Saturday, January 25, 2014

Not Really Off-Topic: In Depth Comic Review of the Week: Justice League #27

So much of the DC universe is 'on hold' because of the FOREVER EVIL crossover event. The filler stories range from very boring to downright brilliant. Justice League is one of those books that is maintaining very well during this storm, which isn't surprising as it is the flagship publication. Geoff Johns is at the helm and he's not letting a holding pattern ruin his book.

This issue begins with Johnny Quick and Atomica killing off more at least SEEMING to kill off more of Earth's heroes. I have really come to hate these two villains. There is this meme that talks about "villains you can't bring yourself to hate" like Darth Vader, Voldemort and Lex Luther, and then it says "then there's this jerk" and lists Geoffery from GAME OF THRONES. Well Johnny Quick and Atomica are more like Geoffery than the others. I really am getting tired of these two.

It is a little annoying that they seem so overpowered. Some of these heroes they are picking off so easily should be more effective than they are. But that's just a pet peeve about the issue.

The main thrust of this story is all about Vic, The Cyborg, and his quest to get a new cybernetic body. He appeals to his father to rebuild him, and upgrade him. His father resists, upset that his original transplantation of his son's brain into the cyborg body that would become the monster Grid is part of what caused all this mess.

The storyline and dialogue are great and the art is strong as well. I loved this issue. I liked seeing Cyborg's relationship with his father explored in more detail. Cyborg's dad suffered from a lot of guilt from abandoning Vic and his mother, and even more from trying to salve his conscience by saving his son through cybernetics. Vic talks about how he now is embracing his place as a superhero and that this is now HIS choice, and he wants his father to do this. Of course, his father complies and we get a pretty badass new Cyborg.

What was cool about this issue was the exploration of embracing one's calling. Cyborg WAS a hero by circumstance, now he is one by choice. Often our roles are defined in part by chance, if not primarily by chance. We find ourselves called to a life we do not want. But by struggling through that call, by learning to deal with our circumstances, we find that which we resisted is actually who we really are. God has a way of shaping us into the roles we fall into. What originally was just the situation in which we happened to find ourselves BECOMES a calling, and once we embrace that fact we find that the real work of God is in responding to the world rather than simply shaping it. God does not have to have planned some tragedy for that tragedy to become, in God's hand, a genuine calling. Embracing that is the key to happiness and living out the Will of God.

This relates to the redemption we see in Victor's father. He expresses great remorse about 'not being there' when Vic was younger. Vic says, 'all that matters is you're here now.' This is a statement about salvation. The past has been transcended. What had so much impact, the past, is replaced by what really matters, the call of God here and now. Evil, the mistakes of our past, the rejection of the call of God falls into oblivion. Only the choice to do as God asks has meaning, for only those moments are eternalized. There is a kind of grace in both facts: the loss of the evil and the retention of the good.

This is a good comic folks, and does what a good comic always does: elevates the reader and makes you think while entertaining and producing profound visual art.

I give it 4.5 Stars

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