Justice League #3 Review: Before a Living Galaxy

Green Lantern John Stewart is under the influence of a strange new power called the Invisible Spectrum. He now uses Ultraviolet energy, granted by Sinestro. Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman must stop their friend if they are to survive. Meanwhile, Superman and Martian Manhunter, accompanied by shrunken-down Batman and Hawkgirl, move closer to the Totality, but their hazard suits are destroyed. Worse yet, the Totality has begun to affect their minds.

Justice League #3 cover by Phil Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez
Justice League #3 cover by Phil Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez

Justice League is shooting for a grand and ambitious story for its first arc, reshaping the cosmic backstory and framing of the DC Universe. It's an admirable goal, but some of the flaws are becoming more apparent as the story wears on.

The story throws a lot at you, and it can be difficult to process all of it. We were already contending with the Totality and the existential cosmic ideas that it entails, and now Umbrax, the Living Galaxy, is a part of this story. The fact that the story is being intentionally vague with what the Totality is doesn't quite help. Plus, you still have Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom working from the background.

Plus, the number of elements colliding at once means it will likely be a while before any one thread is resolved.

I'm not saying that all these elements can't be balanced in a single story, and Justice League is still doing a decent job of making this digestible. However, it's still a lot, and the vagueness with its presentation is a little frustrating.

That said, I'm still enjoying the hell out of this story. The opening battle between John Stewart and the four Justice Leaguers is cool, microscopic Batman and Hawkgirl hitching a ride with Superman and Martian Manhunter is a weird and wild plot point, and Lex Luthor has been a lot of fun in this arc. Plus, the idea of Umbrax is honestly neat on its own.

Justice League #3 art by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez
Justice League #3 art by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez

Jorge Jimenez provides the artwork once again. It's not a bad style, but it's not exactly the kind of epic aesthetic one might expect for the Justice League. That said, it is still nicely stylized, and there is a fluidity that lends itself to action scenes. Alejandro Sanchez provides a good balance of dynamic colors and wild shades, adding to the energy of the book.

Justice League #3 already shows some of the weak points of the story, but they are far from a problem significant enough to sink the book yet. The comic still provides a lot of fun and high energy storytelling. The art has its flaws, but the book still looks good on the whole. This one earns a recommendation. Check it out.

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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