What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Justice League Odyssey #21! As I said with the previous issue of this book, right now we are in a good place where we’re getting somewhere with less twists and turns dragging out the plot progression. This creative team is raising the stakes, and giving us a genuine reason to anticipate what comes next.
The best thing I would say that this book has going for it? That would have to be the fact that the story and plot has been wildly unpredictable. I don’t think anyone imagined that this is where we would have found ourselves when this book debuted. You would have thought the original team would still be the stars of the book. That they would have all had this great power unlocked in them, but still very much in control of who they are. If you told me that we would be here at the farthest reaches of the Ghost Sector where the heroes are trying to wipe Darkseid from existence? I would have thought you were crazy. Yet that is where we are now, and it has been quite the battle so far. Especially since this play to remove Darkseid from existence could either go very right or wrong.
With that said, I was definitely caught off guard by how an offensive was actually put together in this issue. If there was one thing I did find problematic about the book currently, it was the dynamic of this cast. We went from a cast which clicked almost perfectly, to a cast which only works because they all share a common goal. This left a lot of room for error just because then the expectation is that the characters will do nothing but get in each other’s way. Fortunately this was not completely the case. In this chapter specifically, this was the first time where we were seeing the heroes for the most part on the same page. It was exciting for it bit, despite the fact that you knew that cohesiveness was only going to get them so far.
While we knew where this was all leading to, it didn’t change the fact that you wanted to see how we would get to a point where Jessica had to make the hard call about Epoch’s use of the machine. As I have said consistently, up to this moment the writing for Jessica was spotty at best. Here and there her action had just seemed counterproductive to what everyone else wanted. She was needlessly defiant when the rest had a plan they wanted to see through. This was the first time where she was taking charge and you could see where she was coming from.
Another great thing about this book is the excitable interior work from this art team. Between the consistency of the quality, impressive pencil work, and bold colors, it’s hard to turn your attention away from what’s unfolding within these pages. As usual, what I loved most is the way that there can be so much going on in any given scene, and they will cut no corners. This is a story where you have a lot going on. The action, the interactions, and plenty else going on in the backgrounds. That takes a certain level of patience that not all artists share. Though fortunately that is what this art team brings to the table.
All in all, another great issue of Justice League Odyssey. Issue #21 continued to shake things up, because the message has been sent clear that this machine should not be used by either side. Though what does that mean for bringing an end to this conflict? Is there an actual plan to fall back on to stop Darkseid? Only time will tell.