Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Andy McDonald, HI-FI (Colours)
Release Date: 10th May 2017
The underlying theme of this JLA run so far has been the team showing a more human side, both in dealing with the typically malevolent threats they face, and in facing their own personal demons. What we’ve also seen over the course of these first six issues, however, has been a discourse on the various flavours of tyranny; ruling by force to create a fearful, subservient populace, and promoting chaos to divide and conquer. The ‘Heart of a Bastich’ two-parter concludes in this issue, as we see how Nikos Aegeus’ approach to ‘saving the world’ plays out.
Steve Orlando is the perfect choice for this type of story, given his talent for addressing salient issues in the world around us from a deeply personal perspective, whilst setting it within an outlandish and fantastical world. The themes are weighty, but not overpowering, and there’s a very definite awareness of the need for the action to rumble on whilst exploring them. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know some characters I was relatively unfamiliar with, and at the close of this issue most are on trajectories I’m looking forward to following.
It’s a pretty full-on issue in regard to the action on show, too, and Andy McDonald crams each and every panel with a menagerie of outlandish beasts, dynamic action sequences, and slick character designs. At times it feels a little constrained in places, as though a larger canvas might have suited some sequences better, but aside from one jarring transition it’s a mightily impressive job. Hi-Fi’s colours perfectly befit the tone, bringing depth to the images and giving the mythical beasts in particular a suitably majestic feel.
At this point in the series it seems fairly obvious that Batman has served his purpose, given his ever decreasing influence over the general narrative. His inclusion provided a catalyst for these characters to shine, particularly in regards to redemption, and it was a smart move in terms of spotlighting the series, but this issue feels like a point where the team might part ways with the Dark Knight having established clear roles for each member. Orlando has used him sparingly to great effect, and he would leave the JLA in good shape. This latest vision of the team is undoubtedly thought-provoking, but this disparate collection of misfits and maniacs can certainly bring the noise, too.
[Click to Enlarge]
The Writer of this piece was: Martin Doyle
You can follow Martin on Twitter