The League moves on to a powerful new threat and some new leadership emerges with a new creative team.
Justice League 40
Written by Robert Venditti
Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Richard Friend
Colors by David Baron
The latest iteration of DC Comics’ flagship team book spent its entire run building to the Justice-Doom War, but we didn’t really get a conclusion to the story from Scott Snyder. Instead, it moved on to the Year of the Villain miniseries and another upcoming series the company has been teasing. So now the Justice League book moves in a completely different direction with a new creative team.
The introductory issue has the League battling former Green Lantern Sodom Yat, a Daxamite with the powers of Superman, until John Stewart gets the situation under control. Yat is only on Earth to warn its heroes about an even bigger threat: an army of Eradicators.
For the uninitiated, the Eradicator was one of the four replacement Supermen after the Man of Steel DIED in the early 1990s. The Eradicator is basically a computer program tasked with ensuring the legacy of Krypton. Of course, all these computer programs never turn out to be anything less than attempted genocidal maniacs, and the current version of the Eradicator isn’t very different.
Bringing an army of Daxamites who apparently no longer have any weaknesses to Earth should be an interesting threat for the Justice League. However, in recent years, we’ve seen multiple stories about Kryptonians trying to conquer Earth, and the Justice League has battled them back every time. So, the current fight unfortunately has a feeling of “been-there, done-that” attached to it.
The most interesting aspect of the issue is Green Lantern John Stewart taking on more of a leadership role in the League. As a former member of the Armed Forces, and someone who’s taken on prominent roles within the Green Lantern Corps, Stewart is a tactical powerhouse who should have no problem leading a disparate group of super-beings. At this point, he may be the only person who hasn’t actually led a version of the Justice League, so it’ll be a nice change of pace to see what he can do at the helm.
It’s just a shame this particular aspect doesn’t have a stronger arc to attach to.
On the positive side, we get pencils from one of my all-time favorite artists, Doug Mahnke, on the book. I’ve marveled at his artwork since his run on JLA in the early-2000s, and he never disappoints. I’m willing to see where the story goes just so I can get some more Mahnke art.