I’m not sure who came up with the idea of these “WTF?!” covers on every DC book this past month, but I’m glad they’re done. They tend to be misleading and full of lies. “Who is the traitor in their midst? Catwoman?!” Um… no. That never happens.
That aside, Stargirl comes to discover her true role in the Justice League and it doesn’t involve her cosmic rod. Elsewhere, the rest of her team appears to face off against Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but this is revealed to be a ruse when Katana lops “Wonder Woman’s” head off. Turns out they’re robots constructed by Professor Ivo. They’re still dangerous, however, as they keep attacking, with or without their heads. Interestingly and unwittingly, the JLA members end up confronting the doppelgangers of the very heroes they were recruited to counter, Katana vs. Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter vs. Superman and Catwoman vs. Batman. Vibe steps up, but his inexperience endangers his teammates.
Later, the League hopes to plant a mole inside the Secret Society, but one hero threatens to derail their plans.
In the Martian Manhunter backup feature, we get a closer look at the mind scan that J’Onn J’Onzz performs on Catwoman to prove her altruistic intentions, but what happens is that both participants gain new insight into each other’s past.
This book is darker than the regular Justice League book and coated in shady bureaucratic, government sleaze. I can’t help thinking that this book will eventually fold into the regular JL book as the heroes realize they are just puppets. The cast is, for the most part, perfectly suited and brings in the grittier, more violent heroes of the current DCU like Hawkman, Green Arrow, Catwoman and Martian Manhunter, formerly a member of the shadowy Stormwatch. The oddballs are Stargirl and Vibe, two young, optimistic heroes who truly want to help those in need. But it’s clear they are both there to help give the team a good image.
David Finch’s art has a roughness to it that really suits this book, but his lighter handling of Stargirl’s scene shows his versatility. His work is excellent all around, but his action scenes just crackle! Great pacing and storytelling… he just works perfectly for this series. And apparently someone slipped him my critique of issue #2 as Catwoman, while still sporting a cleavage-bearing V neck has at least zipped it so there’s no danger of one of her gals popping out. In fact, when she goes into action, cat burglar mode, she zips it all the way up. Hooray for modesty! Well, at least on a Catwoman scale.
Geoff Johns has a great handle on all of these characters and they play off each other nicely. Whereas the other Justice League are all respectful professionals, none of these guys trusts the others one bit. There’s great tension and interaction. Johns has done an excellent job differentiating this team and making them a fascinating ragtag gang of misfits, even just three issues in. This is a solid book that I hope readers will give a chance despite the absence of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman and despite the presence of Vibe. (C’mon, give the guy a chance! Even if you agree with Catwoman’s statement, “Vibe, you suck!”)
Justice League of America #3
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and Cover by David Finch
Martian Manhunter Backup:
Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Manuel Garcia