The true threat of this arc, Newmazo, has been revealed. AI has turned hostile and our heroes have to work together to save the day. This arc has been very action-packed so far, as well as probably the biggest arc yet, since it involves the wider DC Universe and doesn’t just revolve around Batman and Superman and their sidekicks. But bigger doesn’t always mean better—can the creative team still deliver? Let’s have a look.
I mean, of course it’s good. This series has consistently been just about the best series that DC has been putting out recently, and more people should read it! First of all, the art has been top-notch since issue #1. Mora and Bonvillain draw a vibrant, dynamic superhero world, filled with bright colors, great character poses, and action sequences, all tied together by solid page layouts. Mora has that talent to draw multiple well-known characters on the same page, and shine a spotlight on all of them, rather than putting the focus on one in particular. It’s a joy to see him draw so many different familiar faces, too, so for fans of Dan Mora who want to see him tackle a wider DC Universe cast, I can definitely recommend this issue. Yet, one downside to having so many characters appear in an action-driven story, is that some of the panels and pages can become rather crowded, making it harder for me to absorb all the action. That’s but a minor complaint, though, because nobody draws action scenes like Mora.
However, there’s another downside to having such a large cast, and this time it’s in the writing department. While I’m thoroughly enjoying the story, having so many heroes appear, with such a wide variety of super powers, makes me feel like there is no real danger anymore. For example, when Robin is trapped in the Batmobile and about to crash into a wall, and we’re going to have Flash save him on the very first page, that in itself potentially lowers the stakes of the story. So when we see JLA members arriving to help Batman and Superman, it almost feels like a deus ex machina situation, as solutions to various problems come very easily in the form of those powers.
Yes, these heroes do have these powers and they do exist in the same universe, so they should absolutely be able to kick some ass and help each other out. But that doesn’t always mean that that is the best thing for a particular story. I would have found it much more entertaining and interesting if Batman and Superman really had to rely on their own skills and whatever tools are at their disposal and then find their own way out. See, I like how Waid writes Batman as being always several steps ahead and how he comes up with an escape plan, but if in the end the JLA comes to bail them out anyway, all that buildup with Batman trying to help everyone escape feels kind of unnecessary to me.
That said, this comic is getting a lot of other things right, but these are all things that I have already praised in previous reviews. The characters are written authentically; the pacing is on point; it’s great to see heroes working together and caring about each other instead of trying to bash each other’s brains in; and the dialogue is well-written and the exposition delivered in the right spots without overstaying its welcome. All in all, it’s a solid script with fantastic artwork—I just think that the creative team is getting rather close to overdoing it with all these colorful heroes running around at the same time.
- The JLA is your favorite superhero team.
- You’ve been wanting to see Dan Mora draw more DC characters.
- Action-driven comics with lots of heroes is your cup of tea.
Overall: The art is kinetic and executed at a very high level, but some of the panels and pages can be a bit crowded at times. The writing is solid, but the sense of danger diminishes when we have multiple overpowered heroes showing up to save the day. But, while this isn’t the strongest chapter of this arc, it’s still a ton of fun and I recommend it!
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.