Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Justice League: Last Ride #1 Review


In the Meantime...

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Miguel Mendonca
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 11, 2021
Cover Price: $3.99

I am always up for another Chip Zdarsky book, and with Bendis taking over the main Justice League book, I was already looking for an alternative.  That is straight-up ringing the front door shade, by the way, but enough of that, let's get on with my review of Justice League...

Last Ride is an odd book right out of the gate.  It feels like an Elseworlds or a future timeline type of thing, and you could easily convince me that we see both of those.  I say that because it feels like we might be looking at the problems that lead to the Justice League we saw during Future State.  I don't know how everybody will take that if it's a thing, but I wouldn't mind at all.

As for the story itself, it's a bit chaotic.  Zdarsky sets up things in this first issue but doesn't have the page space to develop them.  We get a Justice League that has disbanded and hasn't even been keeping in touch.  The Green Lantern Corps has been shut down, and Lobo has gone and done something very naughty.  Lobo is the lynchpin of the story so far, but it's the little bits that tie into the current continuity and Future State that are intriguing to me.

Thinking about it, I believe that some of the things that Zdarsky isn't telling the reader right away (when it takes place specifically) are part of a wow factor big reveal coming up.  If that's the case...cool, but it does get things going on an uneven footing which is never the greatest.

What is great, though, is Zdarsky's character work.  Through the dialogue, you feel the disconnect between the JL members and see them falling into the same old patterns, which seemed to have caused some big problems in the past. So while Diana says "Great Hera" one too many times, and Barry feels a bit like Wally (but that's a common thing in a JL book), everything feels right.  But everything isn't right... There is a fundamental darkness throughout this entire first issue, and believe me, we find out some bad shit has gone down.

The book ends with the Justice League needing to go a bit Midnight Run with Lobo, and you get the vibe that it could be the thing that brings them all back together or the final nail in the Justice League coffin as we know it. 

Chip Zdarsky has my attention, and even though I want more details, he manages to give enough to get me to come back next month.  Plus, he does something that should be a given in a team book... he shows enough moments for all the characters.  Sure, Superman and Batman get the spotlight, but their scene together at the end is the best in the book.  It even felt like it could fit snuggly into the Snyderverse for those who enjoy that.  As an aside, I love anytime that Superman shows Batman that he could do his job more efficiently.  It's badass and scary all at the same time.

The art is good overall, with every character looking as kick-ass as they should.  I loved the various lighting effects throughout, but Barry's hair looked a bit red to me at one point.  I think it was more of a shading issue in the scene, but this sort of thing already happened lately (*cough* Bendis' Justice League *cough*), and I might be running scared now.

Bits and Pieces:

Chip Zdarsky kicks off his Justice League story, and while it's a slower start than I expected, I am intrigued.  I hope to see how this story ties into current and future storylines soon, but for now, I am enjoying the character work, the art, and the mystery of it all.  


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