Despero pits a horde of civilians from Rann and Kalanor against Hawkman and Adam Strange. The heroes cannot escape and cannot hurt the civilians. Alanna , Adam Strange’s wife is also under Despero’s control about to launch a full attack against Thanagar. Meanwhile, the Green Lantern corps gets involved in the fight against Despero only to lose one of its members to the vile villain.
Despero was always a tough villain for the Justice League so pitting him against Hawkman and Adam Strange, two heroes who are not at the same power level has made for an excellent story so far. This issue was a bit muddled and complicated because there has been so many flashbacks and back and forth in this story that I was surprised to see the heroes next to Despero. It’s the kind of story that would have been stronger, had I reread the previous chapter first. It is difficult for writers to plan such things but my argument is that they should always be careful to avoid confusing readers with complicated narrative structures when it is not necessary. The story would have been as good without this.
Instead of being another story about the ongoing war between Thanagar and Rann, this story has reintroduced Despero. Stories about the conflict between Thanagar and Rann are popular and plentiful. I like the focus on Despero for this story as it breaks the mould of stories featuring the two worlds.
Both Aaron Lopresti and Rdeny Buchemi’s pencil work well this issue. The switch of penciller is almost unnoticeable thanks to the inking by John Livesay who keeps their style consistent. It’s a dynamic super hero story that each artist is well suited to contribute to.
Just a note: Hawkgirl is not in the comic even though she is featured on the cover.