Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bullet Review: Justice League #6 - Pandora

Justice League #6 came out yesterday, the final chapter of the big opening storyline by mega-star creative team Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. Justice League has certainly been a huge success for DC, landing at #1 and selling very well in this current market.

This arc, set 5 years ago, accomplished its goal of getting the new 'Big 7' together (still can't believe J'onn is on the outside looking in) to fight a big threat. I won't be the first or the last to compare this arc to a Michael Bay movie. It is loud, filled with action, and littered with explosions. In some ways it gives Lee room to show off his talents; there are plenty of splash pages.

But the big threat of Darkseid is easily dispatched. And because there is so much action, there is little room for us to actually feel like these heroes have met. A couple of cursory exchanges here and there doesn't make a team or friendships ... something said outright by GL at the end of the story.

With the explosive 'premiere' behind them, maybe Johns and Lee (or Gene Ha, or whoever is pitching in) can actually have these heroes come together.

But for me, the backup feature about 'the woman in purple' who kickstarted the DCnU and Flashpoint. We learn who she is and some of what she wants in a 6 page short, written by Johns with art by Carlos D'Anda.

Her name is Pandora. And The Phantom Stranger has tracked her down because the 'Circle of Eternity' is upset that she is messing around with reality.

It is implied that she is the Pandora, she of Greek myth who opened up a box containing the evils of the world. Here the Stranger calls her a 'foolish girl whose curiosity cursed the world'. Later he says she cannot keep 'the box' in her possession. So that is an interesting wrinkle which seems to demolish the guess that she is Glorith from the Legion.

She doesn't take kindly to the Stranger's conversation and so pulls out 'magic pistols' and shoots him. He, of course survives.

So who is in the Circle of Eternity? Is it the High Father, Ganthet, Shazam, Zeus, Stranger group we saw in Kingdom Come? Do Shazam and High Father even exist in the DCnU?

 Pandora seems to have some personal stake in whatever she is doing. She wants her curse to be lifted. And she has to imprison 'the strange'. Hmm ...

Going back to the main story, Superman while being tortured by DeSaad was shown other universes which Darkseid has conquered. And Darkseid says he has come to Earth 'for her'. Could the 'her' be Pandora? Could Darkseid hope to use whatever warping power she has for his own gain?

As I said, the book so far hasn't been the tentpole book I was hoping it would be. Maybe Johns and Lee felt they needed a big loud splash to open up the DCnU. And hopefully the next stories will be more about the characters and less about their fists. I find it interesting that the moment I am going to probably remember most about this arc will be the Flash goofily naming the team 'The Super Seven', a simple phrase speaking volumes about Barry. The moment I will most likely try to forget? Batman taking off his cowl ... something I can never ever ever imagine he would do.

But the reveal that the hooded woman was Glorith Pandora is kind of interesting.

Overall grade: C+


Martin Gray said...

I'm wondering who the 'Third Sinner' mentioned by Pandora is, if Cain is the first and she's the second. This was all a bit too mystical mumbo jumbo for even my tastes, and the likes of Countdown no longer have me confident DC really plans these things out beforehand. I'd rather we never saw this woman after Flashpoint ... rather she'd never shown up at all. If we're having a new universe, a clean break is best. As it is, the chat with Phantom Stranger leaves the idea that this is the true universe, gone wrong.

Anj said...

As it is, the chat with Phantom Stranger leaves the idea that this is the true universe, gone wrong.

There is a lot of mystical sleight of hand here. And I always worry about 'magic guns' as accessories.

But you are right that this does feel like a built in reset button if the DCnU fails, or that this is just another of the many Earths cropping up.

Your worries about Countdown etc. are unfortunately well founded. Especially given the short leash some books creative directions have been given here.