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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Justice League #12

Welp, they kissed. Mmmmmmuah. Kissy kissy. Superman and Wonder Woman sittin' in a tree. (It was actually on the roof of the Lincoln Memorial.)

So ends the first year of The New 52 Justice League, DC's best selling blockbuster book and a book I have been less than enamored with. But give Geoff Johns the credit for making #12 a particularly dense issue with a lot going on, considering how sparse many of the early issues were in plot and substance.

The hype for the issue is all about The Kiss, but this was actually the final chapter in "The Villain's Journey" in which David Graves, the author of the Justice League's book that made them the world's most popular superheroes for the last five years, went nuts and became a ghastly apparition. He claims he destroyed the Justice League by getting them to fight each other in public; apparently seeing Wonder Woman, Superman, and Green Lantern come to blows on every TV screen and monitor in the world was enough to get the world to turn on the League, or at least become real skeptical about them.

Like most things about this book, it's for the best if you don't think about anything too much.

Anyway, Graves seemingly killed Steve Trevor, the League's liaison to ARGUS, the New 52's version of SHIELD, and Wonder Woman's ex-boyfriend. Turns out, no, he's not dead, and look out Graves - he's got a gun! Graves had shown the League the ghosts of their dead loved ones (The Waynes for Batman, Ma and Pa Kent, Hal Jordan's dad, etc.) but Trevor's reappearance woke Wonder Woman and the League up. Batman, the master strategist (and apparently the League's leader, it's revealed later) comes up with a master strategy: Hey everyone, blast him! Green light, sonic white noise, heat vision, then Wonder Woman and Aquaman hitting him with swords and kicks and trident - down goes Graves! Down goes Graves! The evil spirits possessing Graves bail, leaving him a cancer-stricken, dying husk.

I'd also like to complain that Johns writes Wonder Woman karate fighting by yelling "YAH!" Like she's Alicia Silverstone's Batgirl or Miss Piggy. Come on, Geoff!

Later, in Belle Reve, Amanda Waller comes to Graves' cell and asks him to write a book about How to Destroy The Justice League. What the hell would he know about it? He totally failed to do it. But whatever. I guess he came the closest. We also learn that whatever residual ash that was kicked up during Darkseid's invasion of Metropolis five years ago infected Graves and his family, thus giving them fatal lethal incurable cancer.

At the Justice League Watchtower, surfacey simpleton dialogue between Batman, Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman and Green Lantern shows dissension within the mighty League. Aquaman wants to be leader, because he's KING OF ATLANTIS! Batman says fuck you, I'm the boss. Green Lantern then decides to quit. Something about he spends most of his time in outer space anyway, so whatever. Green Lantern bails.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Wonder Woman visits Steve Trevor in a Very Special Moment where we find out Steve is an emotional hand grenade who blows up on Wonder Woman for dumping him and stuff. He's older than she is, more worldly, a professional soldier, she was like 18 when they met, totally naive and sheltered in an island full of only immortal women, and Steve freaks out on her like a high schooler dumped on prom night. He literally rolls over in bed and turns her back on her. Real mature.

What Diana needs is a real man. A real Superman. A real lonely Superman. Who happens to be right there when she's moping on top of the Lincoln Memorial. He tells her his name is Clark Kent and tells her how lonely he is, and that's all it takes to get to first base with an emotionally vulnerable Wonder Woman. All that was missing was the Queen song "One Year of Love" from Highlander to start playing during this scene.

And that's Year One, folks. There's a tease for next year involving Shazam, Pandora's Box, Superman beating up Batman, the Cheetah, and the rise of the Justice League of America.

Also, in Justice League International Annual #1, Booster Gold from the future tells Booster Gold also from the future but the one we've been watching from the present something about how Superman and Wonder Woman together will doom us all. How? Well, you'll see.