Within the ocean depths, Aquaman rushes to save his home planet. He holds the key to saving the world from breaking apart. The zodiac crystal calls to him. Arthur must set up the crystals before the world shatters.
Uptown Metropolis, Cyborg reawakens from the swarm attack. Things are different now. Cyborg isn’t just connected to the swarm, he is controlling them. The flash radios in. He is doing ok for now but Barry needs his team to get to his destination, ASAP.
Earth’s core, Superman destroys another extinction machine, one more to go.
Elsewhere, Cyborg and Batman, via a boom-tube reaches the scarlet Speedster and Wonder Woman ejects from one of the entity.
The flash lost his speed. But who stole it from whom? The kindred think that the speed is theirs? No, The speed force was created the moment he got struck by lightning. The speed force is his to command and he wants it back.
The flash propells his body forward as if he can call back what was stolen from him. The kindred can feel it, his speed diminishing. Cyborg calls on the Lanterns to get ready while Aquaman races towards the next destination to set up the zodiac crystals. Superman can barely breathe. His lungs are burning, hell everything is burning. He can barely stay conscious but Clark has got one more machine to go before he can get out of earth’s core.
The rest of the league desperately attempts to separate the 4 entities but to no avail. Suddenly, the rookie lanterns return home and they have company. Simon Baz created a construct that funneled hundreds of thousands of the alien beings. He brought them home and he unleashes them onto the 4 entities.
The green light begins to vanish from the Lantern’s rings but Barry Allen informs his friends that their power is theirs, not these beings. Take it back and take them down!
Finally Arthur is finish with the Zodiac crystals. They activate and with a blast of radiant light, the world holds together. The final crystal gets jammed into one of the entity. They know they are losing but they waited Centuries for this moment so, they push on.
Superman couldn’t finish his mission by pushing the machine into earth’s inner core, so he takes it topside. Superman can feel it. It is time. The machine emits an energy wave meant for earths outer core, but instead, it blasts the 4 entities to oblivion.
The innocent civilians, that make up the 4 entities, are safe. The world is at peace once again. And with that, Superman leaves the justice league. His family waits.
Fair warning guys, this isn’t a great review for bryan Hitch’s justice league run. I’m basically gunna rip it apart to nit-pick and point out how disappointed I am with this series and how sad I am that I will be dropping my coverage of the Justice league.
Ok so, let’s get into what I thought about this issue and the whole extinction machine story arc from Bryan Hitch’s run of the justice league.
I knew it would be hard to follow Geoff John’s successful run of the justice league but wow we got this hot mess of a story. I don’t know who the bad guys are. Is it the kindred? I assume that they are the 4 entities? Are the bad guys the purge? I don’t know what the purge is except for seeing a bunch of swarms that attacked cyborg and then a bunch of aliens that look like cyborg.
So let’s discuss all of the convenient factors to this story. Arthur accidentally finds a bunch of artifacts in his
Atlantian museum called the zodiac crystals. Their purpose is to be the super glue that will hold the world together. Convenience!
The two Lanterns left earth’s orbit and somehow stumbles onto a worm hole, while not looking for it, that leads them directly to the source of the missiles. Convenient!
Cyborg, again, becomes the bridge between an alien language and us. He again manages to tap in and controls a techno organic species to do his will. Convenience!
And then this brings me to another problem. The League has absolutely no knowledge on the purge except Cyborg of course. So Cyborg, being the instant expert on the Purge decides to ask the lanterns to bring hundreds of thousands of alien creatures to earth, not knowing if they carry any viruses that could wipe out the entire world, so that he can give the entities his golden shower?
The reveal that there were a bunch of cyborg lookalikes was pretty cool but this is our payoff? Was it even addressed as to why these aliens look like cyborg? I assume it’s because cyborg tapped into the purge so somehow, the enslaved aliens started transforming into cyborg. This is just a wild guess because I honestly don’t know. It is true, comic books are very far fetched but I can buy it within the realm of make believe. But this is too much.
Ok let’s get into another thing that I am gunna rip apart. We know green lanterns source of power is their will. The ring harnesses their will and turns it into a weapon. Well Barry Allen’s will power made is so that he reclaims his speed force. That is fine but then we got a scene where the lanterns return to earth. The moment they came close to the 4 entities, they start losing their will power. But then Allen gave them a lecture on will power so Jessica cruz and Simon Baz started to focus and they regained their will. This is one of the trickiest things when writing green lanterns. You can essentially take ANY super hero and say he has enough will power to become a green lantern. So when Baz was chosen by the ring, why didn’t the ring go to Barry? I’ll give Jessica a break because her near death experience at the end of the Darkseid war was pretty cool.
Ok its superman’s turn to get a roast. There was never a time in this whole story arc where I felt like superman was in any form of real danger. Batman tells superman that he is going to the center of the earth on a suicide quest. This is when it gets very predictable. Superman of course, saves the day by completing his mission. He survives because, well, he just had to fly away from earth’s core. This is another tricky aspect when writing a scenario where superman could potentially die. As a reader, I felt like he was not in any real danger at any time during this 5 issue comic series.
And then Bryan Hitch gets the sloppy seconds when he tries to write about superman’s family values. There is nothing wrong about Hitch bringing in superman’s love for his family BUT we, as the readers, already got that story told so much better by Tomasi and Gleason. I categorize the justice league as a high octane roller coaster ride with so many twists and turn but throwing in a scene with superman and his family felt out of place. I know I’m gunna get ragged on for saying this but I gotta share it.
Finally, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash. We gotta have the full league in any justice league story arc but this begs a problem for any writer. How can they give 7 core members something to do? Hitch did a good job giving Arthur something to do but then that opens my complaint about the convenience on these zodiac crystals. No back story and we have no clue where they came from.
The ending felt very rushed. It’s like Hitch started cooking with a good plan in mind but then half way through, the ingredients started turning bad so he threw everything into a blender and blended the hell out of it. Then he presented it to us as the ending for the extinction machine!
I can continue dragging Hitch’s work to the ground but I know I gotta stop. So lets get into some good things about Hitch and this story. The art is good. Good job tony S. Daniel.
My first exposure to Hitch is his justice league of America series. I had my doubts on it but I followed it through and I really enjoyed it. The fight between Rao and Superman is exactly the kind of battle that keeps us superman fans on the edge of our seat. It isn’t power vs power, even though we do get that. Rao has something over superman, something I don’t want to get into so if you want a great Bryan Hitch comic book, I highly suggest that you check out his Justice league of America run. It does fall into continuity so there’s that. And I don’t think the story has concluded, or at least I haven’t read the last issue.
Moving forward, I will be stopping my coverage of Justice league by Bryan Hitch. I’m disappointed because I have been following the justice league since forever evil and issue 32. Justice league has been the most covered comic series here on comic island so I am sad that I will be putting the league aside. But when it feels more of a chore to cover a series, then that when I know its time to give it up.