Justice League is finally getting awesome, and those of us who have been reading since last September’s issue #1 are finally being rewarded. It’s been a long several months waiting for DC Comics‘ big team book to pick up, but Geoff Johns is finally delivering a Justice League arc that has depth, high stakes, and all those other things that have made his run on Green Lantern legendary.
Let’s jump right in. Justice League #11 gets intense from Page One, and you get the feeling throughout the whole issue that the stakes are getting bigger and bigger. If you remember, last issue ended with the villain Graves seemingly sucking the life out of the League members with his creepy ghost fingers, so issue #11 picks up right where we left off. The first four panels of page one contain one of the most chilling Batman moments in recent memory: Graves has disappeared, but his creepy ghost finger things are now eerie crystalline claws latching on to our heroes, who lie scattered across the room. Batman is picking himself up, and has a flashback of his parents being killed before his eyes. With shadows covering his face, giving him that menacing Batman glare, he pushes himself off the floor, growling: “Bury it, Bruce.” The Bat quickly forces himself into action and releases each of the team from their crystalline claw captors. Superman is on his knees, groaning that he saw his dad die again in front of him, lamenting: “I couldn’t save him.” Green Lantern has his bleeding face buried in his hands, bereft and muttering about his dad’s plane crash. It seems that the spirits Graves controls feed off the misery of their victims, and this, my friends, makes for great character development, dialogue, and overall plot.
The issue’s main plot revolves around the team following Graves’ trail to the sister of Steve Trevor, whose harsh words for Wonder Woman set the team into action. Wonder Woman is understandably guilt-ridden over what may-or-may-not have happened to her former lover Steve Trevor, and so she tries to break off from the group to find him on her own. This brings us to the other factor that makes Justice League #11 awesome: the inter-team fighting. We finally get to see the League members show some personality and character and actually disagree with each other to the point that they come to blows. One of the best moments in this New 52 Justice League series is the verbal sparring between Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Wonder Woman. Stepping in between Batman and Wonder Woman, Hal forcefully blocks Wonder Woman’s exit when she won’t let her teammates follow her. Her reaction? Well, I’ll just let Jim Lee explain that part:
When Hal recovers, he attacks Diana – despite peacemaking attempts by The Flash – and Superman steps in to break up the fight. That doesn’t go so well, either:
While this inter-team fighting may seem childish, it actually provides this issue – and the New 52 Justice League – with a sense of depth, in that it really rounds out each character. I mean, how often do groups of people with different talents and personalities and backgrounds get along? Not much. Now multiply that by SUPERPOWERS. The fact that the team has been “OK” with each other for the past eight or nine issues has been somewhat of a low point because it’s just too easy. It’s not believable. And it also doesn’t allow the characters to grow and mature in their relationship with one another. Yes, we want the Justice League to trust each other and work together. Yes, we want buddy-buddy moments between our favorite superheroes. But the characters have to get there first. And even then, each of them will still have their moments where they butt heads – but that’s what makes the team work, that’s what makes the team live and breathe. So if you’ve been waiting for just that, Justice League #11 is a bright start to what will hopefully be an even brighter future.