There’s so much wrong with the latest issue of Justice League it’s hard to know where to begin. First, following the success of the team’s first mission we skip 5 years ahead to present day, but the team still acts like they’ve only been working together for all of five minutes.
The conversion of Hal Jordan into early Booster Gold seems now complete as not only is Green Lantern used mainly for comic relief but he goes so far as to hit on the ex-wife of the biological warfare specialist during the fight with the spores he’s been exposed to.
The art by Gene Ha at least saves us the characters posing and looking in different directions (mainly) but it’s also dirtier and somewhat sloppier than the title’s first six issues. And Geoff Johns dialogue continues to be so mindnumbingly bad it’s getting harder and harder for me to defend him and blame it on DC Editorial. The fact that the story is also told from the perspective of Steve Trevor, a character who no relation to the team so far, seems oddly out of place as well.
Also troubling is Batman‘s ripping of the Justice League International. Aside from coming off like a spoiled child who thinks they’re all stupidheads, the scene makes absolutely no sense to anyone who has read an issue of the new JLI in which Batman holds the team together and is constantly supporting Booster Gold’s leadership (maybe because he’s traded personalities with pre-New 52 Hal Jordan).
This issue also includes the first back-up story of “The Curse of Shazam” which reintroduces the character of Billy Batson rebranded from the honest (to the point of naive) street orphan into a jaded punk who scams foster families for his orphanage. Really, this is the worthy person who will be granted the powers of Shazam? Captain Marvel has always been a throwback to a time when good guys were just that, shining examples of heroism that although appear increasingly corny are also needed, especially today in the far grittier New 52.
We also get a preview of Shazam’s (that’s right, the won’t be calling him Captain Marvel) supremely awful new costume which was leaked online a couple weeks back as well as the first look of the revamped buffer Dr. Sivana who basically looks like Hugo Strange without the facial hair. Why do you keep fucking with the childhood DC? What perverse glee are you getting from yet another truly awful New 52 revamp of a classic character? Pass.