Written By: Joshua Williamson, James T Tynion IV, Scott Snyder
Art By: Francis Manapul
Published By: DC
On this week’s episode of, “There is no God,” DC keeps pumping out bad event comics. I’d say that if we tried real hard and prayed for it to stop, it would, but since there is no god, I guess we’re SOL. There’s plenty of shit. No luck though.
I suppose I’ll give Justice League No Justice it’s due: Unlike Dark Knights: Metal, it’s coherent. I know the story and I know what everyone is talking about. The amount of absurd proper nouns is at a minimum, and the basic setup even makes sense. They’re on an alien world with four big ol’ trees, and they have to split up and save each one. Meanwhile on Earth, Amanda Waller is doing an Amanda Waller, which is to say making everything worse.
There are about a thousand problems going on to be sure, from the obvious structure to the horrid dialogue to the strange plot contrivances, but it all amounts to little fun being had. The whole issue feels meaningless, and no matter how hard the creative team try, there’s just nothing to latch on to. Raising the stakes over and over and over and over again until every universe is in peril means nothing if you can’t do anything interesting with the characters. It’s spectacle for the sake of spectacle, only overblown with bad writing and forced arguments.
You can draw a hundred explosions, but if I don’t care about what’s exploding, then it doesn’t matter.
It’s kind of funny to think of event comics in terms of action fatigue, but they all kind of are, or rather, every one I’ve run into is. Dark Knights: Metal was nonstop fighting with a plot that failed at making sense; that Marvel thing with Steve Rodgers being a Hydra wasn’t much better–a throughline we all knew was going to end with Captain America punching Captain America and plenty of other punching in between; and hell, Avengers: Infinity War is a big purple giant fighting people as he gathers shiny rocks for his glove.
Come off it Thanos. Diamonds are just as pretty as infinity stones, and easier to get too.
It’s all rather bland. It doesn’t look bland because it’s nonstop spectacle, but with the exception of Infinity War, there’s no reason to care. And the only reason the movie made me care is because I was put through 17 other movies. I grew connected to the cast in previous works, so the big one where they all die at least felt important.
The thing with Infinity War though is the writers have the confidence to make the action spectacle work. No one speaks nonstop exposition, and people talk like people. Iron Man isn’t going, “You know what we need to do, Dr. Strange, is beat Thanos.” He just says “We gotta form a plan.” Because that’s how people talk. This comic lacks that, real people saying real words. It’s all forced, plot-driven speech, robotic in nature and execution. It’s bland, and it doesn’t make me care at all, even if I know who these characters are.
I’m starting to think the real secret to comic books isn’t in the continuity or lore but the simple fact that event comics are terrible. I’ve never read a good one. This isn’t a good one. They draw money like mad, but I don’t know why and I’ll probably never get an answer. If this is your jam, great, but we are on different wavelengths in what we want in both a story and a superhero comic.