Friday, March 4, 2016

Justice League #46 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

I can't say that this issue is all that exciting, but Johns does do a solid job of showing us the aftermath of Darkseid's (alleged) death.

Unexpectedly, we don't get the battle royale between the remaining members of the Justice League and the Apokoliptans.  Why, you ask?  It's because Big Barda arrives on the scene to save Mr. Miracle, making short work of Kanto and then Kalibak.  We learn that she and Scot are on their honeymoon, and Scot worries that her presence will draw the attention of the Furies.  (Barda is apparently wanted for betraying the "Black Oath" and marrying Scot.)  Barda doesn't really care and passionately kisses Scot.  This moment provokes the best moment of the issue, as Diana and Steve both avert their eyes at this display of love.  Barda makes a peace offering to Lashina, one of the Furies, telling her that she won't come after Granny Goodness if she doesn't come after them.  Lashina refuses the offering, though, again, Barda isn't really all that upset by it.

Since Batman and the Green Lantern have fallen off the grid in their search for dirt on the Anti-Monitor, Diana suggests that the League should go talk to the remaining members of the Crime Syndicate, given their previous experience with the Anti-Monitor.  (I actually forgot that the Anti-Monitor is still out there and that the League knows little about him.)  Steve says that Superwoman and Ultraman are such highly classified prisoners that even the League can't reach them, so Scot takes the team to break into Belle Rive.  Diana remains behind to find the missing members of the League, and Steve stays with her.  He tells her that she seems worried, and she admits that she is.  Johns continues to use them as his emotional anchor, as Steve begins to confess his love to Diana, fearing that they won't survive the coming days (and inspired by watching Barda and Scot as lovers and partners on the battlefield).  Perhaps proving his point, Superman arrives and grabs Steve, forcing Diana to defend him.

The biggest question mark over this issue has to do with Mobius and Grail.  We have a brief scene where Mobius interacts with someone in Shazam's fortress.  This person -- an imagine in a mirror -- observes that Mobius intends to trade the safety of the universe for his soul.  She's ready to explain what happens if he returns to his chair, but Mobius breaks the mirror before she can.  Meanwhile, Grail and her mother discover the Anti-Life Equation, and Grail implies that Mobius has "separated" from it.  Grail reclaims it, becoming the Goddess of Anti-Life.  To be honest, I'm still not really clear what happens in either scene.  These two sequences -- with Mobius and then Grail -- seem linked, but I can't yet see what the link is (beyond the Anti-Life Equation, but even then I'm guessing).  The only thing that we know that Mobius has "separated from" is his chair, so it seems to imply that the Equation is linked to the chair?  Maybe?  I guess we'll see.

Overall, though, it's a solid issue.  Again, I can't say that  I'm really all that excited about this story, particularly since we've had so many Darkseid stories lately (particularly if you include "Earth 2").  But, Johns is clearly building to something, so we'll see where we go.

*** (three of five stars)

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