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Week of November 12th Volume 1 #622

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WHAT'S FREE AT THE MEGASTORE ON WEDNESDAY
COMIC SHOP NEWS 90CT BUNDLE #1588
COMIC SHOP NEWS CHRISTMAS 2017 SPECIAL 90CT BUNDLE
DOOMSDAY CLOCK 11 57 PM TUESDAY RELEASE LITHO (BND OF 25) (N
DOOMSDAY CLOCK PROMOTIONAL PINS (BAG OF 25)

NEW FUNNY BOOKS ON SALE ON WEDNESDAY
2000 AD PACK OCT 2017
ACTION COMICS #991 VAR ED (OZ EFFECT)
ACTION COMICS #992
ACTION COMICS #992 VAR ED
ALL NEW CLASSIC ARCHIE YOUR PAL ARCHIE #4 CVR A REG PARENT
ALL NEW CLASSIC ARCHIE YOUR PAL ARCHIE #4 CVR B MCCLAINE
ALL NEW WOLVERINE #27 LEG
AMAZING AGE #4 (OF 5)
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RENEW YOUR VOWS #13 CHRISTOPHER TRADING C
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RENEW YOUR VOWS #13 LEG
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RENEW YOUR VOWS #13 LEGACY HEADSHOT VAR L
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RENEW YOUR VOWS #13 RANDOLPH LH LEG
ANGEL SEASON 11 #11
ANGEL SEASON 11 #11 VAR
ANGELIC #3
ANIMOSITY EVOLUTION #2
ASTRO CITY #49
BANKSHOT #4
BATGIRL #17
BATGIRL #17 VAR ED
BATMAN BEYOND #14
BATMAN BEYOND #14 VAR ED
BETTY AND VERONICA VIXENS #1 CVR A EVA CABRERA
BETTY AND VERONICA VIXENS #1 CVR B HACK
BETTY AND VERONICA VIXENS #1 CVR C FIONA STAPLES
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA OLD MAN JACK #3 MAIN & MIX
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA OLD MAN JACK #3 SUBSCRIPTION ACT
BLACK PANTHER #167 FRISON CONNECTING VAR LEG
BLACK PANTHER #167 LEG
BLUE BEETLE #15
BLUE BEETLE #15 VAR ED
CABLE #151 LEG
CAPTAIN MARVEL #126 LEG
CLUE #6 CVR A SCHOENING
CLUE #6 CVR B DANIEL
COPPERHEAD #16
DEMON HELL IS EARTH #1 (OF 6)
DEPT H #20
DETECTIVE COMICS #969
DETECTIVE COMICS #969 VAR ED
DIE KITTY DIE HOLLYWOOD OR BUST #4 CVR A PARENT
DIE KITTY DIE HOLLYWOOD OR BUST #4 CVR B RUIZ
DISNEY BIG HERO 6 HEROES SAN FRANSOKYO ONE SHOT (C: 0-0-1)
DISNEY SNOW WHITE 80TH ANN ONE SHOT (C: 0-0-1)
DOCTOR WHO 10TH YEAR THREE #11 CVR A MYERS & SMITH
DOCTOR WHO 10TH YEAR THREE #11 CVR B PHOTO
DOCTOR WHO 10TH YEAR THREE #11 CVR C CARR (SEASONS)
DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE #518
DOOM PATROL #9 
DOOM PATROL #9 VAR ED 
DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1 #1 (OF 12) 11 57PM RELEASE VARIANT ED
DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1 (OF 12)
DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1 (OF 12) FRANK VAR ED
DOOMSDAY CLOCK #1 (OF 12) LENTICULAR VAR ED
DOPPELGANGER #1
DR RADAR (STATIX) #1 CVR A FRANCAVILLA
DR RADAR (STATIX) #1 CVR B BEZIAN
DUCKTALES #3 CVR A GHIGLIONE
DUCKTALES #3 CVR B GHIGLIONE
ELEANOR & THE EGRET #5
ELEPHANTMEN #79
FLASH #35
FLASH #35 VAR ED
GAME OF THRONES CLASH OF KINGS #6 CVR A MILLER
GAME OF THRONES CLASH OF KINGS #6 CVR B RUBI
GAME OF THRONES CLASH OF KINGS #6 CVR C 10 COPY MILLER INCV
GAME OF THRONES CLASH OF KINGS #6 CVR D 15 COPY RUBI INCV (N
GASOLINA #3
GENERATION X #9
GENIUS CARTEL #4 (OF 5)
GFT GRIMM TALES OF TERROR VOL 3 #10 C CVR SALONGA
GHOST STATION ZERO #4 (OF 4) CVR A CHANKHAMMA
GHOST STATION ZERO #4 (OF 4) CVR B VIECELI
GIANT DAYS 2017 SPECIAL
GLITTERBOMB FAME GAME #3 CVR A MORISSETTE-PHAN
GLITTERBOMB FAME GAME #3 CVR B NG
GOD COMPLEX #1 2ND PTG
GOD COMPLEX #2
GOLD DIGGER #248
GOTHAM CITY GARAGE #4
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY TELLTALE SERIES #5 (OF 5)
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY TELLTALE SERIES #5 (OF 5) GAME VAR
HARD PLACE #4 (OF 5) CVR A STELFREEZE
HARD PLACE #4 (OF 5) CVR B RUMMEL
HARLEY QUINN #32
HARLEY QUINN #32 VAR ED
HELLBLAZER #16
HELLBLAZER #16 VAR ED
IMAGINARY FIENDS #1 (OF 6)
INVADER ZIM #25
INVADER ZIM #25 WILLIAMS VAR
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #594 LEG
JAMES BOND SOLSTICE ONE SHOT
JESSICA JONES #14 LEG
JIMMYS BASTARDS #5 
JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE #389
JUSTICE LEAGUE #32 METAL
JUSTICE LEAGUE #32 METAL
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #19
