Written by Joshua Williamson,
James T Tynion IV, Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Francis Manapul, Marcus To
I guess it’s true what they say. Good things really do come to those who wait. And we didn’t even have to wait long.
What a difference a week makes. Now that the obligatory pre-requisite set-up for our tale has been taken care of in issue #1, Justice League: No Justice #2 kicks into a higher gear, with a script that fairly shines. Writers Snyder, Williamson and Tynion IV waste no time getting to the action after the surprise head-exploding twist at the end of last issue. They can’t afford to. There’s a giant space god about to devour Braniac’s home world of Colu.
But you can always count on the League to be good in a crisis. Reservations not-withstanding, our space-tossed super teams decide their best course of action forward is to do what they can to follow Braniac’s plan without him. Thankfully there’s a giant literal Tree of virtual data that’s formed on Colu – the Tree of Wisdom they decide. And as their suits seem programmed to take one team directly to it, and each of the others to the four corners of the world where presumably the dormant Tree of Mystery, Tree of Wonder, and Tree of Entropy await, their paths seem clear.
Their mission: to reactivate each dormant Tree, releasing their energies, so as to balance the world and shut down the prime directive of the hungry, hungry space gods.
If that sounds baffling and a little crazy, thankfully our heroes feel just the same way. There’s no lack of confusion and dissension among the ranks, making the challenge before them easier for the reader to relate with. But of course, they all leap into action nonetheless, and soon each team is embroiled in a big riddle and more than a little mayhem at each Tree, nicely depicted in a montage of shots that keep everything moving and tied together. Doesn’t hurt to have the telepathic coordination of Martian Manhunter back in the game again too.
The whole thing is a lot of fun to read. The script benefits from excellent plotting, managing a tremendous amount of action and development with apparent ease. This in turn is substantially assisted by Manapul’s panels, which are beautifully laid out in scenes that convey so much variety and action per page, it’s like being in a candy store. And here again, Hi-Fi’s colors work wonders to behold.
But where this book really shines is the dialogue.
Maybe our team of writers, like the League itself, work best under pressure. But after finding its way in issue #1, the script in #2 does not disappoint. Each character is captured beautifully. Their interaction, their behavior and their choices are each entirely true to form, with nuance and humor that makes all the difference in a book with a big cast like this. No mean feat with so much going on, but it’s handled superbly and it’s a breath of relief as things really get going.
Ironically the one thing that doesn’t fully satisfy is the rally cry to bond this disparate crew all as Justice Leaguers. Compared to the sparkle of dialogue throughout, this perfunctory moment falls a little flat. But it’s a necessary step, and it serves its purpose. Which is good, because our new League still has to contend with what it exactly means for them to unleash so much bottled up Mystery, Wonder and Entropy into the world, or for that matter, the universe.
To say nothing of the crisis taking shape back home. Things all seems a little hopeless in fact. Good thing we don’t believe that by now.
Justice League Unite. The action continues in one week.