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I’ll start this review by saying this: I suck at starting at #1s. Seriously, I do. Last week I reviewed Wonder Woman #6 after not reading anything else. This week, I jumped into Justice League #5 in much the same way.
#1s are great, but I’m really bad at reading them. I get lazy, don’t pick up issue #2, etc. Some stories, too, start slow and I bore easily (shoutout to ADHD brain, ugh). So I jump in in the middle a lot these days, and hope I get what’s going on.
Justice League #5 did a great job of introducing me to the story in media res. It opens with Aquaman bringing singing crystals based on zodiac symbols to four points in the ocean. Meanwhile, Superman pushes a very bright object inside a volcano that intermittently ‘pulses,’ causing massive earthquakes.
The rest of the League tangles with giant humanoid monsters called the Kindred, who use speed, spectrum energy, starlight, and magic to do some kind of ‘Awakening.’ They creepily tell Wonder Woman she doesn’t know who she is, and that she’ll have a part to play later.
The Flash and the Green Lanterns do their best to take speed and green spectrum energy away from the creatures. Then, when all hope seems lost, Superman brings the large, bright, exploding thing up above ground and explodes the Kindred. This releases the people trapped inside them, and for now, the day is saved.
“Today’s work,” as Superman calls it, is done.
Overall, I really liked this issue. It gave me just enough context to get my bearings, and told a fairly simple story. Giant threat, dangerous thing trying to destroy giant threat, and the good guys have to stop both. In the clutch moment, Superman makes the metaphorical touchdown.
I like superhero stories that deal with important issues and high-concept themes. Hell, I started reading comics as an X-Men fan!
But sometimes, you just want to watch the good guys win against something that’s just purely dangerous. No ambiguity, moral or otherwise, just punching the monsters.
Superhero comics always dealt heavily in escapism — and like I said, I started as an X-Men fan. This story really felt they way a lot of old school Silver Age X-stories do. Things are simple, and the good guys win.
Sometimes, we just need that.
I’m really interested, also, in seeing where this goes. After all, the Kindred did tell Wonder Woman she has a further part to play. They said she ‘is’ Truth, and I want to to know what that means.
So here we are! Join me for the next issue of Justice League in a couple of weeks, and we’ll see what happens next.