“Justice League” issue 3, released August of last year, takes an immediate and unexplained jump towards another high action part of the story. Though still an entertaining read, it provides little follow up to the events that had occurred last issue. Luckily, the awkwardness between the Green Lanterns is now absolved, and the readers are even a chance to get to know Superman on a deeper level.
Since discovering the “extinction machines,” Superman makes his way to the center of the earth in an attempt to destroy them, yet the rest of the story goes on an unexplained tangent, leaving little reason as to why. Without knowing any better, it feels as if this issue actually skipped part of the story, creating a lack of continuity. The unexplained beings from issue 1, known as “The Kindred,” return, but they are inexplicably stronger, becoming the major antagonists of the story. This leaves me to wonder if there is a connection between the Kindred and devices planted in the earth.
The issue opens up unexpectedly: it features Wonder Woman fighting a gigantic, glowing human figure, that is larger than any skyscraper imaginable. Just like the opening sequence in issue 1, Wonder Woman’s thoughts are revealed to the reader. As she elegantly fights this creature, he reveals that he is one of the Kindred and, apparently, he was created when all of the hypnotized people from last issue started morphing together. Why this wasn’t explained in further detail is hard to say.
As Wonder Woman fights the creature, she demands answers and demands that the creature releases all the people that he consumed. A hand from one of the many trapped inside him grabs her ankle, dragging Wonder Woman down into an abyss.
Meanwhile, in Australia, the two Green Lanterns ward off all the mosquito-like creatures that came hurtling from space. The Flash takes the ground as the Green Lanterns clear the sky and the three heroes systematically clear the earth of these pesky biological weapons. However, little is explained about these creatures; for that we will have to wait for next issue, hopefully.
At the Kent farm, Batman waits as Superman says his goodbyes to his wife, Lois, and his son, Jon, finally adding some emotion and personal development to the story. An encounter like this was refreshing from the non-stop action that has occurred thus far.
After saying his goodbyes, in a rare emotional moment, Superman is sent to the center of the earth by Cyborg’s boom-tube. Almost immediately after Superman enters the vortex, a swarm of (yet another) unidentified creatures hurtles towards Cyborg, Batman, Louis and Jon. Tracking their signal, Cyborg attempts to match their frequency. In doing so, he attracts them all, as he is pelted to the ground by what appears to be thousands of bats. I can understand adding conflict to a story, but such a sudden shift from the peaceful moment prior feels exhausting.
In Atlantis, Aquaman’s story finally becomes a bit relevant. Here, Aquaman is immediately confronted by one of the Kindred, but with no indication of where it came from. The Kindred mentions singing to Aquaman, who in fact hears singing emanating from a group of relics called the “Zodiac Crystals.” Finally, the story starts to be woven together, but it is cut short, leaving me feeling lacking on this end. At this point, it feels as if Aquaman isn’t even part of the Justice League. It’s odd that he has his own tangent story, one that’s developed enough per issue.
Superman, who is in the blazing center of the earth, finds himself overwhelmed by the pressure and heat. As he floats around in confusion he bumps into one of the devices, which appears like a white, blazing sun. “Ow, found one,” he says as he bumps into it, leaving the readers with a disappointing thought: “I don’t know what to do.”
I can understand an underdog sort of hero or even a reluctant hero, but a hopeless hero? That’s not appealing. It would have been better if the phrase was changed to “Alright, I’ve got to try something,” rather than one conveying outright defeat. If this was to drive home a cliffhanger sort of ending, if only succeeded in being anticlimactic and odd.
Altogether, issue 3 was a culmination of good and bad. It lacked context concerning the development of the Kindred, yet the story, if separated from the other issues, is action packed, emotional and intriguing. Within this issue, the Kindred are continually muttering about “the purge” and “the end of the world.” These sayings are truly coherent and it adds nothing to the story at this point, only hints at something greater to come. In terms of pace, Issue 1 was understandable, but by now I want more explanations and development.
However, the addition of the emotional encounter between Superman and Lois saved this issue and gave me a breather to appreciate the moment. Regardless of the many problems that is presented within this issue, I still found it entertaining. I wanted to read more and seeing the “Next Issue” text left my heart sinking.
Art: 4 / 5 Goregous
Entertainment Value: 5 / 5 Captivating
Readability: 4 / 5 Great
Interest in Next Issue: 3 / 5 Moderate
OVERALL SCORE: 80%