What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Justice League Odyssey #19! The Justice/Doom War may be over, but clearly Justice League Odyssey is not one of those books ready to wrap things up just yet. That in itself is quite bold since initially we all were given the impression that this was going to be a book that played somewhat of a big role in the war for the fate of the multiverse.With that said, it doesn’t hurt to have a book which stays true to standing on its own. Especially one which takes place beyond the edge of the universe.
At the start of this issue, I did appreciate seeing more interactions between the New Gods of Darkseid. Up to this point I would have called the characterization for most of them fairly stiff and bland. Particularly when the one we were seeing more of was Cyborg who can’t even speak actual words anymore. There was honestly only so many times that I could turn the page and read a loud PING in place of actual sentences. It was refreshing to see some of the others thrown into the field to get some real interactions. Which is of course not to say that there isn’t still a lot of stiffness from everyone reading like drones, but overall it made a difference to see a bit more personality thrown in from those who were eager to get a win for Darkseid.
Now considering where we first set eyes on how this encounter with Epoch ends, it was time that we properly started working our way to that point. To better understand how this Lord of Time went from someone who could have been their greatest ally to being another obstacle in saving the multiverse. The lead-up was great because the opportunity was not wasted in showing us just how capable this guy is of editing history the way he boasts about. It was a steady progression of understanding how far into the future he could predict events, the extent of manipulations on his own, and where he aimed to push the boundaries. The whole thing raised a proper discussion about a lot of things I did not expect be addressed in Justice League Odyssey. There hasn’t been anyone as bold as Epoch to surface who had plans this ambitious to correct tragedies counting back as far as the Crisis event. Nothing that ambitious comes without the risk of consequences.
Regardless, it was thrilling to see what good could come of the assistance of time on the side of this misfit team of Justice League Odyssey. On paper this is not the kind of team that should be able to stand up to the forces of Darkseid, and yet there was a clever approach towards giving them that one circumstance where they would have the upper hand. At the same time it was jaw-dropping to see where things would inevitably go wrong. Despite what we saw on the surface, there was still the eventuality we foresaw at the start of this all. That outcome was predictable, though the execution was on point to excuse it.
For this part of the story, I found myself more drawn-in by the interior work from this art team. Obviously no real surprise there because the one thing this book has consistently had going for it was the fact that Cliff Richards and Rain Beredo are quality artists who know how to give you clean and well-rounded visuals. Richards’ work you admired the same as Will Conrad as well because they both share a similar style of pencils which makes it very hard to tell that there was even a change. Their characters are drawn with smooth proportions, their settings are fully rendered, and they know how to have a lot going on at once without losing anything to the quantity of work. The colors as well bring it all together when the art simply jumps out at you through Beredo’s bold palette. One which offers a strong sense of range, and glows which add emphasis to the explosiveness of the action too. Overall, I’m happy whenever Beredo is given the opportunity to jump into colors which are full of energy and capture excitement in the imagery.
Right now I’m just happy that we have gotten to a point in this book where it feels right saying that the story is readable. Justice League Odyssey #19 gets us to a point where there is more confidence in the direction this book is taking as one which is far from done with the chaos in fighting for the fate of everything.