Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Jim Lee, Gary Frank
Publisher: DC Comics
The last issue of Justice League built a lot of great tension and mystery. A new villain has it in for Superman and friends, and this time it’s personal. Unfortunately, Justice League #10 doesn’t really capitalize on the solid lead-in from the last issue. In fact, things feel a bit flat really. It just feels like a wasted opportunity as many of the previous implications don’t really come to fruition and instead we just get a bunch of… well, confusion.
Graves is a villain who’s very upset with the Justice League. He’s upset because they didn’t help him, didn’t heal him, didn’t instantly make his life better. In order to get revenge, last issue we saw him methodically learning all he could about the League, specifically their weaknesses. Yet, for all that preparation, when he does show up, stuff just sort of… happens. He doesn’t go about exploiting said weaknesses; in fact, I think he just uses a bunch of ghosts to take the Justice League down. That’s part of the problem, really, because it’s not clear what’s happening. In the climactic scene, each panel shifts back and forth between what’s happening now and what happened three years ago which makes it hard to really grasp what’s happening in either time. It’s all very disappointing because last issue made this whole arc with Graves seem like it was going to be something really compelling, but this… just isn’t.
Interestingly, Graves’ grievances with the Justice League aren’t all that different from the grievances many have with God. Some are quick to turn their back on God and get angry with him because he doesn’t fix their pain, heal their hurt, restore their happiness with the snap of a finger. I’m sorry to say, if that’s what you want, go find a genie in a lamp because that’s not who God is. He doesn’t grant wishes. What good is a God who can’t make me feel better and make my life better, you ask? Well, that’s really the wrong question. The question is how could we be so presumptuous to assume that God owes us anything after he already did everything for us that truly matters? What he did through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was everything that truly matters for it’s on that cross and in that empty tomb that the solution to all those problems—pain, hurt, sickness, death, etc.—are answered. Maybe not instantly as with a granted wish, maybe not on our terms, but definitively and eternally answered. So the disappointment many feel with God is that his solution doesn’t meet with our standards, wants, or desires. But that’s a good thing, but what we want is often so much less than what was truly needed.
Justice League #10 just doesn’t take what was a promising story in any sort of interesting direction. There are some nice character moments, which honestly felt kind of out of place for what was happening story-wise, but it’s always fun to see the Justice League interact and get to know each other more as the series continues. But that doesn’t make up for the fact that Graves’ effort to discover the League’s secrets doesn’t really seem to matter so far as taking them down; what was the point of all of that then? The Shazam back-up also continues to drag. I still say that both Justice League and Shazam would benefit if they weren’t sharing space and had more room to tell their stories.
Score: 4 of 7
A big thanks to Astro-Zombies for providing the material for this review. Learn more about them at astrozombies.com.