What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Justice League #45! It has been some time since the last issue of Justice League that I jumped into. When the Justice/Doom story and previous run in general came to a conclusion, I told myself that I was going to take a break from this book. Mainly because I wasn’t prepared to jump into the next big thing to feel disappointed by something that might not have been as thought out as the story before. So here we are at issue #45 to see if those worries had come to pass.
Off the bat I was of course a bit troubled by the fact that the roster was changed up once more. Not just for the fact that the roster changed, but it was both reduced and shifted towards the basic line-up. At this point you look for bold when it comes to the Justice League, and it doesn’t quite scream bold when they are playing it safe with the same heroes we have seen time and time again. Mera, Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl? All played such a major role before, and then suddenly gone. This was something to get used to. Now at the same time you could argue that it works to the benefit of the Justice League that there is a strong dynamic between them. The way some of them interacted with each other in this issue did prove that when the going gets tough, it helps that some of them have history for better engagement.
That said, this brings me to the current plot for the book. When it comes to Justice League, the problem tends to be very important because these are powerful heroes. You can’t simply throw them into a situation that they could quickly punch or blast their way through. That is what makes conflict with The Spectre brilliant. You wouldn’t expect the Justice League to have a problem with an entity like this, but as we all know, the judgement of God does not discriminate. The only question was why the attention of an entity like this would be turned to them.
The build-up to that answer was worth it because from the start of this issue we are thrown into a Justice League smackdown. A fair amount of this issue is given to the action, but it was exciting. They each clashed with one another and the fights went exactly how you would have pictured them. The plus to this obviously being the fact that in the midst of this fighting, they find themselves contending with their own resentments. This was where it was worth it since the opportunity was not wasted to show how vulnerable these heroes are behind the front they put up. It always matters with heroes like these that we see how they struggle not to crumble under the weight of their responsibilities. Now the reason for the fighting in general was also satisfying. Not what you would have assumed to be the cause either.
One of the best things that Justice League has going for it is that the interior art rarely lets you down. This art team did outstanding work from start to finish. They pretty much had me from the minute I flipped past that first page. Quickly we were thrown right into the action, and it was right in your face. I was amazed by the pencil work that went into it because the action was right in your face. The overlapping, the panel layout, the splash pages. They made sure that there was nothing about the fight between the Justice League that would have bored you visually. Even the panels with the close-ups during the fight made a difference for the way that a look said a lot about what was going through the minds of these heroes. That said, the colors were also bold, and quite flashy. Two things I like to see when any one of the Justice League spring into action. Anything less than a lightshow from these forces clashing would have been disappointing.