Sunday, September 1, 2013

Justice League #22 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

It’s clear that Johns has been building this story for a long time, since it spins directly from the Shazam! back-up story in “Justice League” and the recent issues of “Justice League of America.”  In fact, this issue spends most of its time showing us how all the various threads come together.  From Superman and Wonder Woman’s invasion of Khandaq inspiring Shazam! to spread Black Adam’s ashes there to the revelation that the mysterious leader of the Secret Society is manipulating the League itself and not just the new JLA, Johns at least makes you feel like your loyalty to both series is paying dividends.

The problem is that a lot still remains unclear.  We still don’t know why the Secret Society’s leader is doing what he’s doing or how he gets his information.  We’ve previously seen him find a way to invade the Batcave and the Watchtower and, here, he knows enough to send Plastique to kill Madame Xanadu before she could ascertain his plans.  Moreover, it seems possible that he’s the one who manipulated Pandora into giving the box to Superman, since Superman becoming sufficiently unstable that he killed Dr. Light seems to be part of his plan to discredit the Justice League.  But, why kill Dr. Light?  How does discrediting Superman and, by extension, the Justice League serve the Secret Society’s aims?  More obviously, what are the Secret Society’s aims?

The problem is that you’re left with the impression that the answer is going to make this whole scenario feel far-fetched.  Again, the Secret Society’s leader appears to be almost omniscient and I’m not sure how Johns is going to make that believable that when his identity is eventually revealed.  I mean, sure, if he’s Zeus, I’ll buy it.  But, if he’s anyone even remotely mortal (like Ridder, as I suggested that he might be last issue), then it’s going to feel like a convenient stretch, unless Johns really, really sells it.  After all, if the mysterious leader did really manipulate Pandora, you have to wonder how powerful he is to be able to maneuver a god.

I can't say anything here really convinced to hang with either "Justice League" title after this event concludes, but we'll see where Johns goes, I guess.

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