Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Justice League 8, originally released April 18th, 2012.
Shelby: I love a good mystery. As a wee lass, I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys; though my tastes have strayed somewhat since then, I still believe there is nothing better than mystery (big or small) to hook someone into a plot. Apparently, Geoff Johns agrees with me, because this month’s Justice League is loaded with mysteries of varying height and weight. Even though I’m not crazy about the actual events that took place in this issue, the mysteries Johns is beginning to uncover are tantalizing to a curious cat like me.
The bulk of this issue consists of Green Arrow following the Justice League around like that kid brother no one liked, asking to be a part of the team. Maybe asking is too nice of a way to put it; he could give Hal lessons on how to be cocky and a little annoying. It actually seems like it might work; on the one hand, Trevor is being pushed to admit someone new, someone professional and highly esteemed onto the team. On the other hand, Superman and Barry are beginning to think that maybe they should consider adding someone new to the team, someone to help them continue to save the world. Batman reminds them of what happened the last time they added someone new to the team:
Yeah, I’ll say that went badly. We’ll unpack that in a second; while the League is reminiscing, Trevor is talking to Green Arrow. According to Trevor, there’s another team that could use his special talents, and Green Arrow is definitely interested. Quick flash to Martian Manhunter, chilling in the desert, concluding that “they’re not prepared.”
Well, first of all, obviously, what the hell, Martian Manhunter? Why you got to be like that? Seriously, Peter, maybe you can fill me in, was there a time when MM was a bad guy? I’ve only ever known him as the Oreo-loving, last of his kind alien who is actually more powerful than Superman. As the above spread would seem to indicate: MM is kicking some major ass. I have long been lamenting the lack of Martians on the team, so this reveal is super intriguing to me. I also totally did not see it coming, so good on you Johns; you just about knocked me out of my chair. Also, what did he mean, calling the team unprepared? Unprepared for what? Maybe he’s not a bad guy, maybe he’s just testing them for something huge on the horizon? Speculation!
Another mystery comes in the form of Oliver Queen, otherwise known as Green Arrow. I guess I’m assuming it’s Ollie; it’s hard to say without the Errol Flynn-esque goatee.
Trevor has all sorts of secret information about Mr. Queen, like his slightly criminal background, that we aren’t given any details about. Likewise, Green Arrow seems to know some sort of secret about the Justice League and is seeking to pit his “social agenda” against Trevor’s “war plans.” Wait, what? What’s going on? Is Trevor using the Justice League on behalf of the government to fight/start some sort of crazyass war? So many secrets!
I liked this issue. I didn’t at first, because I thought the whole plot with Green Arrow tagging along was kind of lame, but then it grew on me. Plus, there were some nice villain cameos, with a plane full of Talons from Night of Owls and some robed cultists from Justice League Dark. Not to mention a new chapter of Shazam!, with Billy meeting his new melting pot of a foster family. Even though I know virtually nothing about Shazam!, it’s nice to see the Marvel family coming together. Peter, as resident mega-fan of Shazam!, I bet you were jumping up and down with excitement.
Peter: I’m still very on the fence about this issue. I really like that it introduces Green Arrow into the fray. But at the same time, it doesn’t really go very far. It’s definitely better than last issue though. I just wish instead of teasing all these cool things that the Justice League has done, that we got to read about them. For example, I want to know what was up with that whole thing about Martian Manhunter fighting the Justice League. I’m not reading Stormwatch right now, so I have no idea, but I don’t think that that happened in that book either. So what was up with that? I have never seen/heard of Martain Manhunter being a bad guy, so I can only guess that he is testing them/preparing them for something. I can say that I was super excited for a second, since I thought that this may mean that J’onn would be joining the team. Alas, no.
I did like that this book really explored the relationships between members of the team. Last issue we saw a lot about the relationships between the JL and the rest of the world, complete with a Steve Trevor—Wonder Woman love interest, and JL gang signs. This month we see more between the actual members of the League, from Hal/Bruce to the differing opinions on new member integration.
I think it is cool that Johns is continuing to develop this relationship between Hal and Bruce especially. They are so different, personality wise, but yet they are very much the same. If you can remember back to Blackest Night #1, Hal is reminiscing in front of Bruce’s grave with Barry, and it’s really quite a touching moment. Both men lost their parents before their eyes; Bruce to Crime Alley, and Hal watched a plane his dad was flying explode. Also, early in this run of JL, Bruce revealed to Hal right off the bat (zing!) who he really was, and how he had faith in him to work with the others to fight Darkseid. Now they are trading jokes! (Well, as much as Bruce jokes)
I also liked the set up for something sinister and ‘off the books’ for Ollie to work on. It’s like JL: Black Ops or something. It definitely makes for an exciting book. So many cliffhangers!! What’s J’onn talking about? What’s Trevor got up his sleeve? Will Superman say more than 1 sentence? Find out next month!
To comment on SHAZAM!: I really liked this installment. The introduction of other mainstays in the SHAZAM universe was awesome, between ‘sweet on the outside, tough on the inside’ Mary, to ‘even though I use crutches, I’m still going to take you wallet’, Freddy Freeman. I also felt some sympathy for Billy at the end, when he was looking at that picture, of I’m assuming his parents, standing in front of a tiger, (Tawky??) I was really sad. I love that Billy’s character is developing, and it is becoming clear that he’s a little shithead because he’s covering up for his real feelings. SHAZAM!
For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to DC’s website and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?