Jacket.aspxBy Jim Krueger & Alex Ross

The deadliest foes of the Justice League band together… to save the world? Can they be stopped? Should they be stopped? What’s really going on here?

While ostensibly taking place in (a version of) the DC universe, this is also Krueger and Ross’ loving homage to the Super Friends cartoon of the 1970s and Super Powers toyline of the 1980s. The climax of the story even pulls from those roots and indulges in a rather “toyetic” finale.

Unfortunately, the light-hearted tone of their inspiration clashes with a story that is very complex and occasionally bleak. The characters also feel somewhat uneven, with many of the heroes languishing in their helplessness during the first half, then reveling in their powers in the second half—it doesn’t feel like they’re rising to the challenge so much as they just suddenly remember they have godlike abilities they could have been using all along. Even for a visual medium the massive cast of characters is difficult to keep track of, especially since few of them do anything of real importance. Additionally, for a standalone tale there are a lot of subplots that don’t seem to have any real origin or go anywhere.

For all my criticism I actually liked this tale. Despite the need for trimming the art was amazing and much of the characterization spot-on, making it a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

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