Saturday, October 20, 2018

Justice League: Odyssey #1 Review (Second Opinion)

With Style

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Stjepan Sejic and Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 26, 2018
Review by: Joey Casco

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Welcome to the complete mess called the Ghost Sector! It’s a far-off area in the cosmos where a shit-ton of worlds that were bottled up (in classic Brainiac fashion) on the planet Colu were freed during No Justice. “Worlds that should NEVER have been freed” and their life forms are in constant fear as their worlds are just falling apart within the chaos of the Ghost Sector.

We meet a Lantern named Topal whose ring lost its charge after the imprisonment of her planet, and she even paints the Green Lantern logo on her shirt, which I thought was both neat and a sign of desperation. And boy is she desperate, as she leaves her lover and heads into space in a craft to find help from the Guardians... aaaaand she’s immediately killed by a giant space monster. The art of her death is pretty friggin awesome, by the way.

Flash ahead to a few days later and we see Jessica Cruz. During the Green Lanterns title, Jessica became one of my favorite characters, never mind Green Lantern, so I’m glad that she’s still involved in at least one title.

At the end of that last Green Lanterns issue, Jessica breaks off her partnership with Simon (on good terms) and heads off into space. Somewhere between then and now she volunteered to be the sentry to the Ghost Sector. She can’t actually go in because it’s surrounded by a giant maelstrom, so she basically just repairs security stations all day.

It doesn’t seem like the Justice League or the Lantern Corps are really doing much to try and help the people in the Ghost Sector. Are they even thinking about what to do about this? Or are they just trying to keep things as they are and leave millions of beings suffering? Yeesh! But wait... it turns out ONE of the members of the Justice League actually wants to fix a problem they created... and his name is Cyborg.

After a nice little heart-warming GL-style FaceTime chat with Simon, Jess sees Brainiac’s skull ship fly by with flames painted on the sides. We go inside the ship to see Cyborg and Starfire, who stole it from the Hall of Justice. Starfire wants to find her home planet of Tamaran and it appears that Cyborg insisted he come with her so they can do some multi-tasking. “Every time we come out into space we make a mess and then we never clean it up!” Damn right, Cy! *high-five*

Azrael appears out of nowhere, and apparently, Starfire knew he was stowing away but Cyborg didn’t. Anyways, all three on the ship claim that a voice is calling them to the Ghost Sector. By then, Jessica has caught up with the ship but the radiation is too much for her so Starfire has to do some Coast Guard heroics to save her and reel her onto the ship.

There you have it. The team together for the first time. A space cop, a cyborg, an alien, and an assassin from a religious cult. Of course, Jess wants to arrest the others for breaking the law but that’s settled quickly... mostly because those space monsters from the introduction come back and they end up crash landing on a planet.

The issue ends with Jessica and Cyborg fighting over whether pancakes or waffles are better, which naturally turns into Cyborg and Starfire singing the Waffle song from Teen Titans GO. Oh, and the reveal of some badass dude who actually lured three members of the team there for very interesting and crazy reasons.

Bits and Pieces:

This was the most fun I’ve had reading a comic since Tomasi’s Superman run ended. First of all, the team is absolutely perfectly balanced for a fun space adventure. But there’s also no messing around as Williamson sets up the story going forward, introduces the characters properly with clear motives, and presents dialogue and actions by those characters that are true to their personalities. Sejic’s art is absolutely stunning. And even though he won’t be on this book after this first issue, based on everything else, this book has great potential.