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By: Adam Basciano

“THE VILLAIN’S JOURNEY” part two! The identity of the Justice League’s newest and deadliest foe is revealed.” (DC Comics)

While the solicitation for this issue suggests that the identity of the newest Justice League villain is revealed, it was pretty obvious that it was David Graves.  What is revealed are the circumstances that led this acclaimed novelist to become a supervillain.  Mythology, mysticism, his illness and most importantly, the loss of his family, have all led to David Graves current situation.  All these ingredients make for an interesting foe.  The mysticism gives Graves some intrigue, while illness and death are logical and realistic reasons why someone would go off their rocker.  I really liked how Graves attacks the League, by using their pain of who they’ve lost against them. That coupled with how ancient disgruntled gods seemingly fused the restless spirits of Graves dead family with his own, has me wondering when the Winchester brothers are going to be drawn in for a cameo?

While this issue contains plenty of superhero vs supervillain action, Johns and Lee haven’t forgotten about the character and emotion.  When he reviewed the previous issue, Jeremy said character and emotion were the high points of the story.  That remains true of this issue as well.  In a meeting at the Watchtower, it is stated that Batman doesn’t trust his team members. Superman retorts that Batman trusts him, mentioning that they’ve worked together outside of the League.  This was one of many little continuity references, but it gave me hope that one day DC will roll out a New 52 version of the Superman/Batman title.  There are also references to Patty Spivot from “The Flash” book and Zola from the “Wonder Woman” title.  Green Lantern also tells Superman that he doesn’t trust him because he knows nothing about him and because he’s always so quite.  This uneasiness and mistrust within the group is a vast departure from how things used to be pre relaunch.  It makes perfect sense that a group of strangers, who run around concealing their true identities, each one more powerful than the next would feel apprehensive about one another. I look forward to seeing how they deal with this issue as the series continues.

I absolutely love Jim Lee’s artwork. Some think he’s over-rated but I can’t get enough of his art.  His splash pages in this issue are some of the best of the series to date.  My favourites include the League attacking Graves all at once, and the League lying beaten and defeated on the last page.  Throughout this series due to the New 52, Lee has drawn the characters with a more youthful appearance.  In this issue he had a bit of a stylistic slip.  On one of the pages where the team is in the watchtower, Lee reverts back to his style circa 2004.  I’m certainly not going to take any points off though, as his work on “Batman: Hush” and “Superman: For Tomorrow” is superb.

After my last two reviews featured extremely disappointing issues of Green Arrow and a Batman letdown, Justice League #10 is the exact tonic I needed. Solid action, character developement, and stunning art make this the perfect pick me up from my negative reviewing woes.

Overall Grade: 10/10