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #19 VAR ED
KAMANDI CHALLENGE #11 (OF 12)
KAMANDI CHALLENGE #11 (OF 12) VAR ED
KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #249
LARKS KILLER #4 (OF 7) CVR A HA
LARKS KILLER #4 (OF 7) CVR B FLEECS
LARKS KILLER #4 (OF 7) CVR C WILLINGHAM
LCSD 2017 RICK & MORTY TREASURY ED
LCSD 2017 ROBOTECH KERSCHL SUPER PACK
LIBRARIANS #2 CVR A MOLINE
LIBRARIANS #2 CVR B CASSANDRA CILLIAN PHOTO
LOONEY TUNES #240
LUKE CAGE #167 LEG
LUMBERJANES #44
LUMBERJANES #44 SUBSCRIPTION SOTUYO VAR
MADE MEN #3
MALEFIC #3 (OF 8)
MAXWELLS DEMONS #1 (OF 5)
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #21
MIGHTY THOR #700 2ND PTG HANS VAR LEG
MONSTERS UNLEASHED #8 LEG
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25 LEG
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25 LEGACY HEADSHOT VAR LEG
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25 SMITH LH VAR LEG
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25 TRADING CARD LEG
MOTOR GIRL #10 (OF 10)
NIGHTWING THE NEW ORDER #4 (OF 6)
OPTIMUS PRIME #13 CVR A ZAMA
OPTIMUS PRIME #13 CVR B COLLER
OPTIMUS PRIME #13 CVR C GRIFFITH
POPEYE CLASSICS ONGOING #64
PUNISHER PLATOON #3 (OF 6)
RAT QUEENS #6 CVR A GIENI
RAT QUEENS #6 CVR B BOO
REDNECK #7
REDNECK #7 CVR B CHARITY VAR
RICK & MORTY POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT #5 (OF 5)
RICK & MORTY POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT #5 (OF 5) KIRKBY VAR (
RIVERDALE (ONGOING) #8 CVR A CW BETTY PHOTO
RIVERDALE (ONGOING) #8 CVR B CW VERONICA PHOTO
ROYALS #11 LEG
RUFF & REDDY SHOW #1 (OF 6)
RUFF & REDDY SHOW #2 (OF 6)
RUFF & REDDY SHOW #2 (OF 6) VAR ED
RUGRATS #2
RUGRATS #2 FOC INCV MONLONGO VAR
RUGRATS #2 SUBSCRIPTION CANNON VAR
SAVAGE DRAGON #228
SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP #32
SCREAM MISTY SPECIAL #1
SHADOW #4 CVR A WEEKS
SHADOW #4 CVR B JONES
SHADOW #4 CVR C MANDRAKE
SHADOW #4 CVR D 10 COPY JONES B&W INCV
SHADOW #4 CVR E 20 COPY MANDRAKE B&W INCV
SHADOW #4 CVR F 30 COPY WEEKS VIRGIN INCV
SHADOW #4 CVR G 40 COPY JONES VIRGIN INCV
SHERLOCK FRANKENSTEIN & LEGION OF EVIL #2 (OF 4)
SHERLOCK FRANKENSTEIN & LEGION OF EVIL #2 (OF 4) VAR
SILVER SABLE WILD PACK #36 CHRISTOPHER TRADING CARD VAR LEG
SILVER SABLE WILD PACK #36 LEG
SKULL ISLAND BIRTH OF KONG #4
SNOTGIRL #8
SPIDER-GWEN #25 2ND PTG RANDOLPH VAR LEG
SPIDER-MAN DEADPOOL #24 LEG
STAR WARS #39
STAR WARS #39 CHRISTOPHER ACTION FIGURE VAR
STEVEN UNIVERSE ONGOING #10
STEVEN UNIVERSE ONGOING #10 SUBSCRIPTION DOMBOIS VAR (C: 1-0
SUICIDE SQUAD #29 VAR ED
SUICIDE SQUAD #30
SUICIDE SQUAD #30 VAR ED
TEEN TITANS #14
TEEN TITANS #14 VAR ED
THANOS #13 ALBUQUERQUE VAR LEG
THANOS #13 BURROWS LH VAR LEG
THANOS #13 CHRISTOPHER TRADING CARD VAR LEG
THANOS #13 LEG
THANOS #13 MCKONE LEGACY HEADSHOT VAR LEG
THE BEAUTIFUL DEATH (STATIX) #3 (OF 5)
TITANS #17
TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS II #2 10 COPY INCV
TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS II #4 10 COPY INCV
TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS II #4 CVR A SCHOENING
TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS II #4 CVR B TORRES
TMNT UNIVERSE #16 10 COPY INCV
TMNT UNIVERSE #16 CVR A WILLIAMS II
TMNT UNIVERSE #16 CVR B MILONOGIANNIS
TOMB RAIDER SURVIVORS CRUSADE #1 (OF 4)
UNDERWINTER FIELD OF FEATHERS #2
UNSOUND #6 (OF 6)
VAN HELSING VS THE WEREWOLF #5 CVR B SALONGA
VAN HELSING VS THE WEREWOLF #5 CVR C GARVEY
VOID TRIP #1 (OF 5)
WALKING DEAD MAGAZINE #22 NEWSSTAND ED
WALKING DEAD MAGAZINE #22 PX ED
WAR STORIES #25
WAR STORIES #25 GOOD GIRL NOSE ART CVR
WAR STORIES #25 WRAP CVR
WARFRAME #2
WARHAMMER 40000 DAWN OF WAR #4 (OF 4) CVR A SONDERED
WARHAMMER 40000 DAWN OF WAR #4 (OF 4) CVR B QUALANO
WAYWARD #25 CVR A CUMMINGS & BONVILLAIN
WAYWARD #25 CVR B YAOSHITA
WONDER WOMAN #35
WONDER WOMAN #35 VAR ED
WORMWOOD GOES TO WASHINGTON #3 (OF 3) CVR A TEMPLESMITH
WORMWOOD GOES TO WASHINGTON #3 (OF 3) CVR B TEMPLESMITH
WWE #11
X-MEN GOLD #16 LEG
X-O MANOWAR (2017) #9 CVR A LAROSA
X-O MANOWAR (2017) #9 CVR B POLLINA
X-O MANOWAR (2017) CVR E #4-9 PRE-ORDER EDITION BUNDLE #9

