Justice League: No Justice #2 Review – Underwhelming
Written by: Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson and James Tynion IV
Art by: Francis Manapul and Marcus To
Colors by: Hi-Fi
Published by: DC Comics
So… Anybody else kind of underwhelmed by No Justice? I honestly don’t like picking on Scott Snyder but, along with Metal, I get the impression he’s just not very good with the crazy, big, high concept superhero stuff. The first issue was ok in setting everything up but this one is a bit more… stuffed, let’s say. You’ll see what I mean but first let me get to the plot.
The Justice Leagues have to save the planet Colu from the Omega Titans! By balancing the forces of Mystery, Wisdom, Wonder and Entropy on the planet they may be able to stop the Titan from consuming it. But can they do it on time? Or is Colu doomed to becoming their newest snack?
The writing on this book is complicated to explain. It’s very sprawling, it has a lot of characters who get divided into groups and said groups go to wildly different places. It’s a lot of balls to juggle and, much like Metal, it all happens in a very compressed space. No Justice feels like it should be at least six issues, because I can’t possibly imagine how they’ll make everything work in just four. Also, since it’s mostly big panels with lots of word balloons we’re once again missing the “wow” factor these types of things are supposed to have. That said I can’t exactly call it bad. The interactions all flow well and feel natural for the characters and I certainly think things are much clearer and focused than in Metal (probably because of the extra writers plotting the story alongside Snyder). The goal is extremely clear and the adventure feels focused squarely on that goal without deviating to the fanboy stuff like Metal. Still, I keep coming back to the length. Marvel gave sixteen parts for Mark Waid, Jim Zub and Al Ewing to play with and Avengers: No Surrender turned out really good. Why can’t you do that DC? Sure, Francis Manapul can’t take that workload but you can get someone to do the breakdowns and get other artists to finish it like you did for 52.
Speaking of the art, it’s not quite what I want but I don’t think that’s necessarily Manapul’s fault. Manapul’s art generally has a watercolor style coloring to it and Hi-Fi, while they’re great colorists, can’t quite capture that. For example compare this page from this issue of No Justice, colored by Hi-Fi:
To this page from Trinity, colored by Manapul himself:
It’s not bad coloring and I understand doing this weekly is hard but I was hoping for something a bit better. There’s also the Marcus To sections which, while different in style, mingle well with the with the Manapul sections mostly because the coloring is kept consistent and gives the book a cohesive look. The art isn’t bad but it simply can’t keep up with the measure of quality that Francs Manapul has kept up over the years (and I wouldn’t expect it to, given its weekly nature) and when you have his name attached to the book, you’re going to be drawing comparisons to his other work in the reader’s head. Good art but it could be a lot better.
Overall, I hate myself right now. I want to like this book, I swear I do. The premise is neat, the idea is cool, the interactions are fun but it’s doing so much so quickly, it can’t possibly finish all of this in four issues. I want to believe they can make something cool out of this and turn these next few issues into all out, ultra fun blasts. Previous experience, however, tells me not to get my hopes up. I recommend you read it for yourself to find out what you think, but I wouldn’t expect greatness.