This week I revisited Angel & Faith and Justice League, taking a look at the Characters of Justice League #12 and Angel & Faith #13.
Angel & Faith #12
There is a little side story going on beside Angel, Willow, Conner, and Faith’s trip to a hellish dimension – two unflappable and witty characters called Sophronia and Lavinia Fairweather. They have an amusing conversation with a character called Whistler, and I’m interested in seeing more of these two. It seems, however, that their part in the story might be concluded for now. The character’s take several key steps in this issue. Connor calls Angel “Dad”, which seems small and everyday, by is enormous considering their complicated and difficult history, which involves false memories and reality changes. Faith has a great moment where she recongnises how Angel must feel – suppressing his violent and dark vampire side. Empathy is rare for Faith; a show of empathy is strong character development.
Willow has some wonderful moments here. She fights a giant monster called Quor’toth – the hellish dimension they are in is named after this behemoth. She creates a force field and generates enough yellow electric magic to knock the monster over. It’s great to see her finding magic again, but the issues cliffhanger is a reminder that magic always comes with a cost. It’s an excellent comic for it’s characters and story, and is a must read for fans of supernatural and fantasy comics.
Justice League #13
I’ve written before about the Justice League’s foibles. They are flawed and emotional people, but expect preferential treatment because of their powers and their life saving efforts. In this issue, the filmed footage of the League’s petty infighting on the street is broadcast worldwide. It is all part of the plan orchestrated by super villain David Graves: he wants to show the world that the Justice League are unreliable. His plan has a final deadly layer, and this issue reveals his intentions. Graves formed an alliance with parasitic spirits called Pretas, who can imitate the appearance of the dead, and the second goal was to send these ghost parasites across the earth. That’s a busy schedule, even for a super villain. The League stop Graves and his army of ghosts, but the whole plot seems similar to DC’s Blackest night story – a villain controls the dead to attack the heroes.
Further, the final few pages are problematic. Aquaman succinctly states their issue, saying “It’s time to be the team they(Earth’s people) thought we were instead of the team we’ve been”, but he is ignored. The Flash states “With the powers we have, it’s up to us to make the Earth safe”, but Green Lantern argues that they are not gods- the League members have not learned to listen to each other. The Flash also previously said “we’re not gods” so it seems inconsistent that he is calling for them try harder, having once stated that he was aware of the League’s Limits.
It is good that the team is coming to terms with it’s limitations, but their plan of action leaves a lot wanting. The solution: pin their incompetence and failure on Green Lantern, who will quit the team, and bear the burden like a true hero. If this seems familiar, it’s because this was the solution from Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film The Dark Knight, where Batman carries the blame for the villain’s actions. Again, a similar idea has been copied to a new story. If the plan was to show the League as amateurs, not anywhere near their potential, then it works, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Also Superman and Wonder Woman have begun a tentative relationship.