Gary Collinson reviews Justice League Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey…
“Now that the team’s origin story is complete, we shift to the present-day Justice League! What has changed? Who has joined the team since? And why does Green Arrow want to join those ranks so badly? Plus, someone is out to get the Justice League, and he is determined to show the world how mortal these godlike beings really are!“
Having reestablished the origins of the Justice League with a six issue arc set five years behind the current New 52 continuity, writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee bring the legendary team of superheroes to the present with Justice League’s second storyline, which ran through issues #7 – #12 and now arrives as the hardcover collected edition Justice League Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey.
After saving the world from the threat of Darkseid, the members of the Justice League have went on to become Earth’s greatest champions, but despite the fact it’s been several years since their formation, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg are still struggling with their alliance, not to mention their revered, celebrity-like status among the general public. Add to this a suspicious United States government, who are becoming increasingly concerned at the collateral damage that seems to follow the League’s activities, and it’s hardly surprising that the heroes have largely withdrawn themselves from the public eye, leaving Wonder Woman’s ex Steve Trevor to act as their liaison with the world.
However, while the team try to deal with their various dilemmas from the comfort of the Watchtower, a new threat is emerging in David Graves, an author who penned a bestselling biography on the Justice League before turning against the team after blaming them for the death of his family. Having acquired near-limitless supernatural powers, Graves has unearthed each of the team’s weaknesses, and is now hell bent on destroying their reputation with their adoring fanbase.
For a storyline entitled ‘The Villain’s Journey’, it’s a shame that said journey is so generic and underwhelming, while Graves’ villain himself ultimately lacks any real threat towards our team of superheroes. Fortunately, ‘The Villain’s Journey’ is just about redeemed by the interaction between the various team members, along with some decent character development – the majority of which centres upon Wonder Woman and her relationship with Steve Trevor. Meanwhile Green Arrow also pops up for a guest appearance, unsuccessfully lobbying for a spot on the League’s roster.
On a side note, you have to feel for poor Steve Trevor here. Not only has he been dumped by the hottest woman in the world, but he also finds himself taking flak from his superiors over the League’s penchant for autonomy, and suffers terribly at the hands of Graves in order to protect that Amazon Princess. What does Wonder Woman do in return? Jumps straight into the arms of Superman, that’s what. The harlot…
Despite some flaws, Justice League Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey is a fairly solid collection, and for any readers still looking for a jumping in point to DC’s New 52, it’s worth checking this one out.
Gary Collinson is a writer and lecturer from the North East of England. He is the editor-in-chief of FlickeringMyth.com and the author of Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen.