Martian Manhunter, Starro the Conqeuror and Team Mystery are working on a means of freeing all the bottled planets in the depths of Colu. Team Entropy attempt to coax Vril Dox into providing a plan for dealing with the Omega Titans in the absence of Brainiac. Team Wonder struggle for workarounds to the limits Brainiac’s suits put on their magical abilities while jumpstarting the Tree of Wonder on Colu. Team Wisdom attempt to drain the Tree of Wisdom to ward of off the Wisdom Titan. All the while, Amanda Waller and Green Arrow debate what to do with the seed they have discovered back on Earth.
While No Justice #3 retains much of the fun and adventure previous installments of the miniseries have offered, this issue puts the story’s flaws on display in focus.
Chief among the book’s problems is the mixture of complexity and vagaries which surround what the four Justice League teams are actually doing on Colu. It dawns on me that I’m not sure what these teams are doing in specifics.
Sure, they’re awakening these trees that are warding off the Omega Titans while Wisdom drains their corresponding tree, but what does all of this even mean. Why are these actions awakening the trees? Why does awakening each other tree not attract their corresponding Titan?
We’re being asked to work backwards from the vague cosmic concept as opposed to being presented with a self-explanatory embodiment such as the Infinity Gems or the nine Power Rings of the nine Lantern Corps. While the four teams are cool and weird, but I wouldn’t be able to explain why Demon is on Wonder instead of Entropy or Luthor and Batman on Entropy instead of Wisdom. There’s no logical flow from freeing the bottled planets to awakening the Tree of Mystery.
This wouldn’t be a problem if these first three issues haven’t spent so much time explaining something that I still don’t understand.
That said, this comic is still fun. It has a big climactic battle, and the interplay between the disparate members of the four teams, even if Harley Quinn gets a bit too…Harley Quinn-y in this issue.
Riley Rossmo’s art is a rough change of pace from previous issues. While it is stylistically similar in many ways to Francis Manapul’s work, its hard edges and exaggerated features evoke a rough and darker comic as opposed to the cartoonish wonder elicited by Manapul. Marcus To is still a solid complementary choice, but the change from one artist to the next isn’t signaled by a shift in the story. Hi-Fi’s color work is still very good, and it brings a lot of life and energy to the proceedings.
There’s no particular reason why Justice League: No Justice #3 is the issue where it has dawned on me as a reader that I have no idea what is going on with Wisdom, Wonder, Entropy, Mystery, but it did hit home in this issue. The story has some glaring flaws in its exposition and explanations, but it is a fun read nonetheless with talented artists behind the visuals. While I’m less in love with this issue than previous installments, I can still easily recommend it. Feel free to check it out.
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