I know what I said before, but sometimes it can be very hard to give up on a book that you really fell in love with at first. I remember at the start of this book where I was telling myself that this was going to be that Justice League book for me. It was disappointing when by he end of the year that was far from the case when books like Justice League and Justice League Dark were doing so much more for me with each passing issue. I didn’t know how Justice League Odyssey got to where it did, but it could have been so much more than it turned into.
When I jumped into Justice League Odyssey #17, I wanted to jump back into an issue where it seemed that all the problems this book was facing were corrected. Better yet, I wanted to flip through the pages of this issue and have this creative team give me a reason to open the next issue.
At the start of this issue it was more of the same. Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and the new JLO having their hands full with a situation that just seems more than they can handle. While on the other end you had the other half of the team facing their own share of troubles seeking a different solution to their problems. I’ll give credit that there was an unknown exploration on both ends. No matter how you looked at this, there was no preparing yourself for what was coming next. The only thing you knew was that they were either going to overcome their obstacles, or fail. If it weren’t for the action that you knew we were going to get out of this, the issues could have fallen flat very fast.
With that said, I gotta say, I was fairly troubled with where we have gotten in this book. Part of the appeal for me at first was the excitement of the exploration, and really feeling like you were getting somewhere by the end of an issue. However, everything changed once the Odyssey fell prey to Darkseid’s plans. The story split off, it lost its focus, it had one too many things going on that couldn’t hold your attention, and then it simply felt like there was too much conversation. Now I’m the last person who will ever mark too much dialogue as a negative, but in the case of this book it was problematic because it wasn’t very engaging. Not much of the dialogue was enough not to feel bored. It was pretty hard feeling like I shouldn’t skip past it all just to get to the action. Never should the reader be put in that position.
If there was one thing this issue had going for it, it was of course having the interior work done by Will Conrad and Rain Beredo. When it comes to an art team like this, at the very least you know that you are going to get brilliant pencil work and bold colors. The visuals were lively and the action popped. That is the best you could ask for. Now with chapters like this, I was definitely impressed with Conrad’s work. The guy knows how to give you a full rendering between the characters and setting. The settings in particularly which catch your eye in almost every scene because he does not skip a beat in details. You could actually say the same when it comes to the way he draws his characters and carries over every scratch, rip, and bruise from one scene into the next.
What can I say? Even jumping back into the story with Justice League Odyssey #17, still this book could be in a much better place than it is now. It feels like they wanted this grand idea that would bridge this story into the ‘Justice/Doom War’ event, and bit off more than they could chew. I hate to get this harsh with a book, but that happens when you have expectations that aren’t being met.