(Note: This post contains spoilers for Justice League #32, which went on sale last week.)
I like the New 52 volume of Justice League. Even though its spun its wheels a couple of times and been shoehorned into every DC event of the last few years, Geoff Johns earned enough slack from me during his lengthy Green Lantern run and the first year or so of Aquaman that I’ve ridden out the rough patches. The art has been consistently strong, going from Jim Lee to Ivan Reis to current penciller Doug Mahnke.
Despite that, Justice League #32 is probably the low point of the series to date, mostly because there’s very little Justice League in it. The world’s greatest super heroes first show up on page 12 of a 20-page story in a group shot, and only Cyborg and Shazam have appearances after that. Sorry, Superman and Wonder Woman also are background characters saving kids from a fire on page 16, and the whole team is in one panel later on.
“But wait!” you say. “Lex Luthor and Captain Cold are prominently featured in this issue, and aren’t they in the Justice League too?” Well yes … and no.
DC made kind of a big deal about Lex and Captain Cold joining up, and several covers have made it look like they were on the roster, but the story hasn’t actually caught up to that point yet. With the current arc needing pages to introduce the New 52 iteration of the Doom Patrol and following up on the fallout from Forever Evil — the redeeming subplot of this issue, since it appears to be important for DC events coming over the next year or so — it might be a couple more months until we see Superman storm out because his arch-enemy is in the mix.
One gets the distinct impression that some of this could have been done elsewhere, except that it would have Johns and Mahnke on it and it’s probably part of Johns’ long game. It would just be nice to get back to a Justice League title that actually had the Justice League in it.