The Good: Interesting villains, Great artwork, Moments of character
The Bad: The stories are very much dependent upon prior works, Not as character-driven as I prefer.
The Basics: Justice League Of America: Second Coming is a decent story featuring two villains who create compelling threats to the League, regardless of how the book is promoted!
For those who have been following my blog lately – thank you SO much for that – I have just begun my Flash Year. Ironically, as I completed last year, I kept finding Justice League books that prominently featured the Flash. I have not, however, traditionally enjoyed them. However, with Justice League Of America: Second Coming, for the first time in quite some time, I have a Justice League Of America trade paperback anthology I am able to recommend fairly enthusiastically.
Justice League Of America: Second Coming follows very closely on the heels of Justice League Of America: Sanctuary (reviewed here!), but because the JLA is still active, it must also somehow predate Infinite Crisis (reviewed here!). I’m not, honestly, sure how that works. Regardless, Justice League Of America: Second Coming tells two distinct stories that are loosely connected and the stories are worthwhile. However, those reading the back of the book for a plot description are likely to come away with a very different expectation of what the book is actually about.
On the day that several technically-able superheroes are preparing to reunite Red Tornado with his body, disaster strikes. Amazo, a construct that has the ability to absorb powers from other superheroes, takes possession of Red Tornado’s new, indestructible body. The fight that ensues engulfs every member of the Justice League Of America!
The second half of Justice League Of America: Second Coming focuses on Mari, Vixen. Vixen has, for some time, been leeching off the powers of other Justice League members and no longer has an ability to absorb the traits of animals. After testing what her newfound abilities are, she is exposed and relieved of her Justice League membership. But when Dinah (Black Canary) expels her from the group, she does not lose interest in her. With Red Arrow and Firestorm, Dinah and Mari visit Buddy Baker, the man formerly known as the super hero Animal Man. While there, Mari and Buddy are absorbed into Mari’s talisman and there they discover what is happening to their powers!
Justice League Of America: Second Coming is a very fast read, in part because it truly is a remarkably simple story. The book is five comic books anthologized together and despite what the back says about Vixen becoming the greatest threat to the Justice League, it is not that type of story. This is not a Dark Phoenix Saga for DC Universe readers. Instead, Justice League Of America: Second Coming is a pretty straight-out battle between the League and the souped up Amazo and a weird road trip with second string heroes.
Justice League Of America: Second Coming is a battle without – from Amazo- and within – when Mari and Buddy confront the divine source of their powers. While the straight-out fight becomes something a whole lot smarter in the second story, the book is by no means great literature. In fact, it is not even an especially deep character study. Instead, Justice League Of America: Second Coming is about characters whose power is bestowed upon them, as opposed to having any innate power or interesting abilities.
Moreover, the resolution to Justice League Of America: Second Coming feels like the whole journey is just setting something else up. I can see why Dwayne McDuffie would enjoy taking on the challenge of writing Justice League Of America: Second Coming; the fifth chapter features an entirely different universe of superheroes and that level of creation is fun. But it still leaves the reader feeling like the focus on Vixen did not add up to anything extraordinary.
Still, Justice League Of America: Second Coming is not a bad anthology. Far from it. The artwork of Ed Benes is tight and precise and Justice League Of America: Second Coming looks good in every frame! This is not a book where characters appear in some surreal presentation, or are lazily sketched. Instead, this book features all of the characters looking recognizable in each and every panel. The colors are similarly vibrant, making Justice League Of America: Second Coming, at worst, an interesting book to look at!
For other Justice League books, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Justice League: Secret Origins
Justice League: Generation Lost – Volume 1
Justice League: Generation Lost – Volume 2
Justice League Of America: The Injustice League
Justice League Of America: Dark Things
For other book reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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