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‘Justice League #52’ (review)

Written by Jeff Loveness
Art by Robson Rocha
Published by DC Comics


Justice League #52 concludes the Black Mercy. The story manages to be intriguing. Yet you are left wanting more.

We start with a bit of meta commentary. Yes. We have seen the death of the Waynes over and over again, on page and screen. It’s great that a Batman story acknowledges that expectation and subverts it somewhat.

The Black Mercy has infiltrated Bruce’s mind in the form of Martha Wayne.

In Bruce’s mind, we see his Batman persona come to full defense. Black Mercy reaches deeper to speak to a young Bruce Wayne.

Even deep in his young Bruce Wayne persona, we have a Batman aware of his circumstance.

It is fascinating to see Batman’s confrontation with Black Mercy and compare it to Superman’s in Alan Moore’s original tale. Superman was deeply entrenched in his other life while one senses that Batman never totally gives in.

Fans have always been fascinated with the compare and contrast of these two characters and this story just gives us more to chew on.

We have Black Mercy showing Batman a life of regret, and how things could be different. This week’s Batman issue has Batman in a dream state talking to Alfred. While plot wise, one story doesn’t have anything to do with the other, they share similar themes on Batman’s crusade.

Wonder Woman uses her lasso to break through and free the rest of the heroes.

It’s Wonder Woman who helps Batman escape the Black Mercy. Once free we get a moment showing a quietly exhausted Justice League. Having arrived on Eatrh , Superman and Batman have a conversation in which Superman explains how his Black Mercy experience shaped him.

While I enjoyed this two parter as a Batman/Superman tale, I really would have enjoyed seeing what the rest of the League experienced via Black Mercy. Having already faced it in battle, what did it show Superman this time? What is Wonder Woman’s dream life? Where did it take John Stewart?

Jeff Loveness and Robson Rocha weaved a tale that, while not being quite as great as Alan Moore’s original tale, serves as a good companion piece.


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