Justice League: Last Ride #3 is published by DC Comics. Written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Miguel Mendonça. Colours by Enrica Angiolini and the letterer is Andworld Design. Set in the near future, the Justice League is long gone. Dissipated after an Apokolips attack led to the death of many members, the team are no longer on speaking terms. But the group is brought back by the Green Lantern Corps, who has captured Lobo. The Lanterns want the bounty hunter to stand trial, but there are many in the universe that want him dead. Batman has the perfect place to keep him safe: Apokolips. They set off across the galaxy in secret…
In this issue, the League reach the former home of Darkseid, The planet is mysteriously barren of New Gods, and the gas in the atmosphere makes any outside probes from detecting the heroes on the planet’s surface. Batman’s paranoia has him prepared for every eventuality, with defenders back on Earth serving as backup. Sat around a campfire, The Justice League await for a universe of evil to attack.
The plot is slow and methodical, consistent with the two previous issues. The steady way the issue unfolds helps set the anxious tone of Justice League: Last Ride #3. There is nervousness on every page, neither the characters nor the reader ever comfortable. Zdarsky doesn’t use flashbacks in this comic, but there are dream sequences that are reminiscent of the one utilised in #1. It creates a huge mystery. A brilliant aspect of the storytelling in this series is that so much of the history is assumed, told through dialogue instead of actually being shown what happened. This scintillates the imagination and leads to a surprise tards the end of the comic.
There isn’t any fighting, but the set-up of what is sure to be an immense battle is exciting. There are many fun cameos that reveal just how large this universe is, and how many corners of it will be seen in this comic.
Zdarsky’s character development and dialogue excel yet again. The beauty of his writing means that the reader will happily absorb a scene where the Justice League sit around a campfire on a barren planet with not a hint of violence or superpowers. The respect this team has, and the hurt they went through, is achingly sad. There are some remarks that each other make that sting, only possible when you know each other so much. Batman is superbly written, his tactical brain flawless in its efficiency. But the disappointment in himself and his failings still lingers.
The other character that shines within Justice League: Last Ride #3 is Wonder Woman. Diana has often considered the heart of the Trinity. But when the other two members can’t stand each other, she has to be the mind and the strength as well. A Batman who values strategy over sensitivity and a Superman whose confidence is shattered means that it falls to Diana to be the person that acts as the anchor for all of the team.
The art is superb. There is a scratchy natured to Mendonça’s lines, suggesting textures and details. All of the superheroes are muscular and powerful, without their proportions being overexaggerated. Their body shapes are all varied too, with Flash having a different upper body than Superman or Batman. There are brilliant details that add beauty and depth to the comic. Batman’s cowl and cape hanging by his bed as he sleeps. The way Flash’s body shifts as he yawns and stretches. All of these makes their bodies look authentic.
The colours are simply stunning. For a planet ravaged by war and death, Angiolini’s colours make Apokolips beautiful. As the sun sets, the sky is blended between blue and orange. The campfire the League sit around has a gorgeous glow, as does the light from the Green Lanterns. Angiolini has a perfect balance within the tones they use. They are neither too dull to be boring or bleak, but also reduced in brightness so as not to be uncomfortable.
The lettering is very good. Andworld Design rarely uses different word balloons, aside from the Green Lantern communications. This avoids any possible confusion or difficulty reading new fonts.
Justice League: Last Ride #3 is a beautiful comic. This is a series that shows how different the Justice League can be if a writer removes one thing: spirit. These characters have been through something traumatic, and have been struggling to regain the spark they had between them. But Zdarsky uses a quiet issue such as this to try and rekindle some of the chemistry. Whilst it may lack action, this book has such perfect dialogue it would be a shame for a fight to disrupt that. This has the feel of the calm before the storm, waiting before all hell breaks loose. And not everyone may be here at the end of it.
Justice League: Last Ride #3 is available where comics are sold.
Justice League: Last Ride #3
Justice League: Last Ride #3 is a beautiful comic. This is a series that shows how different the Justice League can be if a writer removes one thing: spirit. These characters have been through something traumatic, and have been struggling to regain the spark they had between them.
Screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”