COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Justice League: The Villain's Journey
Now that I’ve finally had a little bit of free time to catch up on my comics, I’ve been recently feeling like I want to read more team novels. The last review I did was Marvel’s most iconic team, The Avengers and so I thought it was only fair to return over to DC and see what the Justice League were up to. The first novel in the New 52 Series, ‘Origin’ is arguably my favourite graphic novel of all time and so I was sincerely hoping that the series continued in a good way!
‘The Villain’s Journey' expands on what happens to the League after they defeat Darkseid in ‘Origin’. Now an established and well-known team, the League find themselves under constant scrutiny regarding how they carry out their functions. To help integrate them, the League have a liaison, Steve Trevor, who is responsible for acting as an in-between for them and the Government. Questions are raised as to what exactly the League do in their Watchtower and why they aren’t recruiting new members. One such candidate, whom the Government are keen on is Green Arrow. The crossover issue sees Green Arrow attempt to impress the team into letting him join but soon realizes that there may be better offers elsewhere. The novel then goes on to the main story which involves a man named David Graves who was responsible for writing books about the Justice League. However, Graves who is now terminally ill blames the League for the death of his family as well as his illness. Gaining powers from mystical beings in a place in the mountains of Central Asia, Graves sets about to expose the truth about the team so that public opinion changes. He gains knowledge about each of them from certain of their villains and uses their ties to Steve Trevor to lure them into a trap. Here he can conjure ghosts of those people that the League have lost to bring them down. Can the League sort out their issues and their public image in time? And do these secrets highlight a deeper issue?
So ‘The Villain’s Journey’ gives us something that is lacking in a lot of novels I’m reading recently, which is a central storyline. I like that there is minimal deviation from this story and that from start to finish we know what is happening. There’s very little confusion, which means that even beginners to comic books can pick this one up and just read with no issues. Another aspect that I particularly enjoyed is the evident inexperience that many of these characters have with working together. That being said, there is clear character development on a team level, and to a smaller extent on an individual level especially with characters like Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. If I had to criticise, then I’d say that I wish there had been a little more action but then again, as I said, this is a new team.
The artwork in the first two issues was not bad, but the rest of the novel was drawn by Jim Lee who I think is one of the greatest comic book artists of all time. He also drew most of the covers, and so picking one for this article was extremely difficult because they’re all amazing! I can literally not get enough of the guy! Overall, this series continues with an excellent follow-up and I sincerely hope that it continues like this. It’s by far my favourite comic book series so far!
Forget Batman v Superman, it’s about Batman <3 Superman! Hahaha!
Tough. Really tough to say. I do think that out of the whole team, Green Lantern really stepped up in this novel. There are some moments of his where his inner character really shines through.
Story Arc: 15/20
Character Development: 14/20