Not to long ago I remember telling a friend of mine that this is a book worth checking out. They were a little confused about the casting for Justice League Odyssey, but I told them that this is one of those stories where you have to really sit through a couple of issues or so to get the intention of this story. It’s one of those books which tries to be ambitious for being a branch of the Justice League, while at the same time holding relevance from being connected to the madness of the multiverse falling apart. So far the adventure has been worth the investment for the point we have reached now. The point where these heroes prove that they can be counted on to tackle the big problems.
With that said, there is almost no bigger problem than Darkseid. I mean, how do you really justify returning Darkseid of all villains to his full power for the sake of saving all life in the Ghost Sector? That is what everything came down to in this issue. Especially since there has been no telling the kind of mindset that these heroes have been thrown into since their power upgrades. We know that Starfire had become way more powerful, that Azreal tapped into a voice that allows him to manipulate anyone who he chooses, but it was hard to say what happened to Cyborg. He definitely powered up through the capabilities of his Motherbox, but surely that couldn’t have been it for him. There had to be something more to this that made you question his reliability like the others. Justice League Odyssey #11 presented the best opportunity to explore what’s going through his mind when it matters most.
What I admired about the writing for Darkseid is the way he is viewed from different perspectives. To the universe at large he is chaos and destruction, to this team he is someone you simply can’t trust regardless of his intentions, and to a surprising group who made an appearance he is nothing more than an obstacle that could get in the way of the dooming of this multiverse. He is a lot of things, and they had fun with the expectation that he will live up to the worst that you see in him. Personally I enjoyed the game that he plays because of the brilliance that went into this plan. The difference between himself and Luthor is that he has the power to see a plan through.
I was only put-off by one thing, and that was the writing for Jessica Cruz. This is a sensitive situation. I get that you want to have that one character who has a sense of duty. However, some of her actions come off as forced, and that is a word I despise having to use. You would think that someone in her position was able to better assess what is going on around her and how to better keep people in line who aren’t in control of themselves.
Once more I found myself happy that Will Conrad took over as artist. Of all the pencilers who could have taken over, I’m glad for this one who knows how to give you quality for everything that you expect to be spectacular about this book. For a book where one of the main characters is Cyborg, this was also a great choice because Conrad has done some amazing things with his character deign, and even took things a step further in this issue when we finally could see where that little power-up actually changed things for him. I also enjoyed the focus on Darkseid as well. In this weakened state, there is much more to take in from the way that he uses his mind more than anything else. He has that deceptive smile, unwavering pose, and yet still holds an imposing stature over everyone else. Aside from this, the detail was commendable for the interior of the Sepulkore, interior and exterior. After that, it was the colors which of course pop because of the combined efforts of Ivan Plascencia and Pete Pantazis. Bold, exciting, and in your face. All just what you needed to see when Darkseid is in the process of getting the machine running.
Justice League Odyssey #11 takes us to that stage in the plot where it is more important than ever that the JLO team tries to take control of this situation they have been thrown into. They have been playing Darkseid’s game, but now was the time for them to show that they aren’t just the pawns. Of course, easier said than done, though it wouldn’t be exciting if you had it any other way. I look forward to seeing how this little bump in the road continues to challenge this team.