Following the brief Doomsday interruption, this issue gets back to full-on Eclipso action as Eclipso, well, eclipses a great many characters in his quest to fulfill his massive secret agenda. Robinson rolls that agenda out at the end of this issue, and couples it with the surprise appearance of a character that I am glad to see back in this book, especially because of the drama it should add to this story. Before I go any farther into the particulars of this issue, I think it bears mentioning that although the Doomsday story may not be following an embraceable (or even linear) path for most readers, it makes complete sense that the JLA would have their lives upended by such an attack. After all, how many times have your own personal projects gotten sidelined or put on hold due to a larger or concurrent calamity?
In this issue, Eclipso attacks the Emerald City that Alan Scott established for mystic characters at the conclusion of the “Dark Things” JLA/JSA crossover, and in doing so fulfills the prophecy of readers who called it that the only reason that city was established was so that it could be destroyed. The flipside of that is that the attack also allows Robinson to continue world-building in his writing “Justice League of America” as a continuous narrative rather than a collection of stories scripted expressly for trade paperback collections.
In his world-building, Robinson has established connections throughout the DC Universe and calls a number of those connections in with this issue. Robinson brings in the reserves to help paint just how massive a threat Eclipso can be, giving panel time to Red Tornado, Cyborg, Dr. Light, and Tasmanian Devil as well as Animal Man, Bulleteer, and Zauriel. It’s an odd cluster of heroes, but given the goings-on in the books of other higher profile heroes, it’s not a bad sampling from the history of the Justice League. I’d like to see a few of these characters stick around following the conclusion of this story, Cyborg and Red Tornado, in particular. Robinson started to craft some nice character stuff with that duo, but simply hasn’t had room to continue it.
Some of Booth’s normally sleek art is sloppy in this issue, especially where eclipsed characters blend into shadow. One panel depicts Cyborg giving a character a stiff arm to the face, but appears to show a character trailing behind Cyborg with his head down between his shoulders, not physically in contact with Cyborg. The balance of Booth’s art is energetic and lush with detail. It’s a good thing Congorilla has the ability to change his size in his power set now as Booth draws him all over the place and more than once seems to be simply sliding characters in front of Bill to add depth or fill crowd scenes.
Dalhouse’s colors are well suited to the adventures of a team of spandex-wearing heroes, with a nice broad range of hues employed. The sheer number of different blues in this book easily climbs into the dozens. My biggest gripe is that Starman’s skin just seems a little too deep. Otherwise, I like the lively colors Dalhouse is putting to the page.
“Justice League of America” is doing a solid job providing big screen adventures within the DC Universe, even with a startling lack of “Big Seven” characters. Robinson and Booth are filling these pages with characters, adventure, and action. It’s a fun, upbeat, heroic read month in and month out, providing story and art worthy of the price tag. This month is no different.