Story by Geoff Johns
Art by Gene Ha

Commentary by Nick “BatKnight” Young

They came!  They saw!  They conquered! 

Five years ago, the Justice League (consisting of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Cyborg) staved off a grisly invasion from the evil lord Darkseid and his minions.

They found a common cause.

Now, they are a family, and a full-fledged team loved by the people.

 Bringing the story into the status quo, this issue starts out in Baltimore, Maryland with an attack by gruesome creatures warning citizens to “stay away”.  A group of government agents led by Col. Steve Trevor attempts to stave off the attack but are overwhelmed.  Quickly, the League arrives and they take down the immediate threat.  Batman has Cyborg gather intel on their threat:  a Biological Warfare Specialist named Dr. Samuel Street, who was exposed to a spore virus after an assault by an unknown assailant.  He became deformed, which Lantern wryly points out, but gained strength and the ability to create mindless, flesh-eating creatures under his command.  As Batman forms a plan, Lantern ignores him and the exasperated Dark Knight tells the rest to go into action.  They follow Street to his ex-wife’s house where they fight off his seed creatures.  After neutralizing the threat, Col. Trevor hosts a rather terse press conference and is later debriefed by Congress, who express concerns about the League being left unmonitored.  Trevor defends the League, accusing the council members of distrusting the heroes, and he warns them that the League can probably take their jobs if they wanted.  Afterwards, Trevor chats online with the League, checking up on them, and fielding complaints.  Meanwhile, someone is writing about destroying the League and using a key figure to do it:  Col. Trevor…

This issue, like any work of art, has its good and bad points.  Geoff Johns tells an interesting tale after the first big arc.  In it, he paints a picture of heroism that can be quite disturbing.  Sure, these are some of the greatest superheroes in the world, but the people trust them above their fellow humans.  Johns also touches on people’s dissatisfaction with the government, as the people also believe the League can really solve the country’s problems, in addition to cleaning up superhuman messes. It is this point that Johns has Trevor use to get Congress off his back about the League having more freedoms than Congress would want.  Another highlight is seeing the League in the webchat, which lends itself to warm, humorous moments.  They have become a family of sorts:  Wonder Woman is the “mother”.  Superman is the “father”.  Batman, Green Lantern, and The Flash appear to be the bickering children.  Batman nags “younger brother” Lantern about not following a plan while their “younger brother” Flash tries to intervene peacefully, only to be harshly told “Stay out of this!”  It is also apparent that Wonder Woman and Trevor have feelings for each other, but Trevor admits to new aide Etta Candy that his admission of love was unrequited.

It is great character moments like these that drown out the rather shallow villain plot and some cringe-worthy lines from the people such as “They’re SUPER-FRIENDS!” and “We’re  going to be okay! Everything’s going to be okay now!”  Coming from an accomplished writer such as Johns, these lines are foreign to his usual style and detract from the immersive nature of the book.  Also, Superman is still just the mostly silent muscle good for pounding bad guys.  For a writer who delivered great Superman stories in the past, Johns has dropped the ball on characterization for the Man Of Steel in this series so far aside from issue # 2.  As for the art, Gene Ha is no Jim Lee, but he still delivers thrilling action.

Geoff Johns and Gene Ha’s Justice League # 7 serves as good filler between story arcs.  It has good character interaction and action despite the few glaring flaws.  Keep a look out next month for a certain Emerald Archer looking to land on the League’s bullseye…

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