Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Justice League Annual #2 Review

Saw Of Justice

Written By: Robert Venditti
Art By: Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, David Baron, Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 29, 2020

Even though we've finally gotten the Justice League title in line with what's going on with Death Metal and in my mind made this title mean something again instead of just giving us random Tales of the Justice League stories thrown in, it looks like we're not out of the random stories woods yet and are back with Robert Venditti giving us an Annual story that shows our heroes facing off against the Hall of Justice itself. Will this story feel like something that matters, especially now that we've gotten a taste of a Justice League book in the Metalverse? Well, only time will tell, but let's jump into this Annual and check it out.

In this issue we start with a murder mystery, where a man is found dead deep in a sub-basement of the Hall of Justice and it's up to the skills of our combined Justice League team to get to the bottom of it........ or is it? Essentially this aspect of the story becomes a moot point when the Hall itself starts enacting protocols that affect our heroes, but which were originally meant to subdue their greatest enemies, like a Zod protocol that shoots red sun radiation, which also affects Superman and so on until our team is rendered pretty much useless within their own headquarters. This aspect to the story feels weird though because essentially all the steps that our heroes have taken to make sure that the Hall of Justice is secure and defendable also affects our heroes and I don't understand the point of this, especially when it deals with John Stewart because for some reason the Hall's "Sinestro Protocols" make Green Lantern energy useless. It is what it is though in a story that needs our heroes to think outside of the box of simply using their powers to get to the bottom of what's going on, but the more you move into this story the more boring and forced it becomes.

The villain of our story ties back into what Venditti did before during his time on this book and while I do appreciate a continuity being used, this reveal feels forced and something that shouldn't have ever taken our heroes by surprise, not to mention that things got really convoluted during the explanation about how any of this is happening, not to mention the original murder aspect that this story started out with and how that was achieved to lure our heroes into the trap of this issue. Ultimately, our characters come off feeling generic in this issue and the concept is not only convoluted but boring by the end and this break between our Justice League title mattering again only served to make me realize how happy I am that we're no longer dealing with stories like this in the Justice League series.

All in all, I enjoyed the art in this issue even if I found the colors a little drab throughout, but it certainly doesn't make this issue hard to look at. The big flaw of this book is the concept of the story and how we had to force a villain back into this only for it to ultimately do nothing by the end besides to give our heroes an introspective look at their methods, which you've seen a thousand times and the concept doesn't come off in a way that adds anything new or exciting to this old hat idea.

Bits and Pieces:

While I do enjoy the art in this issue, the overall plot does nothing for the characters and only manages to tie into what Venditti did in his short run on Justice League instead of actually giving a compelling story or doing something that elevates our heroes instead of them coming off as cookie-cutter versions of themselves. Again though, the art was good.


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