Publisher: DC Comics
Writer(s): Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson
Artwork: Francis Manapul, Marcus To, Hi-Fi (colours)
Lettering: Andworld Design
Release Date: 16th May 2018
After an incredibly strong opening issue that perfectly laid out the high-concept premise behind DC’s No Justice event, things continue here as our grudging hero and villain groups scramble to agree on a strategy in the wake of Braniac’s unfortunate cranial detonation at the end of the first chapter.
Unfortunately, the strength of the opening issue – i.e. the sheer scale of the situation and the diverse cast of characters involved – now proves to be something of a double-edged sword, as the focus rapidly shifts from character to character, making it somewhat difficult to become too invested in any of their individual reactions or disagreements.
Elsewhere, Amanda Waller takes a decent chunk of the limelight (and rightfully so, given her actions in the first issue), crossing paths with another well-known DC hero as she tries desperately to fix the problem she unwittingly caused. Waller is probably one of my low-key favourite DC characters, and the way she manages to hold her own time and time again despite not having any powers of her own makes her oddly engaging – even if her judgment is more than a little sketchy at times.
The issue also features a fairly cringe-inducing attempt to tie up the glaring question that’s hanging over the series. Namely, where the hell are Aquaman, Nightwing and all the other heroes and villains not already in one of Brainac’s teams? It’s good that they at least acknowledge this massive plot hole, but their attempt to plug it feels more than a little shoddy given how finely crafted the rest of the arc appears to be.
On the plus side, Francis Manapul continues to do the bulk of the heavy lifting here, being joined here by Marcus To as the pair provide a bold and energetic artistic style with some fantastic widescreen panel layouts that really help to capture of the immense scope of the series. And widescreen is definitely the word of the day, with no less than eight mouth-watering double page spreads in this latest issue
The colours from Hi-Fi once add some depth and energy to the proceedings, with a rich, dynamic palette featuring some suitably neon hues.
In spite of the minor niggles I mentioned above, there’s still a hell of a lot to like here. It’s a tense, frantic issue that pushes the story along in a satisfying manner, and while the final page return of a significant character probably feels like a bigger deal here than it actually is due to the context, it does add an interesting wrinkle to the seemingly unwinnable situation the DC Universe currently finds itself in.
As a slice of bold, ambitious storytelling, No Justice provides exactly what you’d want from an event like this. Subtle it definitely ain’t, and characterization is sacrificed somewhat at the altar of plot (with a few notable exceptions), but when large-scale, high-stakes ensemble carnage looks as a good as it does here, you definitely owe it to yourself to check it out.