Reviewed By: Evelyn Finch
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jim Lee, Carlos D’Anda, Gene Ha, Ivan Reis, David Fich & Ethan Van Sciver, Scott Williams
Colorist: Alex Sinclair, Gabe Eltaeb, Tony Avina, Sonia Oback, Art Lyon, Pete Pantazis & Hi-FI
Genre: Graphic Novel (Hardcover)
MSRP: $24.99 USA
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
Leave it to Geoff Johns and Jim Lee to jump at a chance to take a familiar cast of characters and breathe new life into this legendary team. What we have now is The New 52 take on the Justice League and judging by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Volume 1 you can bet that Johns and Lee have outdone themselves. So you can imagine how much I have been anticipating the arrival of the second volume and I should say that Volume 2 The Villain’s Journey of the Justice League does not disappoint in the very least.
That’s no surprise, really, seeing as the talent involved managed to show us – with a mere six issues – that this new team of heroes offer a number of possibilities that could only spell a compelling tale that can only get more interesting.
Covering issues 7-12, Volume 2’s story takes place a year after the seven heroes that make up the Justice League went up against the threat that was Darkseid and his invading minions. Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg and the Green Lantern quickly become seen as saviors by the entire world as well as Gods thanks to a book written by a best-selling author named David Graves. On top of that, they have A.R.G.U.S. backing them up with Colonel Steve Trevor as their official liaison.
Much has happened in one year as the Justice League has taken on a number of foes … many of them very familiar whether it’s going up against the menace that is the Talon or a villain known as Spore. With the tactical genius of Batman, the group has learned how to fight as a team and play off each another’s strengths. Some things still remain the same such as The Flash and the Green Lantern still pissing Batman off but now the Dark Knight has gained a close friend and ally in Superman.
Despite being seen as close friends, however, the truth is that each member of the League have much to learn about their personal lives. The Flash and Green Lantern are surprised to learn that Superman has an alter ego who happens to be a journalist or that The Flash has a girlfriend or even that Cyborg knows everyone’s credit score among other private details.
Meanwhile, we learn that Colonel Trevor has problems of his own with the press hounding him about his relationship with Wonder Woman as members of Congress put pressure on him to not only allow them to see what is inside the League’s home base known as the Watchtower but also have the team be open to the idea of adding a new teammate. Trevor believes that Congress is trying to plant a spy with this supposed new teammate and knows the Justice League is definitely not open to a new member after an unfortunate incident with the Martian Manhunter.
Speaking of a new teammate, the hero who sees himself as the prime candidate to join the League is none other than the Green Arrow. He manages to show up in time to lend an intrusive hand as the Justice League takes on their enemies but neither one really wants a man like him on the team. The Green Arrow is a stubborn fellow who will stop at nothing to join the team but his persistence leads to an offer from Colonel Trevor himself.
However, the real trouble arises when famed author David Graves – who is dying from an unusual illness – takes the life of his acting physician. It’s clear that he blames the Justice League for his illness as well as the death of his family. So he turns to a power that changes everything for him and with this new power he sets out to use it to show the world that the Justice League aren’t as Godly as he first thought.
The best part is that Graves doesn’t turn out to be a random villain that came out of some cookie-cutter. He has a legitimate reason for hating and attacking the Justice League thus making him a compelling and tragic figure. His first target is none other than Colonel Trevor who he sees as one of many of the League’s weaknesses. Trevor, who is nursing the wound that Wonder Woman left behind, find himself in danger as Graves uses him as something of a hostage.
Meanwhile, the Justice League sets out to rescue him but not before Wonder Woman – in a massive emotional meltdown – manages to give the public a glimpse that they can fell apart just like regular humans. In fact, Wonder Woman is caught smacking the Green Lantern around. Things go sour when they finally do confront Graves who shows them all their Achilles ’ heel.
Without a doubt, David Graves as a villain has proven to the very man who will end up changing the Justice League for good. Whether this means the addition of new members or a fight for leadership (Aquaman has so been looking to take charge), we have yet to see but trust me when I say that Geoff Johns continues to keep us wanting more. On top of that there’s the famous and very surprising kiss between Wonder Woman and somebody that isn’t Steve Trevor.
On the visual side, Jim Lee still makes the Justice League look good and just about every panel seems to leap off the pages. Unlike the first volume, however, there’s a prologue drawn by Gene Ha and a chapter with the art of Carlos D’Anda with Ivan Reis and Joe Prado that isn’t bad at all.
In the end, Volume 2 The Villain’s Journey is a collection that makes up an epic story that doesn’t fail to keep Justice League fans new and old on the edge of their seats. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee continue to be the team that makes this series such a treat to pick up and if you managed to miss these key issues then this hardcover collection definitely should be among your collection.
COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN
A year has passed since the formation of the Justice League and their battle with Darkseid and Colonel Steve Trevor finds himself answering to a congressional hearing regarding the team’s God-like status among the public. However, a new threat rears its ugly face in the form of a man who knows much about the Justice League … including their weaknesses. Meanwhile, a hotshot hero calling himself the Green Arrow will stop at nothing to become a member of the team.
A collection of artists lends a hand in making Volume 2 a visually-pleasing hardcover volume whether it’s Gene Ha’s pencils or that of the talented Carlos D’Anda. Jim Lee fans will have nothing to complain about, though, because he continues to make Justice League an artistic treat for the eyes.
Thanks to the brilliant writing by Geoff Johns as well as the talents of a great cast of artists led by the always amazing Jim Lee, Volume 2 of the Justice League continues to impress and make this series one that never ceases to surprise. Add a new kind of villain and the promise of a change in the team’s roster and you have a story and series that is just too good to pass up.
Review copy provided by DC Comics