Sunday, December 11, 2011

Review: Justice League of America (Volume 2): The Lightning Saga

Justice League of America (Volume 2): The Lightning Saga
Justice League of America (Volume 2): The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard about this book at the end of JSA: The Next Age, purporting to be the next part of the story. And it was, though it was combining three different super teams - the JSA, including their newest members, the JLA, and the Legion of Super-Heroes (a group from the 31st Century). Seven members of the League had come back for some reason they refused to tell their earlier counterparts about. The first part of the book involves reuniting the members of the League, as they've been thrown back and have been immobilized in some way (eg. Starman has lost much of his memory and his schizophrenia is at the forefront, Wildfire is frozen as a statue in the Fortress of Solitude). Once they've all been found, however, they start using subterfuge and misdirection to keep the JSA and JLA from finding out what they are doing - using lightning power to bring back someone from the dead. The lightning should kill one of those trying to call it and they are afraid of being stopped because of that danger. In the end, the JSA and JLA figure it out, but they are too late to stop it. The person is brought back.

It was a pretty good book, but I think it suffered from too many characters. Between all the members of the JLA, the JSA and the League, the pages were always filled with characters. For all of that, the story was pretty good. I liked finding out more about characters I'd seen in future story lines (primarily Final Crisis), as well as finding out a little about Superman's past that I hadn't known previously. There were also a few stand-alone stories after the main narrative. My favorite was "Walls", in which Red Arrow and Vixen are trapped within a building that has collapsed and is slipping into the water. They need to find a way to get out, and it isn't definite that they will do so. It was very moving and very suspenseful. As much as I enjoyed the other two stories ("Monitor Duty", which involves various JLA members both monitoring from their base and being monitored by Martian Manhunter and Aquaman, and "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow", which is a combination origin story of the JLA/view of the changing friendships between Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman), "Walls" was far and away the best. If you read it for no other reason, read it for that story.

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