Trade Junkie: “Justice”

A series of miraculous events are happening across the world and for once mankind seems to be at peace. The most alarming thing about these events though? It’s not the heroes helping people. Who holds the true claim to justice, is it the heroes or villains?

In 2005 DC Comics began a release of a twelve part mini-series that would take place outside of continuity and included DC’s most iconic group of heroes, The Justice League. Borrowing oddly enough from material such as the Super Friends “Justice” manages to come out as a sort of amalgam of Silver Age and Modern Age comics. Taking the more modern approach to most of the characters’ personality and mixing them with the morality and world of the Silver Age, all of which makes “Justice” an interesting blend of two eras.

The story of “Justice” is set up incredibly well, opening up on the world at it’s very end with none of the heroes’ efforts to save it succeeding. All the while an unknown voice narrates the events as the most notorious super villains of the world wake up from the wretched dream. What is the importance of this dream and why was it given to the worst of humanity instead of the best?

From start to finish the mystery is packed on with this story and extends not only across every hero of the League but every villain within the Legion of Doom as well. It’s hard to really write this story off as just being a Silver Age homage as it really grows beyond that. The modern elements bring in a deep story and manages to combine aspects from even the most obscure of superhero comics. Doom Patrol or The Metal Men anyone?

It’s hard to really go into where the story takes you as it’d really be a shame to spoil it but needless to say it manages to keep things fresh and entertaining throughout all twelve issues. It’s not just mystery either, the story combines its action and its humor quite well. There are moments both blatant and subtle that had me laughing hysterically. Whether you know the characters and their stories or not this comic manages to entertain regardless.

Speaking of the characters, they’re all here. Seriously, this comic is packed with characters all prominent throughout the Silver Age. In fact this is where the Silver Age qualities of the story really take hold. The characters are exactly how you imagine them being and are all very nice representations of their most iconic qualities. Almost to an extent of being a bit cheesy at times. Honestly though, even with the cheese factor the characters still come out being fun and entertaining and of course very heroic.

The art of the book is done by well known comic book artist Alex Ross. For the uninitiated Alex Ross is known for his photo realistic artwork, often using real life people as the base for his character designs. All of this obviously adds a great sense of realism to the book. Personally I find this style to be an added draw to certain books, this one included. That said I know of others who much more prefer the more cartoonish look to these character so really the choice is yours. Like it or not the art is well done and clearly shows the effort put into it by it’s artists.

“Justice” is available in several formats. The version that I own is actually the three individual trades released around four years ago. Those are also available in hardcover both individually or collected but are rare to track down. Luckily on June 18th a trade paperback collecting all twelve issues was released making this comic far easier to acquire.

For those who are fans of the Silver Age of comics or are even just Alex Ross fans this book is a great time to be had. It stays entirely standalone and outside of continuity making it perfect to jump right into for new and old fans alike. The story manages to keep you guessing and while it definitely shows the age that it’s homaging it’s no less of a fun experience.

Retail Price: $14.99
Writer: Jim Krueger, Alex Ross
Artist: Alex Ross, Doug Braithwaite
Age Rating: All
Genre: Superhero
Original Release: August, 2005
Availability: Common

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