“Invasion of the Supermen” – Part Three
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artists: Doug Mahnke and Richard Friend
Color Artist: David Baron
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by Bryant Lucas
All’s well that ends well in this week’s Justice League #43, as the League deals with the Eradicator and his army of Daxamites once and for all.
In case you’re bored out of your skull, and just now catching up on Justice League, let me fill you in: previously, the Superman villain known as The Eradicator genetically modified a group of Daxamites into an army, and led them to Earth. They arrived, kicked the Justice League’s collective butts, and abducted Wonder Woman. Jon Stewart then devised a rescue mission involving the Flash and Madame Xanadu.
Now, as I’m sure you know, Jon Stewart is a smart guy – a military man. He knows that if an enemy has a field advantage then you should probably change the scenery. Therefore, he has Madame Xanadu open a portal to a remote portion of space where there’s no yellow sun. The Flash then leads the Daxamite army through this portal and – voila! – the Daxamites no longer have their powers. (Note that the Daxamites are descended from Kryptonians; hence, they get their powers from a yellow sun). The cleanup job becomes simple, as the League now faces powerless foes.
Eradicating the Eradicator?
Venditti’s script wraps up this four chapter arc quite nicely, while leaving a few dangling plot threads regarding the League’s inner dynamics. What’s most surprising about the issue is how Venditti deals with the Eradicator – a long-standing Superman villain who, shall we say, won’t be making an appearance for a while. Essentially, it was a nice twist to what felt like a somewhat meat-and-potatoes story.
The Return of Mahnke
After two issues of fill-in artists, Doug Mahnke returns to Justice League with a vengeance. Unsurprisingly, Mahnke’s work is beautifully detailed and kinetic in its combat sequences. While I still find his facial depictions a little strange, I have to say that they work in an issue that’s largely centered around battle. Wonder Woman looks vicious, and absolutely terrifying as she pummels the Eradicator and his army. While I appreciate Aaron Lopresti’s work, Justice League #43 proves that there’s only one Doug Mahnke.
Justice League #43 – like the rest of the “Invasion of the Supermen” arc – is nothing special. It will not “wow” you. In fact, give it twelve months, I doubt anyone will remember this short arc. Nevertheless, it is entertaining. It’s something to read to pass the time, and considering the amount of time we all have on our hands right now, I’d say it’s worth a read.
Venditti doesn’t try to be Scott Snyder; it’s obvious he’s not telling an Earth-shattering, Universe changing story, and frankly, that’s okay. The back-to-basics approach works well here, and having Doug Mahnke along for the ride is a nice perk.
Final Verdict: It could’ve been better, it could’ve been worse… but it’s definitely readable.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment