Justice League #6 – “State of Fear,” Part 1
Writer – Bryan Hitch
Pencils – Matthew Clark & Tom Derenick
Inks – Sean Parsons & Trevor Scott
Colors – Adriano Lucas
Letters – Richard Starking & Comicraft
Cover – Tony Daniel & Tomeu Morey
Variant – Yanick Maquette & Nathan Fairbairn
Asst. Editors – Amedeo Turturro & Diego Lopez
Editor – Brian Cunningham
WARNING: Potential Spoilers Ahead!
As the first story in a new arch, Justice League #6 introduces intrigue. The opening panels of Justice League #6 are a far cry from the triumphant setting of the previous issue. This time, whomever or whatever the League tangled with initially has affected the characters deeply. Jade steps forward to conquer the fear first and leads the team to victory. But, she quickly reverts away from the courageous woman she has become over the last few issues. Here, we see Jade as reserved, backward, unsure of herself and even skittish.
Jade isn’t the only hero who behaves uncharacteristically. The demeanors of Flash and Superman are noticeably altered. Barry is far more agitated than usual; Superman has deep-seated paranoia about Batman. These changes and others will undoubtedly inform the remainder of the “State of Fear” storyline.
Bryan Hitch’s previous story arch was more threat-driven. A potentially world-ending enemy provided the central focus. This new arch is showing signs of a more character-driven narrative, as the League battles its most dangerous enemy – themselves. Diving into the emotional spectrum with these characters has the makings of an interesting journey. The characters are newer, after all. Superman is a stranger to this crew, and the Green Lanterns are relatively unknown commodities. Introducing uncharacteristic, emotional responses will solidify their true character traits once the threat is abated.
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment:
Aquaman and Wonder Woman pair off as Arthur asks Diana for assistance. This is a recognizable pattern – similarly these two split off from the team in a recent JLA: Justice League of America story. Subsequent issues will likely pick up their journey – one that will eventually converge with the rest of the team, as they vanquish their foe. Juggling a team and keeping characters involved forces these different trails that eventually all lead together. However, “State of Fear” has one more issue to wrap up this really interesting narrative. I am left wondering how Hitch and company will tie loose ends. Or, perhaps this story sets up a new, overarching narrative for the team?
The art in the issue was very good and kept the issue moving forward. I liked the facial expressions of the characters – they lent much to the plot and gave the dialogue more depth and intrigue. This is not easy to do. Color continues to be a strength of Justice League books. This issue felt a bit darker in tone and muted in its contrasts. I felt this fit well with the story and gave it texture.
Overall, I enjoyed “State of Fear,” Part 1 and look forward to seeing the further impact of this mysterious foe on the team.