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Justice League of America #9

by Hussein Wasiti on June 28, 2017

Writer: Steve Orlando

Artist: Felipe Watanabe

Colourist: Hi-Fi

Publisher: DC Comics

 

This was a completely superfluous story that wasn't necessary in any way.

 

Let's start with the character of Makson. He is confusing from the get go, as Steve Orlando establishes in the last issue that he learned English from reading his crashed plane's instruction manual. That's absolute nonsense, and this very story hinges on the fact that Makson wants to exact revenge on his family that he claims left him for dead. He reveals his plans to his entire family and attempts to murder every last one of them, leading him to battle the JLA.

 

I don't understand how Makson thinks his family left him to die in Monster Valley. His expert English skills obtained from reading an instruction manual won't help him, and it's not like he has a contact in his family's company that would allow him to know their secret plans. His family is also guilty of dealing in black market weapons, and I'm not sure how he figured that part out.

 

Makson also seems to have the ability to grow out his nails at will, as he is clearly seen without normal-length nails before jumping at his family with his extended claw-like nails. It makes absolutely no sense. When engaging with the JLA, he seems to be proficient at hand-to-hand combat, which leads me to believe that the monsters that raised him in Monster Valley were former members of the League of Assassins, and trained him with the same fighting techniques imparted upon them by Ra's al Ghul.

 

The ending of the issue infuriated me further, if that's even possible. Every member of the JLA aside from Batman, Lobo, and Vixen have no idea what they're doing. I understand the approach Orlando might be going for; he wants to team to grow and learn how to be heroes, but he positions them in this morally righteous fashion that they even tell Batman that they thought more of him. It should be made more clear that they are in their training process, as I'm genuinely not sure if they are still technically training. The ending of the issue teases the next storyline, and it didn't look engaging in the slightest.

 

As for the art, Felipe Watanabe's art was quite nice. It was mostly an improvement over the last issue, although it still felt a bit rushed. The end of the issue shows Batman and Ray wearing their masks but their eyes weren't outlined properly.

 

In what might be the worse issue of the series, Orlando continuously demonstrates his poor plotting and awful storytelling. His dialogue wasn't as annoying as it normally is but I didn't understand what Orlando was even trying to say with this story. It made no sense as well. Watanabe's art was good-looking but flawed.

Our Score:

3/10

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