Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Justice League of America #13
McDuffie, Benitez, Llamas
How great is this cover? If the cover doesn’t grab you right off the bat then trust me and thumb through this issue.
The McDuffie era on JLA officially kicks off with a cover featuring only villains and many of my favorites are here. Gorilla Grodd, Poison Ivy and Sinestro to name a few. It’s an outstanding cover.
Ok, enough about the cover.
The unofficial start for the McDuffie run was in the JLA Wedding Special (basically #12 1/2) which saw the formation of the In-Justice League and the ambush of Batman and Red Arrow followed by an attack on Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl. The villains also allowed Hawkgirl to escape to alert the other JLAers to draw them into a trap.
JLA #13 in summary is this: the bad guys round up the good guys.
This issue starts with Batman captive in a straight jacket. To me this is ridiculous. Whether its comics, cartoons, movie or even the cruel twist on the character that was Adam West – we know Batman escapes EVERYTHING. Thankfully he escapes and in the process, counts the seconds it takes him to escape. This is brilliant. I went from rolling my eyes to wanting more in the turn of a page. Incidentally it took Batman 52 (homage to last year’s weekly?) seconds to get free. What? You kidding me? Those are Nightwing numbers! The bad guys foil Batman’s plan to free Wonder Woman, but we don’t learn the fate of Batman. Is he still free or did the Joker take him down? No seriously that’s possible – right?
Next the good guys access the missing and devise a plan. First Black Canary kisses Green Arrow (not in the league) goodbye as she goes to work.
Now for the tangent. When is this wedding exactly in the continuity? Is it after this arc? I hate questioning continuity, but this one bugs me. If this is some multi-verse thing I may have a conniption. Continuity rant over.
The JLA splits up: Stewart leads Red Tornado and Hawkgirl to the spot where Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl were attacked while Superman, Black Canary and Vixen check out where Batman and Red Arrow had their villainous run-in.
Enter some villains who take down Tornado with such ease it was almost pointless to have him in the issue. Combine this with the fact that he utters exactly two lines the whole comic makes it all the more laughable. Anyway we see John Stewart for the bad-ass that he is. He takes out Killer Frost, Fatality and taunts Shadow Thief. Then he gets taken out by a surprise villain. We presume that Stewart, Tornado and Hawkgirl have been taken captive.
Next we find out through a confession to Superman that Vixen has no powers. This is only a problem because she is a super hero who relies solely on her super powers. Grodd, Dr Light and Cheetah show up to put a hurting on team Superman. Vixen borrows some of Superman’s powers which is cool cause now you have two Supermen! Except when Parasite shows up and takes a hold of Vixen then draining Vixen and Superman at the same time. Oops.
Black Lightning shows up but only in time to save Superman. The others are captured by getting beamed up by Scotty apparently. Oh and if you are looking for Luthor vs. Superman you may only have to wait one issue based on the last page.
Not a bad opening issue for McDuffie!
The art is great too. Some of the villains featured are among the best renditions of them I have ever seen. However, what is with Superman? He has a high forehead in almost every frame he’s in. Yes, he is balding in this comic. Again, if this is a multi-verse thing I’ll throw a temper tantrum.
Beyond Superman’s hairline I loved this issue. My guess is if you read DC comics you are already reading this one cause its their best seller basically. If you aren’t though, you can pick up this bad boy and be entertained straight through without getting lost on what happened previously. You may even want to pick up the next one too. Just ignore Superman’s extra scalp.
4.5 out of 5 Geek-Goggles
Justice League Of America #13 (Cover A)
Justice League Of America #13 (Cover B)