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Justice League #30

by Hussein Wasiti on October 04, 2017

Writer: Bryan Hitch

Artist: Fernando Pasarin

Inkers: Andy Owens, Mick Gray, Matt Banning, and Scott Hanna

Colourist: Brad Anderson

Letterers: Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

 

This is the penultimate issue of Bryan Hitch's run on this title, something that I'm sure many people are celebrating. His run has been extremely divisive, but most can agree that this latest arc has been a weirdly positive shift in his storytelling, for a number of reasons. The most important being that he's been focusing on the characters rather than a vague, external threat that he normally spends a lot of time with. A major examples is the Kindred, a force the Justice League faced at the beginning of his run.

 

The reason I bring all this up is because Hitch has sort of gone back to that sensibility, but not entirely, which is why I'm not writing this off completely. The character work is still there, with a major focus on the cybernetic Aquaman from the future. From what I can guess, it seems Hitch feels like he's done developing the children characters and has now moved on. The villain who the children have been trying to avoid, Sovereign, finally makes an appearance after showing up briefly in #26. We get the major reveal as to who she is, but Hitch drops in enough clues in the issue which made me correctly guess the identity of the villain. I can see it making sense, but it feels a bit too reminiscent of another major villain reveal in another major DC title.

 

As seen with the ending of the last issue, Wonder Woman is slowly being possessed by the darkness. While this is happening, it seems the darkness itself is speaking to her. This brought me back to the first arc of the series which was so unbelievably bad, so to associate this arc with that travesty rubs me the wrong way. The vague and overly poetically complicated dialogue is so incredibly frustrating to me, which is worse because I didn't think Hitch would ever go back to that storytelling style. Another element that irks me is something I also slightly admire. There has been a lack of Batman in this arc, which is good, but Hitch insists to place him in random scenes here and there. He shows up for one scene in this issue, marking his third appearance in this arc. I appreciate the lack of Batman but I also feel like Hitch is just throwing him in there for the sake of a Batman appearance. Maybe it'll all pay off in the next issue, I don't know.

 

Fernando Pasarin does a great job with the art of this issue. Some actions shots in the latter portion of the book weren't all that clear to me, since the level of detail was high and Brad Anderson's colouring style made things look a bit too clunky. There are also four credited inkers, so this just may be a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. The last few pages looked very rushed though, and didn't have the usual attention Pasarin puts into his pages.

 

This is the weakest issue of the arc so far, and I won't lie when I say I'm pretty worried. Some of Hitch's trademark grievances make an appearance, yet it's also balanced by some of his character work, particularly his focus on Cyborg Aquaman. The art looks good but some pages simply confused me with that they were trying to portray, and the last few pages looked quite rushed.

Our Score:

7/10

A Look Inside