Writer: Christopher Priest / Artist: Pete Woods / DC Comics
The People vs. Justice League Part 2 wastes no time throwing our beloved heroes in the muck. They’re held accountable for a failed attempt at stopping a terrorist attack that resulted in a nun getting killed by Wonder Woman’s sword (last issue). Our heroes may be Gods, aliens, rich, and royal, but they can still be blinded by their own hubris. This is a very grounded take on the Justice League. That’s what makes the out of this world conflict of this issue stand out even more than usual: The League goes up against an alien cockroach with hive-mind capabilities. Christopher Priest, you a genius.
With that in mind, let’s talk about diversity. In all thirty-six issues (including Rebirth), this is the first time that the Justice League has actually felt like a varied group of individuals.
The. First. Time.
Priest understands these characters and knows exactly what to pull out of them and when to do it to make them feel unique and authentic. Simon Baz is insecure, Flash is annoyingly smart, and believe it or not, Jessica Cruz is Latinx. On that note, there are two solid pages with Spanish dialogue. No translation boxes either. That’s a pretty bold move. There are even a few panels where Jessica is singing in Spanish. I scoured the web looking for whatever song it could be, but ya boy couldn’t find it. I did end up adding some Selena to my commuting playlist though. Bidi Bidi Bom Bom. Overall, it was a pretty fun experience as I got a little crash course in Latin culture. How dope is that? This is what comics can be, people. This is what comics should be.
Pete Woods is back at it with the trill illustration. Wally West makes a cameo, and he’s got the cleanest hairline and part this side of Central City. It made me want to cuss my barber out for never giving me anything this fresh.
Another aspect of Wood’s art that I really enjoy are the expressions that he conveys through the characters. And that goes beyond Batman’s ever-present scowl. Jessica Cruz is yet another good example (this was a good issue for her characterization). Because of her past with Agoraphobia, she’s someone who can exhibit a range of emotions at the snap of a finger when not in her comfort zone, and Woods’ ability to convey that is on full display. That’s no easy feat. A round of applause for the homie.
Along with the much-needed variety, this issue brings a fun, humorous, and wacky adventure with some surprising faces. However, the team is haunted by their mistakes and their public perception. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. But for the first time in a long time, I’m rooting for them not just because they’re the Justice League, but because I know a bit more about them.
Reading Justice League? Find BNP’s other reviews here.