What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Justice League Odyssey #20! 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.
That chaos quickly hits you from the start of this issue too. Given the time between the previous issue and this one, it was easy to forget what had already unfolded from Darkseid making his move against Epoch and company. I mean who was really prepared for someone like Starfire to really meet their end already? Not only that, but at the hand of her own sister. That set the tone for everything else which happened from there. Especially when this is the issue where Azrael steps up to try and do what Starfire could not. This scene impressed me because till now I was not entirely impressed by the development that was Jessica Cruz taking on Darkseid’s omega energies. To what end was this really going to shake things up? That much we understood pretty fast. This upgrade put Jessica in a position of power that she has not been in for quite some time. It was nice to see this version of Jessica in action and not just being the voice in the distance trying to convince everyone they are wrong.
Now what caught me off guard was actually realizing just how powerful someone like Blackfire was. These are some heavy-hitters we are dealing with, and up to this point I hate to say that they haven’t been very convincing of the good guy’s chanecs at winning. It was one thing to know that they had a New God on their side and someone who wields a fraction of Darkseid’s power, but is that really enough at the end of the day? This issue at least proved that some of them are not to be underestimated.
Aside from that, I enjoyed the direction the story took towards Epoch’s plans coming to fruition. This part I always had questions about when the intentions were never clear for this Lord of Time. Was he someone you could actually trust? That is still yet to be clear, though for now we at least know what we are actually questioning. That being his plan. The conversation and argument over putting that much faith in his machine was worth the investment since these characters were finally having a proper discussion about how different it is fighting on a universal scale. Something we have been missing from Justice League Odyssey is creating that distinction between being a hero of Earth, and taking that justice beyond Earth’s jurisdiction. The rules are different, as well as the views taken towards what is right and wrong.
Beyond this, I welcomed what attempts Jessica was still willing to try in order to save her friends. It took her a while to finally begin understanding the world she has stepped into, but she adjusted well with a plan that is quite clever for her. Didn’t get the exact result she wanted, but it never hurt thinking outside of the box for once.
The interior are I would say was consistent. There wasn’t too much the same or to much different from what we have gotten out of this art team in previous issues. With that said, there were still some things which still managed to stand out. One of those things was a noticeable refinement to the pencils. There was more clarity to some of the scenes which offered more engagement from the characters. What could improve on things might be easing up on the inks. There are some panels where it creates some off expressions that would look better if there wasn’t that large mass of black overshadowing necessary features. When it came to the colors, there’s not much I can say there. The boldness and vibrancy goes a long way in capturing the energy of this story. Again these are heavy-hitters involved in this battle and it makes a big difference to make the action jump out at readers.
Compared to other issues of Justice League Odyssey, this one left me very satisfied by the end. We re really getting somewhere and there is less twists and turns dragging out the plot progression. Overall, Justice League Odyssey #20 raised the stakes and gave you a genuine reason to anticipate what comes next.