Published by DC Comics
‘Injustice League: Chapter 3 – Birth’ review
Writers: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Keith Champagne
Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Cover Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Rod Reis
A review by Jake Morris.
If there is one thing that Geoff Johns is known for among his many talents as a writer, it is his unwavering ability to establish lesser known and less prominent characters into more of a household name. He did it with Green Lantern and with Justice League #32 he begins his attempt at doing the exact same with the Doom Patrol.
The Doom Patrol are known mostly thanks to Grant Morrison’s run on the team but here we get their proper introduction into the New 52. Through the reintroduction of Element Woman, who Johns has previously shown love for in earlier issues of Justice League, we meet Dr. Caulder, another character Johns is familiar with. Johns here navigates the introduction of the Doom Patrol briskly, but full of nuances, that make sure to give each one individuality. Buried within the introductions is a deep underlying sly motive that you can sense from Dr. Caulder and it brings an interesting dynamic to how they eventually end up tackling the new Power Ring.
The issue is chock full of characters and teams, ranging from the Doom Patrol to the Justice League and then to Lex Luthor and his budding partnership with Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold. The action is drawn out for a lot of the book with exchanges ongoing between Patrol, Caulder and the more comedic moments between Shazam and Cyborg throughout. These exchanges give the action more purpose rather than serving as a way to keep the book action oriented.
Speaking of Lex Luthor, the shadowy involvement of the character remains an interesting one. He was ever present in stopping the Crime Syndicate and Johns has taken him in an intriguing direction. Despite Luthor’s claims as now being heroic, due to Johns keeping him in the background and his motivations mostly hidden, the reader is left wondering whether he is there to work side by side with the Justice League or to fuel his own ambitions.
With the Doom Patrol’s members appearing as a potential ticking time bomb of trouble, it may only be a matter of time before there is an explosive meeting between all three parties. And that is before the inevitable larger threat comes to lay claim to the world.
Art wise, the book is a real step up from Forever Evil with characters appearing as they should be and the trio of Mahnke, Champagne and Dalhouse fusing together to form a pretty book of vibrant colours, thick lines and dynamic panel work. The expressions in the faces of certain characters – such as the essential creepy smile from Elasti-Girl and the wonderment of Element Woman – add to the character already established through Johns’ dialogue.
Justice League continues to be an important pillar in the New 52 and integral to the direction that the overall world is going in. The only problem with DC’s events so far have been the pay off but as long as Geoff Johns and the team can keep up the great storytelling then it should be an interesting climax to what looks like a new crisis.
Jake is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @JakeUtd.