REVIEW: ‘Justice League,’ Issue #72

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Justice League #72 - But Why Tho

Justice League #72 is published by DC Comics. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Szymon Kudranski, Emanuela Lupacchino and Wade von Grawbadger, colours by Kudranski and Hi-Fi and letters by Josh Reed.

Underneath the Hall of Justice, Zatanna has a vision about a member of the League betraying the team, unleashing their full power.

From the first pages, this comic captures the attention. beautifully dramatic and intense, the opening sets up the mystery that spans the rest of the issue. The build-up within is slow and methodical and often tries to trick the reader into believing the course can change. The structure of the comic is one that shifts between teams and locations. The Justice League Dark kickstart the situation whilst the main team ended up being the backup. Even when they join together, some members of the group stay behind as an escape from the action. Bendis’ run with this team has always had a grandiosity to it, but it feels different in Justice League #72. There has been a chaotic nature before, where this issue is focused. The reader and the team have the same point that they are trying to reach, unsure what we will meet when we get there. There is a clever and impactful final page that bookends with the beginning.

It is difficult to discuss characters in this issue without spoilers. But it should be mentioned that the key figure under discussion is beautifully explored in this comic. There’s a fantastic conversation to be had about mistrust within the team towards this character, as there is an assumption about what will happen next. The ultimate reality will be a surprise for everyone and highlights some flaws for more than one hero. On another note, it is great to have the Justice League and the Justice League Dark interacting and crossing over with each other. It reminds the readers that they do work very close to each other. And whilst Ram V’s backup stories in these comics were fantastic, the issue was that they compressed the main story. Now there is more space for both of them.

The art is the most notable part of Justice League #72. The three artists have very different styles, beautifully fitting for what was trying to be achieved in this comic. Each setting has its own unique look. Zatanna’s vision is provided by Kudranski. The visual artist has a mystical atmosphere to their art style. Relying heavily on light breaching through shadows, it is perfect for a foreshadowing vision. Then the Justice League Dark’s headquarters is done by Lupacchino. Again, it is small spots of light fighting with the darkness, it is also good at being mysterious and clandestine. Finally, there is Von Grawbadger for the bulk of the comic, covering the Justice League with a more traditional comic book style. All three are expertly created and demonstrate just how varied comic art can be.

The colours are gorgeous. The opening Kudranski scene has some extremely powerful visuals. Just two colours compete against each other, blue and red as a combination of lightning and fire swirl around the jet-black surroundings. It’s an explosive, visceral beginning to the book. Then underneath the Hall of Justice, with Constantine, Zatanna and the others,  there is a limited range of colours, with very faint reds and blues hiding amongst the gloomy room. It is mysterious and hauntingly beautiful And in the rest of the book there is an abundance of tones and vibrancy, relishing in the warmth. The Hall of Justice celebration moment is this visual example of the brightness and positivity that the League can exude.

The lettering is very good, easy to read. The word balloons can be large, but they are well-placed and can be followed without too many problems.

Justice League #72 is the best issue of the Bendis era. The art is extraordinary and layered, creating a different experience in each scene. The two groups together increase the cast of the comic yet it still feels small and intimate. All of the characters are written beautifully, with one in particular radiating power. Bendis’ humour remains but makes way to fit the splendour of the situation.

Justice League #72 is available where comics are sold.


Justice League #72
5

TL;DR

Justice League #72 is the best issue of the Bendis era. The art is extraordinary and layered, creating a different experience in each scene. The two groups together increase the cast of the comic yet it still feels small and intimate. All of the characters are written beautifully, with one in particular radiating power. Bendis’ humour remains but makes way to fit the splendour of the situation.