Review: Justice League #23

“Fear Itself”


Writer: Tom DeFalco

Penciller: Tom Denerick

Colorist: Adriano Lucas


“Tell all your friends on social media…” The Black Shield is comical in a new-age way. There’s is a decent amount of political commentary as well…wrong political commentary. Wonder Woman, Batman, and Jessica Cruz try to take down an enemy who’s disturbing the peace of an unnamed city.

Right off the bat (ha), there’s action. Batman throws the first kick! The art had me jump right into it. Lantern Cruz is adorable, the way she geeks out about fighting against terrorists alongside Batman and Wonder Woman, Cyborg used to have similar moments. I can see how the heavy loaded political commentary can put others off, yet I’m always happy when I see writers trying to aid in a perfect utopia (maybe, one day we’ll have an Earth similar to Star Trek). But… I’m at a loss with this issue’s attempt.

Cruz still has an identity to build. I’m slightly put off by her negativity. She must understand that both Wonder Woman and Batman have had to face fear and great sorrows to become who they are. For her to compare her worry about one innocent child while Bruce and Diana have unfortunately lost 100s in their past, isn’t the greatest moment of her character development. Also, why are the terrorists always people from some desert or people of color? And the victims carry Caucasian features while their backgrounds carry clearly Arabic/Indian building designs:

Lost points there.

I can’t complain about the art. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Cruz look spectacular, their action positions are fantastic! The connection between Bruce and Diana is well-written.

DeFalco did a good job writing a bond, and Denerick portrayed the emotions well. Kudos to the colorist, Adriano Lucas. I think his work is my preferred part of the issue. The colors are lush and exciting.


A few moments of brief smiles. The relationship between the Leaguers is strong, but I do not support the portrayal of Cruz and this unknown city. American narratives try and make a place look “exotic” and it turns out looking pretty disrespectful. Come on, I think Rebirth can do much better than this. Art is gorgeous, but it wasn’t a strong attempt at being political, at least people are trying. I’d recommended someone grabbing an insight or two before they write about oppression and social structures and then try to deliver it with the exceptional art.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

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