What I Got For Christmas – Justice League: Origin + Justice League #3 & #4 Review (SPOILERS AHEAD)
Before we continue on, I wanna address something that I don’t think I’ve mentioned on the blog. You’ve likely noticed that a lot of the costumes and appearances for the superheroes have changed in the relaunch. In particular, Superman isn’t wearing his old tights anymore, instead wearing a Kryptonian Armour. Batman‘s old tights are gone too, replaced by kevlar. And I know some people might be wondering what my thoughts on the loss of the old tights are, so I’ll tell you what my opinion is. I… … …don’t really care all that much. I’m sorry, I know it likely bothers some people, but when you consider these are superheroes that got started in the new millennium, can you honestly believe they’d wear TIGHTS? That’s not all that protective, you know. Mind you, Superman’s supposed to be mostly invulnerable, but he has his weaknesses and could use the extra protection. But hey, that’s not what we’re here to talk about, so let’s dive into Justice League #3 & #4.
We open to Colonel Steve Trevor at the Pentagon, wondering where Wonder Woman is. According to one soldier, Diana was flipping through channels and landed on a news station talking about her. It seems there’s a MASSIVE movement against Diana that actually goes above and beyond most other super-humans because A) She’s caused over one hundred million dollars in property damage fighting bad guys and whatnot, and B) Apparently people aren’t exactly big on her believing in the Greek Gods and the war she’s training for. As a result, Steve is trying to keep her out of trouble. However, after yelling at the news channel for a while, she came across a report of monsters attacking D.C. and took off.
Naturally, we cut to Wonder Woman wandering the streets with a sword looking for a Harpy. I’m going to assume from this and other things that happen in this comic that she hasn’t exactly been off of Paradise Island for a very long time, so you don’t really need to take a shot here. I will admit that I love what follows, wherein after failing to get information, a little girl walks up excited to meet her, and there’s a cute scene where Diana learns all about the wonder that is ice cream and congratulating the vendor on his achievement. Steve eventually shows up and we get a bit of dialogue that shows that Steve is her appointed liaison and that Wonder Woman wants to fight the darkness that lurks in our world because she loves it so, that it’s filled with so many wonderful things like ice cream and rock and roll (and somewhere Batman is screaming that rock and roll is death, lol). However, one other thing she loves is a good fight, so when a pack of Parademons show up, she’s all too happy to take ’em on.
We then cut to S.T.A.R. Labs, where the Parademons have pretty much torn the place to pieces and kidnapped a few people. However, Dr. Stone is far more concerned for his son Victor, who if you’ll recall was burnt alive by the energy released when the boom tube opened. The others tell Dr. Stone that his son is gone and they have to go, but Silas refuses, saying had to watch his wife die once and he refuses to watch Victor die too.
Meanwhile, as the superheroes are fighting the Parademons in Metropolis, Flash is monitoring radio broadcasts and learns that this is happening all over. Apparently the people blame them for all of this, and at this point I had to scratch my head and wonder if the DC universe was merged with the Marvel universe as well for all the people hatin’ on the heroes we’ve seen up till this point. Anyway, we get some banter between the heroes where Batman tells GL to concentrate since his constructs keep breaking down, Hal telling him to be more worried for himself since he doesn’t have any powers, and Barry saying that he always thought Batman was a vampire…which I will admit got a giggle out of me. We also see Superman just ploughing through the Parademons, and I gotta admit, while I don’t expect him to just sit there and take it and that he is trying to protect the people around him, there’s something about seeing Superman being THIS violent that makes me feel uncomfortable.
We get a quick interlude of Dr. Stone and his assistants taking Victor down to “the red room”, where their most high-tech equipment is being kept, and Silas places his son on a table, telling him that he isn’t leaving him. Yep, it’s about that time where Silas is gonna play Frankenstein with Vic…Kinda makes me wonder if Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., will ever meet up with Cyborg. Back to the fight, Superman notices that the Parademons aren’t killing any of the civilians, instead flying them off to who-knows-where. However, as they start to get overwhelmed, Wonder Woman comes charging in and starts kicking all kinds of ass, which of course results in Hal Jordan (AKA ‘The Dick’) calling dibs. I would just like to point out that in the next arc of Justice League, Hal gets his lights punched out by Diana, who later pairs up with Superman. Apparently the ‘dibs rule’ is dead.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, we see that Victor’s vitals are still intact, but that the energy that blasted him is now eating him away from the inside out, sending him into cardiac arrest. However, Silas is certain the technology in the red room can save Victor, injecting him with nanites and attaching a Promethium skin graft to his body. Victor starts chanting binary code and seeing images as the nanites come online, suddenly being able to see and hear the transmissions from the boxes that opened the boom tubes and seeing the shadowed face of Darkseid.
