Justice Leage #12

There’s more to your favorite superheroes than what meets the eye

This issue of the Justice League has been hyped a lot as an issue that will bring major changes to the DCU. Before the issue  was released, there were press releases by DC that revealed what some of them would be–the JLA will be revived in 2013 and Superman and Wonder Woman will kiss. Many of these “big changes” were served as a last page spread, showing selected panels from what’s on the Justice League’s agenda for 2013, as well as a massive spread showing the Justice League of America and proposing that they will have what it takes to save the world when the Justice League fails. There was also a roster change in the League, related to the events of one of the annuals that came out last week, but I don’t mean to spoil anything.

This issue had the tagline of “The Villain’s Journey,” because Graves decides to name his new book this after he is defeated. This arc was pretty long in the making and Graves’ story even went back to the days of JL v. Darkseid, so this was definitely a key issue in terms of narrative wrap up. When Graves is attempting to ensnare the JL, he uses dark magic to project the memories of the lost love ones of each of the members of the Justice League, creating a very emotional scene. In fact, I almost got uncomfortable reading it once they showed Batman talking to his parents–the look on his face was so pitiful and pathetic, phrases that can rarely be used to describe the caped crusader. But they eventually broke free of these illusions when Wonder Woman’s dead apparition Steve Trevor appeared alive and well, ready to fight. This led the League to believe that these smoke formations weren’t spirits, but simply constructions created by Graves. And although the spirits were fake, the emotion on the page was all real, and like I said before with Batman’s reaction, we got to see our heroes in some pretty odd circumstances.

Later, Wonder Woman and Superman are having a deep conversation atop the Lincoln Memorial after Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor break it off for the last time. They discuss what it means to be a superhero, why Superman has Clark Kent and the humanity that the heroes of the JL must exhibit in order to be understood and accepted by those they pledge to protect. All of this relies on the heroes’ inability to comprehend human relationships. Superman has Clark Kent and has arguably been assimilated into society (although he shares his doubts with Diana about how close he really is to anybody), but Wonder Woman is still an Amazon at heart and misunderstands why men and women are even together on earth.

I liked this issue a lot (despite the absence of Billy and the power of Shazam) because it’s a reminder that these characters may appear to be the masters of the world, but most of the time, they have no idea what the hell’s even going on. Just something to think about.