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Subj: Justice League #24 - Togetherness....
Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 at 07:38:20 am EDT (Viewed 307 times)
From what I can gather this particular issue's guest-scripter status and pleasant diversion into the goings on over in Aquaman's title make no attempts to hide the fact that the books unmistakable fill-in credentials, allowing the ever tardy Bryan Hitch catches up to the schedule, what is remarkable however is that the finished results of this filler leave this reader rather wishing that writer Dan Abnett might have had more than the one issue here by which to entertain us...
The plot is slight, clumsy even - the Justice League respond to an emergency call in the Atlantic, centered on hidden Atlantis, that is threatening tidal wave deluges to land hundreds/thousands of miles away. On arrival to the epicentre the League finds an angry and vengeful Mera and an unpleasant confrontation erupts into violence.
It's not the best way to construct a fill-in story it has to be said. Nearly half an issue devoted to a battle with the impressively powerful and able other half of Justice League founding member Aquaman is not a comfortable read, Mera's seeming possession is quickly revealed as someone simply desperately anxious and hysterical to enter the now impenetrably shielded Atlantean land to find the fate of her beloved Arthur, oblivious to the effects of her assault on the shield covering Atlantis Mera's actions gain a surprisingly cool response from the League once she ceases her hostility and despite the too simple resolution and response from Abnett it is here that the true strength and worth of the issue comes into effect... in a sharp shift of both scene and tone the story moves us from the coastline to the distant alien confines of the Justice League's orbiting Watchtower satellite and what may as well be "act II", a detail not marked in the narration but emphasised by colorist Adriano Lucas thans to his choice to have an entirely different, mush brighter, color pallette here that shows the safety and sterility of the Watchtower by having sharp primary colors and neutral lighting. Ian Churchill's turn as artist seems to inform Adriano Lucas' choices here as he too appears to have translated Dan Abnett's script with great consideration and opted for a notably relaxed air to the conversation that then takes place between the resigned Mera and towering figures of the Justice League men that surround her. Reassuringly the potential oppressiveness of this scene is carefully offset by the simple but human act of Wonder Woman's seated patience and understanding as she acts as friend and mediator. Ian Churchill's rendering of the scene is quietly impressive and the best moment in the book.
But the point of the entire exercise is distilled in these final pages - alienation, loneliness, a need for purpose, all of these are feelings that every member of the Justice League has grappled with, Aquaman's early years were no different to the position in which the bereft Mera finds herself in, and it is in this spirit of understanding and compassion that Mera unexpectedly finds herself not just a new purpose, but a new set of friends and another place besides Amnesty Bay that perhaps she can belong to and feel wanted. Purpose at last...
It may be a fill-in, but in the end Justice League #24 stands on its own terms as a very enjoyable done-in-one tale, told with economy and quite a bit of genuine humanity.
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