Friday, July 20, 2012

Outside of Gotham, July 20th, 2012

Justice League #11 came out this week, and it is the penultimate chapter in the League's first present day story arc, which ends in the last week of August with an oversized issue that apparently is very meaningful to the entire DCU, or so they say. Hit the jumps for my thoughts on this week's issue.

Picking up where the last issue left off, the League members are coming to, after being attacked by Graves' spirit looking things. Of course, Batman is the first one to get up, burying the emotions of having his deepest sorrows brought up the way they were. The rest of the League comes to, with similar visions, Superman is even crying at the thought of not being able to help Pa Kent when he died from a heart attack. With everyone up and okay, Cyborg sees that Graves used the teleportation on the satellite to go to DC, specifically the house of Tracy Trevor, Steve's sister as noted by Wonder Woman.

In Tracy's house, Graves admires a picture of her children, while she weeps in fear. Graves notes that she even has some of his books, and tells her what really happens to souls after they die. He continues to say that he'll use her brother to save the world from worshiping the false idols that are the Justice League. A boom tube opens, and just as the League steps out, Graves vanishes as if into thin air. Tracy is none too happy to see Wonder Woman, as she blames her for everything involving her brother, claiming she broke his heart and destroyed his self-worth, yet he still dedicates his life to her.

Wonder Woman doesn't take the situation lightly, and as the League speaks with each other outside, figuring out Graves had a cabin in Maine, she storms off, intending to find Graves and cut his head off. The rest of the League points out that this is a team mission, and she can't really go around decapitating people, as Hal tries to stop her... That doesn't turn out well, as Diana breaks Hal's construct and starts kicking the crap out of him. Hal, of course realities, which causes Superman to get into the fight. While Batman orders Barry and Aquaman to clear out the civilians, Cyborg informs him that somehow, Graves is broadcasting the fight to every screen on earth. Bruce then instructs him to open up a boom tube, and get them out of there as fast as possible.

Everyone gets transported to Graves' home in Maine, while Barry finally gets Hal and Diana to stop fighting, Aquaman gets their asses in line, saying that things would go a lot quicker if they'd work together. Batman starts to investigate the house, finding Graves' journal. Turns out that shortly after Darkseid's attack, his family began to develop an unknown sickness, the same one he later caught after they died. Graves blamed the League, believing that they didn't prevent everyone else to being exposed to whatever killed his family, but Superman points out that it can't be, because others would have been exposed. Batman digs deeper and finds out that Graves went to the Valley of Lost souls in order to find his family... next stop should be obvious.

In the middle of a mountain range, on the other side of the world, the League sees nothing but snow covered land... all except Cyborg, who sees the entrance to the Valley of Lost souls. Barry asks if he sees it with the cybernetic eye, but Cyborg surprisingly sees it with his human one. Batman notes that in Graves' journal, only those who "walking the line between life and death" can see the entrance, something that doesn't sit well with Cyborg. Once in the valley, all the League members are almost immediately confronted by souls of lost ones from their family. All but Cyborg and Wonder Woman see their parents. Cyborg ends up seeing himself, which is even more surprising to him. Finally, Wonder Woman sees the "soul" of Steve Trevor, who informs her that she's too late.


So things are heating up for the League. What I've enjoyed about this arc is how personal it is getting with the League. There's this big threat in Graves, who we quite honestly don't know how big and bad he can get, but the bulk of the story in this arc is seeing how the League functions, and five years in, the answer is not exactly well. There's still a lot of tension between all of the members, for whatever reason, and it'll be interesting to see what happens when it hits the boiling point (#12). That being said, like I noted before, we still don't really have a sense of how threatening Graves can be. Sure, he got the drop on Trevor and the League, but other than his spooky spirit power, we haven't seen what he can do, and with one issue left, I find that to be kind of a problem. Regardless, my enjoyment of the League's development outweighed that thought, but didn't completely mask it.


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