Justice League #14
Written By: Steve Orlando
Pencilled By: Ivan Reis
Inked By: Julio Ferreira and Ivan Reis
Coloured By: Marcelo Maiolo
Previously on JLA. After adventures in the Microverse verging on multi-dimensional destruction and living planets taking their apparant revenge out on the denizens, our group finally finds Ray Palmer. Or do they? They don’t. This time? Maybe. Probably.
Vixen consults the strange doctor himself Gregorio Extrano about the mysterious wish-granting dreams citizens of Happy Harbor are still having, but the well-dressed magician still isn’t able to come up with a cause. Back the microverse, Lobo beats off a rampaging mob with his own severed arm, while Batman and Killer Frost attempt to seize the peace. Down in the very depths of Moz-Ga itself, Ryan does his best to talk to The Living Planet, while the JLA keeps up the good fight with more and more oncoming soldiers. Ryan makes an emotional appeal to the planet, talking about the love for his mentor, the love that should be there for all the natives, much less to the entire microverse itself, and the desire for all existence to be to acknowledge itself and let be. Rarely speaking but emotionally provoked, Moz-Ga speaks out in a truly individual moment of understanding, Ryan Choi’s words making a gigantic planet somehow feel small. They cannot stop the threats to the microverse itself, , but he tells the young Atom he may very well know where his mentor is. Amidst Batman, Killer Frost and Lobo keeping up the fight, suddenly Ryan Choi’s ship crash lands in the middle of the fight, and Batman does what he does best and throws a batarang in order to give the team the time they need to run off to the ship, as well as dispersing the rest of the mob. The crew is shocked by riding in what is essentially the living liver of the Living Planet, but soon enough they find their way to the desolate, distant rock that Ray Palmer is on. As they begin to approach the Atom, Ray spots Dr. Aut, a native who claimed to be Ray’s partner amidst the madness, but Ray informs Ryan that he was never supposed to bring his name. He’s doomed them all!
Reed Strong’s Strong Read:
This issue was just fun. Orlando has a very nice habit of bringing characters from his other runs, who happened to be previously underutilized characters such as B’wana Beast, or historically controversial characters such as Extrano, who was DC’s first openly gay character, but due to current policies the only way to make him truly visible was having him be as pink and flamboyant as possible. Extrano, who first appeared in Midnighter and Apollo in his first appearance in nearly 30 years, here continues to be a very down-to-earth Doctor Strange analog who helped spring the ongoing attention to the mysteries of the dreams. The rest of it is just a rather fun romp in the microverse, even if Ryan Choi’s emotionality being enough to wake an ages old god-figure came out a little quick. But if Ryan Choi is able to touch a nearly immortal planet who has seen a lot of shit, then I’m not going to question his validity. The reveal of the real traitor is a little bit satisfying, and the especially fun last page really brings a delightful throwback to the silver ae. The disappearance of Ray Palmer is been a major thread since to the Rebirth era has begun, and with this issue we are finally beginning to see some form of resolution. It’s action and banter along with a few important bits of plot and some fan service, which is about as much as you want out of a story that can get so heavy.