NEW BOOKS / HCS / TRADES / COLLECTIONS / ETC
A DIE HARD CHRISTMAS ILLUS HC
ALL NEW GUARDIANS OF GALAXY TP VOL 01 COMMUNICATION BREAKDOW
BATMAN YEAR TWO 30TH ANNIVERSARY DLX ED HC
BATTLE ANGEL ALITA DELUXE ED HC VOL 01
CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN BY JACK KIRBY TP
CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED TP ALL QUIET ON WESTERN FRONT
CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED TP DANIEL BOONE
CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED TP JOAN OF ARC
CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED TP MAN WHO LAUGHS
DARK KNIGHT RETURNS TP NEW EDITION
DEADPOOL KILLS MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN TP
ETERNAL EMPIRE TP VOL 01
FABLES DELUXE EDITION HC VOL 15
GENERATIONS HC
I AM GROOT TP
INFAMOUS IRON MAN TP VOL 02 ABSOLUTION OF DOOM
JIM HENSON POWER OF DARK CRYSTAL HC VOL 01 (OF 4)
KISS THE ELDER TP VOL 01 WORLD WITHOUT SUN
LAST CHRISTMAS HC
MAGE TP BOOK 01 HERO DISCOVERED VOL 01
MARNEY THE FOX HC (C: 0-0-1)
STAR WARS DARTH VADER DARK LORD SITH TP VOL 01 IMPERIAL MACH
SUPERMAN AMERICAN ALIEN TP
SUPERMAN THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN TP NEW ED
VENOM CARNAGE UNLEASHED TP NEW PTG
WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD TP
WYTCHES TP VOL 01
X-MEN BLUE TP VOL 02

