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Justice League #39 Review: Slow, but Gets Back to the Intrigue

Aquaman barely survives being stranded in the desert of Oman, and he encounters the fan. Green Lantern Simon Baz arrives shortly after and brings him back to the Watchtower.

Cyborg, as the new chairman of the Justice League, is brought to testify before Congress. Batman's Justice League of America answers a crisis in Este Park, Arkansas. Batman is forced to ask for help from the other Justice League team to contain the crisis.

Green Lantern Jessica Cruz faces personal problems after her "moment" with Batman last issue.

Justice League #39 cover by Paul Pelletier, Cam Smith, and Adriano Lucas
Justice League #39 cover by Paul Pelletier, Cam Smith, and Adriano Lucas

The pacing of this issue slows down again as the Justice League continues to focus on the fallout of recent events. The Fan throws another monkey wrench into everything.

Admittedly, it slows down more than needed. Cyborg's testification before Congress doesn't really go anywhere beyond him clarifying that the Batman didn't kill the congresswoman in Justice League #36.

The Jessica Cruz/Batman subplot is beyond unneeded. Props to cohost Jeremy Konrad for calling how superfluous that part of Justice League #38 really was. Maybe I'll prove right, and the Fan caused that to some degree. However, one issue was enough to make this part of the tale tired, especially considering that Jesse seemed to have the hots for the Flash in issues prior.

The timetable in relation to #38 is muddled a little too.

I do like that Batman has been so far pushed out of the central conversation of the comic that the reader is left to wonder what he is thinking and planning at the moment. That mystery behind Bruce's new intent does add a lot of intrigue to the book.

The finale is where things truly get interesting. The Justice League messes up again. Without spoiling much, they seemingly ignore the poor and black side of Este Park for the rich and white portion. It's believable that this was an unconscious decision too, and you're left to think about how much the Justice League understands the world they try to protect. This section raised the overall quality of the book significantly for me.

The addition of the Tweets about the JL is a nice touch too.

Justice League #39 art by Ian Churchill and Alex Sollazzo
Justice League #39 art by Ian Churchill and Alex Sollazzo

Ian Churchill's art is really good here. While shirtless Aquaman looked a little weird because of the seemingly painted-on abs, shadowing is played with a lot in latter panels, especially with the Batman himself. The costumes of the League look pretty great throughout, and the detailing in the faces is truly impressive. Alex Sollazzo's color art adds a lot, and the contrasting is done near-perfectly. This is a damn fine book.

Also, the gathering of various styles of Batman gathered outside Capitol Hill is cute but distracting and lame.

Justice League #39 picks up in some ways from last issue, even if there is less action and the pacing is slowed. The art of Churchill and Sollazzo is truly quite gorgeous, and the returning prominence of the Fan and public perception of the JL brings the story back to the more central aspects that have kept this arc compelling. I recommend this one. 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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