And so, it comes to pass that the sixth issue of Justice League, the top-selling book in the land which I have been scoffing at and mocking with each installment, finally bands DC's premiere superheroes together to beat up an alien jerk. Now, the Justice League has an origin story starring the main crew instead of Mark Waid's Justice League: Year One story that was the previous canon. Is that trade worth it? From a sales perspective, certainly. From a story perspective, not at all.
The fighting part is fun for the most part, although somewhat befuddlingly choreographed in artist Jim Lee's layouts, and eventually you just shrug and accept that a lot of stuff is flashing bright and going boom and our team is winning. Still, Wonder Woman and Aquaman get some fun bad-ass moments in, Lee's art is generally cool to look at, and Cyborg gets to save the day by accessing all the boom-tube tech and zapping everybody back home, thanks to a Batman pep talk. Speaking of ol' Bruce Wayne, the whole thing last issue where he took off his cowl and his bat symbol, revealing his secret identity to Hal Douchebag Jordan, and then ran off to get captured by aliens proves just as pointless as we thought it was when it happened. I assume we're supposed to assume that the aliens were not going to abduct him as long as he was wearing a cape? That makes zero sense, but we're past that in this series. He does find Superman and frees him up for more punching.
It seems like the whole rigamarole was supposed to be a fun romp with amusing misunderstandings that are all overcome in the face of a big threat, and a reason for writer Geoff Johns' favorites Hal Jordan and Barry Allen to say funny things, like trying to name the team "The Super Seven." Unfortunately, the end product feels pretty slapdash and anticlimactic, with humor that lands with a thud, a grunt or a shrug. So there's your Justice League. Sis boom bah.
More interesting is the backup story that finally sheds a little light on Pandora, the mysterious hooded being who showed up at the end of Flashpoint and in every New 52 title. Bleeding Cool has made note of the fact that she bears a strong resemblance to Zealot, a Jim Lee character from WildCATS, but they seem to think that won't pan out. I can't speak to that, having never read WildCATS, but it does seem she's a highly metaphysical type, invisible to the naked eye, who has a hostile relationship with classic DC mystery mystic The Phantom Stranger. Pandora's apparently going significantly rogue from some group called the Circle of Eternity, and may eventually earn the ire of the Spectre, and she also totes magic pistols… and, of course… of course, a box. One the Phantom Stranger wants, but Pandora won't be passive and is out to imprison "The Strange" with the help of the Justice League.
It sports some neat art from Carlos D'anda, but also acknowledges that reality has been rewritten, and someone besides Pandora is aware of this – namely, Phantom Stranger and the Circle of Eternity. Whatever that might entail. And there will be repercussions! As esoteric and cryptic as all that business is, it's already more compelling than The World's Greatest Super-Heroes have been so far. And that's kind of depressing.
The book isn't awful. It's just as I've said previously – fair to middling at best.
CraveOnline Rating: 6.8/10