seems to want to make it appear smarter and more clever than it really needs to be.

Philippe Briones is on this issue and it's good, but it lost the cartoony feel from Pete Woods which is a shame.  It's still a great looking book, I just really was settling in with Woods' style.  However, where else will you get one issue of Batman smoking like a badass, followed by one with Hal Jordan doing the same?  The answer...nowhere!

Bits and Pieces:

While I know that Priest plays the slow burn game in his books, I am struggling to get into this series after the first three issues.  This issue is full of transition problems which throw the overall pace off and in the end, I am less interested in the villain now that we know more about him.  The art was good, but I need something to spark my interest in this story and I need it quick.


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