This is a completely new take on a classic villain. Formerly, Shadow Thief was a man. He’s here reinvented as a female (real name Aviva) who was a member of the Israeli Mossad, a secret service-like agency, who has vowed to track down and kill all aliens and to halt alien incursions on Earth. The tale is told with a number of time jumps, so the reader must piece things together as she (as the narrator) reveals them. While Hawkman, her classic arch enemy, doesn’t appear a group of other Thanagarians does.
The timing of this issue isn’t clear, so I’m not sure if this takes place during ‘Forever Evil’ or not. We do get the character’s origin and a pretty detailed explanation of her powers, which derive from her alien “skin.” She is able to “morph” into any form she wants and can teleport using shadows. Eventually the character goes rogue and flees to America.
We get several encounters between the character and aliens as well as arms smugglers, including a significant someone from her past. Through it all, her words sway the reader into feeling for her. Understanding her point of view and that she, in her own mind, thinks she is doing what’s right. That only problem with that is that she goes by the name “Shadow Thief” implying that she realizes she is committing crimes.
I didn’t read ‘Hawkman’, but she mentions having met a Thanagarian before, so I assume that’s him. There are a lot of interesting parts of this book. It’s definitely better than average, but I think it could have been even better. Certain elements are just too by-the-numbers. I sometimes wish writers weren’t so influenced by other books and movies and thought outside the box a bit more. It’s certainly not bad. I’m giving it a thumbs up, but wish it had just been a tiny bit fresher in places.
Chad Hardin’s art is really great. It doesn’t push the envelope or anything, but it simply looks really nice.
Overall, I’d say this book falls above average. The art and writing aren’t groundbreaking but are both quite good. It’s solid and entertaining.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7.3
Written by Tom DeFalco
Art by Chad Hardin
Cover by Tony Daniel