Justice League: Last Ride #5 is published by DC Comics. The writer is Chip Zdarsky and the artist is Miguel Mendonça. The colours are by Enrica Angiolini and the letters are by Andworld Design.
The Justice League were no more. A devastating war with Apokolips took the planet as well as the lives of multiple heroes. In order to destroy the home of Darkseid and stop the bombs falling, Martian Manhunter sacrificed himself. This ruined the team and they disbanded. But years later, the Green Lantern corps brought them back together. Lobo had been arrested and captured. They want him to stand trial, but there’s a universe of people who want him dead. The League take him to the now-dead planet of Apokolips for safe-keeping, but Superman and Batman are still at odds. But now there is an army of villains bearing down on the world, all wanting Lobo’s head on a plate.
In this issue, The Justice League must protect the Czarnian bounty hunter. Superman and Flash have to face Brainiac inside Cyborg Superman’s body, flanked by Manhunters. In space, Wonder Woman and John Stewart have Mongul to deal with. And deep in the heart of the planet, Batman and Hal are jump-starting a planet. In the flashback, the League face the aftermath of losing one of their best. But the battle is not over, and Amazonians are still dying. And Green Lantern is all alone against Darkseid.
The story within this comic has not relented in its scale or ferocity. Zdarsky grabs the reader by the throat and drags them into a war. This is the start of a fight that has been building for four issues, and it does not disappoint. Whilst there is a vast amount of exhilarating combat, there is storytelling. There is someone orchestrating a plan under the radar, which instils a mystery for both the reader and the heroes. And there is a surprise that will make hearts drop. There are so many moments of pure comic book brilliance, like a celebration of the team and the genre.
The other half of the comic reveals that the story in the past is not yet over. The explosion of grief from Batman and Superman is heartbreaking. Some of the finer details are not yet concluded. This timezone is such a sublime example of storytelling as the League witness such horror but is forced to keep fighting.
The characters and the dialogue in Justice League: Last Ride #5 is utterly fantastic. So many of the heroes and villains get a moment to shine. Wonder Woman taking on Mongul, the first line of defense before he gets to Apokolips. Superman and Flash are taking on an impossibly powerful invasion. Even in the past, Zdarsky provides incredible scenes. Green Lantern on his own against Darkseid may seem one-sided, but the way the battle unfolds is very unexpected.
Another successful aspect of this series is the history that the writer has created within a separate timeline. This was evident from the way the war with Apokolips was presented. But there are smaller facets that suggest a whole sequence of events. For example, the fact that Brainiac is in control of Cyborg Superman. Or Wally being the Flash. These are hints that this is a timeline of its own, with intricate details and a wealth of history.
The art is impeccable. The battles are superbly crafted by Mendonça. The scale of what we are witnessing is clear, and yet there are so many details. Each fight and each setting has a unique set of combatants and abilities. The sheer power of these beings is immense and that is demonstrated with serious rigour. Motion lines make the reader feel the speed of their movements and the impact at which they hit. The facial expressions in the flashback are ones of despair and rage, beautifully rendered by the artist. Every character design, even in a small cameo, is exquisite. The feeling of scales is implemented in the figures, not just the landscapes. The beings the League face are giants. Mongul and Darkseid look even more ominous when they tower over their enemies.
The colours are stunning. With so much detail in the line art, there are so many surfaces and textures for Angiolini to cover. And yet this is covered excellently. Amongst all of the chaos the variety of vibrant shades makes it easier to follow and gorgeous to look at. To make it easier, the surroundings. The colourist’s manipulation of lighting and blending of shades is phenomenal.
The lettering is as dynamic and exciting as the action. It is full of custom word balloons and big, loud SFX that match the intensity and the action of what is on the panel.
Justice League: Last Ride #5 is a blockbuster comic of epic proportions. Every aspect of this book radiates power and large scale. The characters are full of life, each one true to form. The relationships between them have been pulled taught by Zdarsky in some beautifully painful moments. The art team have created battles and conflicts that couldn’t be replicated by a movie with $300 million worth of CGI, presenting us with one of the best battles the League has ever been a part of.
Justice League: Last Ride #5 is available where comics are sold.
Justice League: Last Ride #5
Justice League: Last Ride #5 is a blockbuster comic of epic proportions. Every aspect of this book radiates power and large scale. The characters are full of life, each one true to form. The relationships between them have been pulled taught by Zdarsky in some beautifully painful moments.
Screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”