By Koppy McFad
June 28, 2008 - 02:22
While the Justice League and the Green Lantern Corps. probe the muder of the New God, Orion, the villains strike, framing one hero, capturing another and hitting Superman where he lives.
This story is filled with great moments but also confusing ones. There are holes in the narrative which the reader has to fill in for himself. But since we are dealing with time travel here, it becomes impossible to literally tell what events happened first. Supposedly, all will become clear when the story concludes. I certainly hope so. The mysteries they have presented here are intriguing, but they can just as easily become irritating.
We are introduced to a new group of Japanese superheroes-- spoiled products of the Tokyo club scene. But from here, we move onto the first encounter between the Alpha Lanterns-- the elite of the Green Lantern Corps. and the Justice League which leads to some friction between the two agencies. But rather than drawing this conflict out, the book quickly steps up the pace with the real villains making their move.
The "mad", "wild" concepts of this book may not be enough to really interest the reader. What is truly compelling is the way the villains' plot slowly encircles the heroes with Green Lanterns John Stewart and Hal Jordan, then Batman and Superman, all being taken down-- in one way or another, with their fellow heroes helpless to save them.
The creative team carefully keeps the focus on a few key characters instead of bringing in dozens of guest stars who would take up panel space and slow down the pace of the story.
The art has improved sharply since the first issue. The scene in the Japanese club captures the frivolity and jaded desperation of the patrons. And in four panels, the newly-introduced character of Sonny Sumo is established as a major badazz. The scenes with the Green Lanterns and the Justice League also capture the sense of tension between the groups without resorting to shouting or fist-shaking. The only low point is the funeral for the Martian Manhunter which is a crowded jumble of figures that fails to capture the poignancy of the Martian's passing. It is almost a routine event which makes it seem that the character will be back in about five weeks.
Maybe all these gimmicks about weapons going backward in time and gods coming back to life will end up as just so much special effects, like computer-generated images in a Hollywood blockbuster. But the more serious story of evil slowly engulfing our heroes, makes this comic worth reading.
Rating: 8 /10