Writer/Artist: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Daniel Henriques
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Bryan Hitch presents JLA #3, continuing the story arch, “Power & Glory.” The world is changing since the Kryptonian god, Rao, made his appearance. Hospitals are empty, people are being healed. Citizens are living in peace and brotherhood, sharing everything in common.
Rao has preached peace and love — and with every man, woman, or child he or his prophets bless, the human race grows into something we all hoped it could be. Lives are being changed for the better every minute. People are being healed and not just in physical ways.
Readers catch up with Flash and Green Lantern, who find themselves in the midst of a raging battle. However, this battle has already taken place – 250,000 years prior on the now-destroyed planet of Krypton. Flash (Barry Allen) employs his speed in the fight and ends up disappearing off-planet, leaving Hal to defend himself. In a classic “take-me-to-your-leader” moment, Green Lantern is escorted to Kandor, where he is introduced to the ruler of Krypton – Rao! Flash reappears at the Infinity Corp. lab – through the same device bringing back dead Supermen (see the first issues’ review here).
Wonder Woman is still stranded on a destroyed Olympus, vacated by the gods who fear the mysterious “end of everything.”
Continuing the trend of the first two installments, “Power & Glory” asks deep questions about faith and hope. It addresses the problem of evil, the ethics of non-profit organization assistance, prayer, and intrinsic motivation. JLA #3 uses the comic book medium to explore, and visualize, long-held and hoped for messianic promise. What would it look like if all was right in the world – if the sick were healed, the hungry fed, and the earth made whole?
My theological training allows immediate recognition of similarities between the action in the panels of JLA #3 and that of the ancient Judeo-Christian scriptures. And, those similarities are striking. Full disclosure – these are things I hope for and intrinsically believe. So, why do I feel so skeptical when reading this story?
In JLA #3, Batman seems to feel the same way – waiting for Rao to show his true colors. I am interested in seeing where Hitch takes this story and wrestle with the implications of my own reactions, feelings, and emotions when it happens.
For me, this is the beauty of comic books – true works of art and literature that allow us to gain perspective. Faith, hope, and love are not relegated to the religious, but belong to humanity. And, this story arch continued in JLA #3 is giving us a chance to work out what it means to be truly human.