In Review: Justice League United #10

The entire Legion wasn't necessary for the end result and I didn't find myself caring for this Justice League.

The covers: A trio of very different covers for you to bring together in your collection. The Main cover is by Andrew Robinson. Brainiac 5 is front and center, surrounded by several members of the JLU and the Legion of Super-Heroes. He’s looking sinisterly at Ultra, who has regressed to an infant. He’s in the fetal position, swathed in white. Is he the lynchpin that will save the Legion or destroy them in their future? Decent cover, but too much space is devoted to the empty white. I would have preferred to see the toddler outlined in white and more of the heroes shown off. The Dan Hipp Variant has Stargirl and Supergirl standing side by side surrounded by lots of baddies. They’ve beaten the ones before them down, but they don’t seem to notice the ones behind them. Excellent image, in the Scott Pilgrim style, with the coloring absolutely joyous. I love this! The Movie Variant cover is by Marco D’Alfonso. I swore to myself I wasn’t going to go crazy with variant covers, but I’m a tremendous fan of Tim Burton’s earlier works, and I love Mars Attacks! which this cover is parodying. Stargirl has a monstrous beehive as the Martian assassin from the film, the Martian Manhunter is posed like one of the diminutive invaders, and Supergirl’s body has been radically shrunken to have her imitate the bodiless head of Sarah Jessica Parker. Below the title of the comic are head shots of Adam Strange, Miyahbin, Alanna Strange, Green Arrow, and Animal Man. The book’s credits are underneath. Really well done, and this is the cover I bought. Overall grades: Main B, Variant A+, and Movie Variant A-

The story: The Infinitus Saga concludes in this final chapter by Jeff Lemire. Brainiac 5 had a black hole opened up to absorb the threat of the Infinity Man, and it worked completely. However, it’s now dragging in all the heroes. One villain is shot into the maw of the cosmic event, and two heroes are almost swallowed as well until the timely arrival of the strongest member of the team. With the heroes out of danger, a new threat arises, and it’s one that will destroy a famous DC planet. I have to give Lemire credit for creating a good sense of eminent destruction, and his solution to the problem is good, especially with where this cosmic body is relocated. What I didn’t like is that the focus of this final issue ignores, with the exception of three panels, what’s up with Ultra. He was forgotten, by the writer and myself, until he was brought back for a farewell. This diminished the youngster’s earlier appearances in this storyline, making me feel like I could have just skipped the build up and gotten to this issue and I would have been satisfied. I bought this storyline because of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and each character gets a moment, but not enough. Brainy is the star of this saga, since he’s the one that is able to solve it, but only one other Legionnaire is necessary to save the day. When looked at as a whole, only those two Legionnaires needed to appear to have this story conclude smartly. It makes all that’s gone before seem like fluff. That didn’t make me happy. Overall grade: C-

The art: Neil Edwards was the penciller of this issue and Jay Leisten and Keith Champagne are the inkers. It’s easy to see when the change of inkers occurs: one has a softer touch on characters’ faces. Page 4 has only two panels, but it’s one of the best of the book. Two heroes are saved from certain doom by another hero and it’s spectacular looking. I really like the pose of the character that’s saving the pair, and the two in distress have great emotions. The second panel has a really cool black hole, which always are difficult to convey, but these pros make it look easy. Not faring so well is Brainiac 5 who has only two emotions: pout or scream. It would have been nice to something in between this range. Also not faring well is Hawkman, whose uniform is full of too many lines to make him overly shiny. Pages 5 and 6 show him at his shiniest. I wish he’d been a little duller in the costume department. Looking fantastic are Dream Girl and Dawnstar just before they leave to their time–they are gorgeous. It’s a mixed bag this month, but that’s the way this series has been along during this saga. Overall grade: C+

The colors: A decent job is done by Jeromy Cox on this issue. The most detailed images he gets to color are those involving the black hole and they look excellent. I love all the shades of blue that Cox uses to give it a fluid aspect. Really, really nice. Once away from space the backgrounds disappear to nothing or almost nothing, and Cox has to do what he can to fill them. Sometimes he nails it, such as at the bottom of Page 15, and other times he misses, such as in the third panel on 10–too much green. On the whole, he does a good job. Overall grade: B

The letters: Travis Lanham provides opening title and credits, dialogue, screams, sounds, and narration. All look fine. Overall grade: B 

The final line: Now that’s it over, I wish I’d passed on this. The entire Legion wasn’t necessary for the end result and I didn’t find myself caring for this Justice League. For die hard fans only. Overall grade: C+ 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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