Who is killing Superman? … Batman?! Uh no. Bait and switch cover, folks.
Touching base with the “Death In The Family” storyline, which ran through most of the Batman books, Red Hood (Jason Todd) returns to the Batcave to pay his respects, only for him and Alfred to be attacked by a mystery villain, who takes something from Batman’s hidden arsenal. Bats happens to have “first aid kits” bearing the logos of all of his comrades, a la “Tower of Babel,” which by the way, was already written and published.
Elsewhere, Superman and Wonder Woman break all kinds of diplomatic rules, by invading a sovereign nation on a good will mission only for Wonder Woman to get power-drunk and hint that she will further be degraded and misused in this series.
Firestorm and The (new) Atom (Rhonda Pineda) explore the Justice League Satellite only to be confronted by a classic villain out for revenge.
Sigh. This book was finally starting to deliver with “Throne of Atlantis,” but I don’t know what it is, but this series has just been so clunky and awkward from the beginning. It’s like watching your best friends, after they’ve started dating people outside of your group and then you all get back together and they are all just acting a little strange….. It’s uncomfortable. You want to scream “What has happened to you?!” It’s like the Justice League has been lobotomized and there’s no hope of retrieving their former personalities.
The worst afflicted is, OF EFFING COURSE, Wonder Woman, who has been demoted from the Beyonce of super heroes (or Lady Gaga or Madonna or Barbara Streisand or Cher… insert your diva of choice) into being Superman’s arm candy, who has fallen eternally in love with him in over the course of half a date, in which he gave her, not roses, but some fake reading glasses, and who is now going cray cray with her power lust. So now, Wonder Woman, like Eve and Delilah (and Yoko) before her, will be the temptress that leads Superman down the road of self-destruction. The most well-known female super hero once again, doesn’t get the spotlight– she’s just a plot device to influence the male (i.e. important) characters in the book.
And the idea of regurgitating “Tower of Babel,” with Batman’s contingency plans to take out his allies… it’s been done. It was even made into an animated movie. Why retell that story? Maybe I’m jumping the gun, since the story is just starting, but so far, too much familiar territory.
This issue wasn’t the worst comic I’ve ever read. I may be reacting too harshly. It’s been a rough week. But, it’s absolutely, with no prejudice, lazy. And that’s the real crime, considering the formidable talent behind it. At least it’s pretty. (Oh and apparently Shazam will factor in at some point.)
Justice League #19
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and Cover by Ivan Reis