JUSTICE LEAGUE #22
Written by Shea Fontana
Art by Philippe Briones, Gabe Eltaeb, and Dave Sharpe
Published by DC Comics
Release date: June 7, 2017
If you’ve ever felt concerned that you can’t hand over a modern superhero comic to your kid, this issue is for you. This pause button in the Bryan Hitch JL story is not only completely all ages appropriate but hits you right in the feel-goods without treading into camp territory.
The art team of Philippe Briones and Gabe Eltaeb have constructed a bright and enticing Watchtower environment for creepy crawlies to invade. After thwarting a major disaster for Earth, they comeback to Watchtower infected with something unknown — forcing the facility to go under quarantine.
DC Superhero Girls veteran Shea Fontana has this one-shot focus on self-doubt. Jessica Cruz was a home-bound agoraphobic thrust into the job of space cop. Fontana explores this by looking at the social fears and self-doubt Jessica would have while working with such iconic heroes.
In contrast, Simon Baz’s self-doubt comes into play once he recognizes his own bravado. This story would feel equally at home in the Green Lanterns line of books. While the teamwork answer to the plot is not a big mystery, the conclusion leaves you with a smile on your face.
An integral inclusion of Lois Lane also helps to set this story apart. She’s at Watchtower on a “working” trip. It’s provides for some cute dialogue. Readers often have opportunities of seeing Lois dig deep to help Superman. Yet, often do you see Lois Lane helping Batman play detective? It’s a fist-pumping dynamic as the reporter not only helps out Batman but also looks out for her super-powered son.
Philippe Briones’s art provides just enough exaggeration to Lois mouth, and Batman’s stunned, reactions that the confidence overwhelms the page and induces more goofy-grinning moments for comics readers who love fun.
Gabe Eltaeb’s color work become fascinating with interactions between Cyborg and Superboy, Jonathan Kent as well as how the Justice League battles the swarming infestation. Given their regal treatment of Wonder Woman, I would love to see this creative team’s take on her in Wonder Woman’s standalone series.
This is a story best suited for those who love the joy they get when reading well done anthology entry, à la Sensation Comics. It would be refreshing to have a Justice League book of that nature. Nothing arc-inducing or cross-event rocking is happening. So, for those who are into the rush of high stakes and epic threats, you might pass.
This issue is a solid story, with beautiful art, lots of humor and a good moral at the end about believing in yourself and your teammates. It’s the type of story that used to be a staple in superhero comic books. Now, when it’s this recognizable, it’s something to be treasured.
The Verdict: 8.5/10