Meanwhile, the heroes notice the Parademons regrouping over the water. Something massive emerges from underwater, Hal having to put up a shield to keep the city from being flooded, and we see a giant structure coming up out of the ocean. They wonder what it could be, and here a voice tell them that he was hoping they could tell him, as a skewered Parademon is dropped at their feet by the arriving Aquaman in all his badass glory.
Issue #4 opens with the Promethium skin graft covering Victor’s body as the transformation into Cyborg is nearly complete. He’s going through the data in the suit’s operating system, and I can’t help but notice among the names listed in the data were Professor Ivo, Will Magnus, and Ryan Choi AKA the freaking Atom. And at this point, I must institute the second rule of the New 52 Drinking Game: Whenever something happens that confuses you on account of not having read comics prior to the relaunch, take two shots! Are you feeling tipsy yet? Anyway, Parademons break in and Cyborg’s sonic cannon blows them away. Victor gets a look at himself in the mirror and runs away screaming “YOU DID THIS TO ME!”, which honestly, I feel like they missed an opportunity to have a really good Darth Vader “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” moment.
Back in Metropolis, Aquaman and the others are comparing notes on what’s going on. Naturally, Hal decides to be an ass to Aquaman, then calls him out asking exactly what Aquaman can bring to the table since Superman is insanely strong, Flash is insanely fast, Wonder Woman can cut through armies all day long, and Hal “can do anything with this ring”. So the Parademons fly in, and Aquaman decided now is a good time to give Hal a demonstration of what he brings to the table.
Hal decides to shut up after this, much to my joy. Things are made a bit more complicated when the military shows up with orders to take out anything “non-human”. Trevor’s flying one of the choppers yelling not to open fire on Diana or the others, but they argue that she’s capable of protecting herself from their gunfire and that he should just be lucky their orders to bring all demons, aliens, super-humans, etc. doesn’t include his “girlfriend”. Gosh, I wonder if this is propaganda on the Bush administration. -_-
We get a scene where Cyborg, on the run, comes across a woman being attacked by Parademons. He saves her, but his systems interact with the box they’re carrying, allowing him to intercept their transmissions and learn what they’re doing: They locate inhabited worlds, then go about harvesting, processing, and re-purposing any and all organic materials found on said inhabited worlds. When he wonders where the pinging sound is coming from, his systems access the boom tubes and send him to the source.
Back with the heroes, Superman and Flash are trying to stop the choppers firing on them. Wonder Woman says they need to get the pilots to safety, and GL agrees, but not because he’s a good guy like Barry but because he wants to impress Diana, and that most of what he does is to impress. Batman questions him on this, and Hal wonders why he said that, to which Diana notes that, in all this chaos, his hand accidentally got ensnared by the Lasso of Truth. I simply do not have words to describe how funny that is. Cyborg boom tubes in, looking a little worse for wear, and warns them that “he’s coming…right here…”. When they ask who, another boom tube opens, and so our comic ends as the leader of the Parademons steps out: Darkseid.
These comics are actually a lot of fun. While Hal’s constant dickery gets on my nerves, it honestly DOES make him kind of fun, especially when it comes back to bite him like with Aquaman. Speaking of which, Aquaman is frigging AWESOME. If this book doesn’t get it into your head that Aquaman is a badass, I don’t know what will…Well, except for maybe this.
Wonder Woman is also awesome as we actually get a fairly decent take on the character. On one hand, she is compassionate and loving, but on the other hand, if you come barging in and start attacking people, she will fuck your shit up. We also get some decent character bits from Dr. Stone, Steve Trevor, and Cyborg. One thing that kinda bugs me is just how violent this story gets at times, but considering it’s a story about an alien invasion, I suppose it’s fitting. The only issue I have is just how distrusting the government is of the group, and how terrified the people are of them. With the exception of Batman, I much prefer to see the people looking up to the heroes and feeling safe around them, knowing these are people that are there to protect them.
But hey, I suppose there’s still time for that to turn around. Next time, we look at Justice League #5 & #6 as the heroes put up a desperate stand against Darkseid. Ja né!
Posted on December 27, 2012, in Comic Books, What I Bought Today and tagged Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg, Darkseid, DC Comics, DC Universe, Flash, Frankenstein, Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, Justice League, New 52, Parademon, S.T.A.R. Labs, Steve Trevor, Superhero, Superman, Wonder Woman. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.