REVIEW: ‘Justice League,’ Issue #62

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Justice League #62

Justice League #62 is published by DC Comics. The book is split into two, the first half being a Justice League story. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Davie Marquez. The colorist is Ivan Plascencia, and the letterer is Josh Reed. The second story contains the Justice League Dark and is written by Ram V. The artist is Xermanico, and the colors are by Romulo Fajardo Jr. Letters by Rob Leigh.

The Justice League was attacked twice by Brutus, a being from another universe. The League decided to travel to Naomi’s world, discovering ruined cities and a changed populace. Upon their arrival, they were separated,  and those with abilities realize that they aren’t working properly. When they regroup, they find Brutus standing over a defeated Superman and Black Adam…

The plot is primarily taken over by the fight between the League and Brutus. The fight has a great structure, with Batman barking orders and a natural sense of escalation. With their most powerful members already out for the count, the danger they are in is evident from the beginning. The entire issue is full of energy and will leave the reader with a smile. And with Flash realizing his mistake, there is even more peril. The final page surprise will ensure that the League’s adventure in Naomi’s world is far from over. 

Bendis’ writing style is perfect for these characters. The light, natural dialogue that he uses creates the impression that so many members have known each other for so long. There’s a sense of family in the group, with brilliant banter and constant conversation. Justice League #62 is also beginning to show Black Adam fitting in with the team. The relationship he and Superman have is quickly becoming one of the standout features of this series.

The art by Marquez is stunning. These two creators have had a long-standing partnership, and that collaboration is evident within the pages. His structure of the battle is excellent, especially in regards to utilizing space. There are several wide panels, which allows the reader to show the placement of the Justice League around Brutus. Having so many figures in a fight at the same time is a tough situation to orchestrate, and yet the artist executes this perfectly.

The colors are gorgeous inside Justice League #62. The textures are smooth and clean, allowing for a brilliant blending of shades within the same surface. This happens frequently, with the edges of panels being slightly different colors than the center. This helps implement both perspective and lighting. Each costume is awesome, but the pure white of Hippolyta’s armor against the gold lining possibly stands out the most.

In the second story, the Justice League Dark are continuing their hunt for the ancient sorcerer, Merlin. Traveling between timezones, Merlin is gathering artifacts that will help him change the world. A large group of magic users and detectives set out on a mission, finding their next clue inside a gigantic library. But upon entering, they find the guardian of the library under attack from mystical monsters. 

Within this issue, the team battles the vicious horde before searching the library for answers. Meanwhile, Merlin takes a voyage across oceans and eras.

The plot of the second half of the comic is certainly intriguing, with the mystery being carried out across multiple issues. But like with the other chapters, the pace and structure struggle due to being at the back of another comic. Just as the story starts to get moving and the reader settles into it, it stops again. The parts aren’t quite long enough. However, V is very talented at weaving magical-based tales, which is clear inside The Swamp Thing as well. There are some really clever moments, including an entirely unexpected fourth wall break.

The characters are awesome and unique. The Justice League Dark has always been a ragtag bunch of characters, and the additions of Etrigan and Ragman adds different energies to the assortment. Jason Blood isn’t trusted by Constantine, which creates friction between him and his allies. And Rory Regan has an innocence akin to the likes of Jimmy Olsen. But the suit appears to enjoy and feed off of violence, resulting in some fantastic exchanges.

The art is extraordinary. Xermanico draws two locations within this comic, and both feel like entirely different worlds. Within the library, the line art is exquisite in its detail. There are hundreds of books on the shelves, and each is etched in. This is twinned with the fights taken place below it. The artist is fantastic at presenting movement when necessary, such as when the mystical swords are being swung, but also the stoicism of spellcasting.

The colors are also jaw-dropping frequently within the second half of Justice League #62. The pink and purples in the sky above Merlin’s ship are absolutely stunning. This also reflects from the water, almost creating a glow. Similarly, when magic is cast, the energy really seems to shine. Some of the books on the shelves are different colors, breaking up a possible monotony in the background.

The lettering in both stories is effective and dynamic. Leigh and Reed use different fonts befitting the genre of either tale, but it is easy to read throughout the comic.

Justice League #62 features two brilliant stories, yet still would benefit from just being one. They feature superb plots with blockbuster writers and artists at the helm. Bendis and V have two ensemble casts where both are fantastically utilized. And the art teams have created terrific pages that show off their abilities. But the two stories are vastly different in tone and take time away from the other. Justice League and Justice League Dark should be separate comics so that the reader doesn’t get frustrated by their presence. 

Justice League #62 is available now wherever comics are sold. 


Justice League #62
3.5

TL;DR

Justice League #62 features two brilliant stories, yet still would benefit from just being one. They feature superb plots with blockbuster writers and artists at the helm. Bendis and V have two ensemble casts where both are fantastically utilized. And the art teams have created terrific pages that show off their abilities. But the two stories are vastly different in tone and take time away from the other. Justice League and Justice League Dark should be separate comics so that the reader doesn’t get frustrated by their presence.