Apr 1, 2014

[Comics] Justice (DC)

Like many comic book fans, I have a pretty healthy respect for prolific artist Alex Ross. His highly realistic and thus highly human way of bringing various comic characters to life is a distinct art form in itself that lends a certain degree of class and sophistication to any work. Whether her only works on the covers or handles the art for an entire book, his contributions certainly go a long way towards really adding a degree of wonder and grandeur to the work.

Justice is a story that Ross all over it, starting from the writing down to the art. And I'm not just talking about the covers for the individual issues - this is one of those comic book mini-series that involved Ross working through the art from cover to cover. And the end result is just...WOW.

It took me a fair amount of time to get around to reading this despite the fact that Tobie actually has copies of the individual issues. It eventually took a comiXology deal on the same comic to help me move forward - just one of many comics that I seem more inclined to read in a purely digital format.

Synopsis: Justice is a 12-issue limited comic book series written by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger with art also by Ross together with Doug Braithwaithe.

It all starts with a shared dream - that of the end of the world with the mighty heroes of the Justice League powerless to stop the catastrophe. The problem is just to big for the heroes to deal with and the world seems incapable of handling it either due to years of coddling by the super humans. Thus the super villains who all experienced this same dream decide to band together to become the heroes that the Earth truly deserves.

Their first move is a truly surprising one - to start solving many of the ills of the world. Captain Cold and Poison Ivy create greenery in the desert. They find ways to cure the sick and disabled. And all these gestures start to turn public opinion against the Justice League given they've never done anything like that to help humanity. But at the same time Aquaman goes missing - lured into a trap by Lex Luthor and Brainiac through Black Manta. And as the rest of the League start to look for him, one-by-one they too fall to various traps set  by the villains.

It's interesting to note how the main inspiration for this story roughly using the line-up the Justice League found in the various Super Friends cartoons from the 70's. And on a related note, the comic series set our heroes against the Legion of Doom - the association of villains best remembered in the Challenge of the Super Friends cartoon series. And thus we get the massive line-up of heroes and villains involved in this one story.

I don't think I really need to go into the art. This is an entire book with Alex Ross's signature all over it, so how can we go wrong? Each page is beautifully done and the art really shines in the big full-page spreads with all the heroes and villains going at it. I sort of regret having first read this on my mobile phone - you lose the benefit of being able to enjoy the full grandeur of each page and I feel I will need to dig up Tobie's copies of the comics go just admire the art all over again.

The story has a whole has a number of parallels with another major Ross work done for DC Comics - Kingdom Come. And while that story was a bit more extreme in terms of its projections for the future, here we have a more "contemporary" tale with the heroes in their prime and the threat of the world ending pretty real. There are a number of fairly complex nuances to the tale in terms of what the villains set out to do and how each of the heroes try to face the challenges set before them. And of course there's the big finale, which is a truly awesome free-for-all that is almost Ross's signature.

And the cast of characters is just phenomenal. We're talking about a wide number of folks associated with the Justice League, complete with the likes of the Marvel family. There's the Metal Men and other heroes of the Silver Age but bought into the contemporary age. So many characters, and yet you don't quite get lost in the crowd.

Do you really need me to tell you that Justice is a great book? Well it is, most definitely. The story is not as great as the art, but the art is really that awesome so the story can't help but pale a bit in comparison. And thus the whole adventure gets 4.5 epic battle sequences out of a possible 5.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment