Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Carlos D’Anda, Gary Frank, Ivan Reis
Publisher: DC Comics
When I heard Green Arrow was showing up in the pages of Justice League #8, I was a little worried. My experience with the character over in his solo title - where he was a bratty, self-absorbed, horny, punk kid –left me feeling he wasn’t exactly the type of guy I wanted to see mixing it up with the Justice League. But I forgot one important piece of information; Justice League seems to exist in its own little universe with very little, if any, connection to current titles. Green Arrow’s appearance just reinforces that impression with the fact that he appears older, more tempered and mature but still with a devil-may-care, swashbuckling attitude. In fact, he seems more like the Green Arrow of old; wit and charm all intact and not anything like he was in his own book. All that to say, Green Arrow actually added to the fun of an already fun book, and if nothing really significant happens in Justice League #8 (although there are hints at future awesomeness), I was fine with that because it was just such a good time.
As much as it’s about the over-the-top spectacle, Justice League has also been about the characters. A big part of the fun is seeing characters like Batman and Green Lantern interact. (They actually agree on something in this issue; it’s crazy!)Green Arrow’s fun personality just adds to all of that, making for some very amusing exchanges as he tries to ingratiate himself to the League in order to convince them to let him join. Of course they don’t want him to join, and apparently Arrow and Aquaman have some history of some sort, but it’s a kick to see Arrow constantly popping up in various situations to try and assist the League and to see how the various members react to it.
Green Arrow seems to think the League needs a “social conscience”, although he never really explains what he means or why it’s important. He also hints that it’s as much for his redemption as anything else. He’s changed, and comparing this version with the one over the Green Arrow series, that certainly seems to be true. Sometimes the biggest challenge when it comes to change is convincing others of that fact. Look at Saul of Tarsus from the Bible, who eventually became known as the apostle Paul. He spent his life persecuting the Church and anyone who dared to claim to follow Christ. However, after his own encounter with Jesus, he was truly changed. Yet, when he tried to join the very Church he once persecuted, they were afraid to let him in and didn’t really believe he had changed. Eventually, it took the compassion and encouragement and endorsement of a man name Barnabas to convince others to let Paul join the club (Acts 9:26-27). Two points; the first being that real change in our lives is possible through Jesus Christ. With his help and all he’s done for us, we can truly become all we were meant to be. The second point is simply this; though Christ may change us, those who know who we used to be may take awhile to get used to the idea that we have truly changed. We shouldn’t be discouraged by this, but through the consistent testimony of all we say and do, we can demonstrate the real, life-altering change that’s possible with Jesus, and over time, even the most skeptical will have to admit that it’s true.
Justice League #8 turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought, but that’s mostly due to the fact that the “changed” Green Arrow is a lot more likable than the one I met over in his solo series. Plus there some interesting little tidbits dropped throughout the issue of what may be coming up for the Justice League in future adventures. Oh, there’s also another edition of Shazam in this issue, but aside from once again establishing what a brat Billy is, it doesn’t do much to move that story forward. Again, I kind of wish it wasn’t taking up space here so I get more of the fun of the Justice League.
Score: 5 of 7
A BIG thanks to Astro-Zombies for providing the material for this review. Learn more about them at astrozombies.com.