Justice League #15
Writer: Steve Orlando
Pencils: Felipe Wantanabe
Inks: Ruy Jose
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Ivan Reis and Marcelo Maiolo
Variant Cover: Doug Mahnke and Wil Quintana
Assistant Editor: Dave Wielgosz
Associate Editor: Amedeo Turturro
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Previously on JLA:
Ryan Choi leads part of the JLA through the harrowing depths of the Microverse, finding allies big and small along the way to chase down wherever Ray Palmer is left hiding. With the help of a living planet, Choi finally helped track down the rock where the Atom was stranded; only to find out that the man they thought was an ally all along, Dr. Aut, in fact will only lead them to one thing: doom.
As Ray Palmer again reminds the team that bringing Dr. Aut has doomed them all, we get a long-term flashback to find out exactly what happened to Ray and left him here in the first place. Months ago, Ray received a response to a message he sent out to the Microverse in an attempt to study the world first-hand, from none other than Dr. Aut himself. Aut managed to send a message back, and the absolutely estatic Ray planned a trip into the depths to investigate the damages. Choi couldn’t be lost to something like this, it was too risky, so Ray delved on his own. As he met Aut, they soon met another local, Preon, who Aut captured as the traitor back when he ran into the JLA. But here, Preon travels with Aut and Ray as they investigate quantum storms of the Microverse as a team, traveling to Moz-Ga. Traveling across the planets of the realm, while Aut managed an icy disposition at the lives had been lost, Preon took it as painful motiviation to keep going. Preon and Ray eventually developed a romance, and the group continues on as both Preon and Aut have a little more experience with the loss of millions at a time, as Ray struggles to deal with seeing planets being wiped out in entirety one by one. Ray passes on a clone of his size-changing belt to Preon as a gift, and nearly the next mission ends up having to use it in a crisis, Ray’s new love leaving him and Aut alone amongst the chaos of an exploding planet. Ray and Aut shrink down to ride the subatomic particles rocketing away from the rubble of the ground around them, and take them to the source of the fractures in reality; the ignition point. As they reach the core, Ray notices something very, very dangerous; the fracture that caused the quantum storms was no accident, but a bullet hole.
Reed Strong’s Decent Read:
Orlando is real good at long game, and this story has mostly been a slow-burn so far. The implications of what the quantum storm actually is could mean a lot for Rebirth and much less JLA itself, but this issue itself continued the Microverse shenanigans that we’ve had so far in this arc. None of this has been poorly written, but it manages to be slightly dry when it comes to the far-reaching adventures and situations the JLA has been seen to get itself into in the past. The Microverse itself is a really interesting place; cosmic destruction is always fun to both watch and read about, but enough of the focus has been on Aut and Preon on this arc which leaves Ray Palmer and even the JLA as bystanders to the story they’re in. This is what the story is trying to do; it’s not misguided and it certainly knows what it wants to be about. But without the rest of the JLA or a visit back to Happy Harbor and what’s going on with the Ray and the others, the lack of a b-story helped this issue get a little too linear for the kind of complex stories and structure JLA has does so far. It’s a good book and Orlando still writes good dialog and can tell a compelling mystery, but maybe once we find out what’s really going on, this story will really manage to pick up.