NEW TOYS / RINKETS / BAUBLES / FUN ARRIVING WEDNESDAY
ARROW SEASON FOUR T/C BOX 
BAT SIGNAL PROP
DC BATMAN LOGO WOVEN BUTTON UP SHIRT MED
DC ICONS DOOMSDAY SUPERMAN DEATH SUPERMAN DLX AF 2 PK
DC WONDER WOMAN MOVIE TIARA & BRACELET COSPLAY SET (MAR17879
FUNKO STRANGER THINGS SET 1 ACTION FIGURE 3PK
GODZILLA VS MECHAGODZILLA GODZILLA S.H. MONSTER ARTS  (
GODZILLA VS MECHAGODZILLA MECHAGODZILLA CHOGOKIN  (C: 1
GUNDAM TIEREN GROUND TYPE DOUBLE ZERO 1/100 MDL KIT  (J
JUSTICE LEAGUE SHIELD T/S LG
JUSTICE LEAGUE WONDER WOMAN SYMBOL T/S LG
LEGEND OF ZELDA IRON ON PATCH 18 PC BMB DIS
MARVEL GOTG GROOT FACE CUFFED KNIT BEANIE
MARVEL SPIDER-GWEN SILVER CUFF BRACELET
MG ZZ GUNDAM VER KA 1/100 MDL KIT 
MYSTERY MINIS STAR WARS E8 12PC BMB DISP (C: 1-1-1)
MYSTERY MINIS STAR WARS E8 12PC BMB DISP (C: 1-1-1)
MYSTERY MINIS STRANGER THINGS SERIES 1 12PC BMB DISP (C: 1-1
MYSTERY MINIS TEEN TITANS GO 12PC BMB DISP (C: 1-1-1)
OVERWATCH FABRIC TRI-FOLD WALLET (MAY178760)
POCKET POP MARVEL FIG KEYCHAIN 24PC BMB DISP
POP JOY OF PAINTING BOB ROSS VINYL FIG (MAY178135) (C: 1-1-2
POP LORD OF THE RINGS SAMWISE VINYL FIG
POP PORTAL TURRET VINYL FIG
POP RIDES MARVEL CLASSIC GHOST RIDER W/BIKE PX VINYL FIG (O/
POP WALKING DEAD BIKER DARYL PX VINYL FIG BLOODY VER (C: 1-1
RICK AND MORTY UFO QUICKTURN BACKPACK
TOPPS 2017 STAR WARS MASTERWORK T/C BOX  (MAR178720) (C

WHAT CAME IN LATE IN THE WEEK
100 BULLETS TP VOL 13 WILT
4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK TP
AMERICA #8 LEG
ANGEL SEASON 11 #10 BORGES CVR
BATMAN THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL ED HC
BLACK CROWN QUARTERLY #1 FALL 2017
BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW #3
BTVS SEASON 11 #12 ISAACS CVR
DANGER DOLL SQUAD #1 CVR A CELOR
DISNEY GRAVITY FALLS CINESTORY #2 SHORTS
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #32 METAL
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #32 METAL
HEAD LOPPER #5 CVR B SANDOVAL
HEAD LOPPER #7 CVR B OTTLEY & FAIRBAIRN
HEAVY VINYL #3 (OF 4) (FORMERLY HI-FI FIGHT CLUB)
HELLBLAZER TP VOL 01 ORIGINAL SINS NEW ED
JUDGE DREDD BLESSED EARTH #7 CVR A FARINAS
MICRONAUTS FIRST STRIKE #1 CVR A DANIEL
OPTIMUS PRIME FIRST STRIKE #1 CVR A PITRE-DUROCHER
PAPER GIRLS DLX ED HC VOL 01
PAPER GIRLS TP VOL 01
REBELS THESE FREE & INDEPENDENT STATES #8 (OF 8)
RENATO JONES SEASON TWO #4 (OF 5)
ROYAL CITY #7 CVR A LEMIRE
SAMURAI JACK QUANTUM JACK #2 (OF 5) CVR A OEMING
SCALPED HC BOOK 05 DELUXE EDITION
SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP #30
SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP #31
TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE #106
TMNT ONGOING TP VOL 01 CHANGE IS CONSTANT
WARHAMMER 40000 FALLEN #1 (OF 4) CVR B BETTIN
WAYWARD #24 CVR A CUMMINGS & BONVILLAIN
X-FILES JFK DISCLOSURE #1 (OF 2) CVR A MENTON3

Jon's Righteous Comic Reviews (or you name this column chum)

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #297

 

indexPeter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #297 (Marvel Comics)

While I’ve enjoyed Chip Zdarsky and Adam Kubert’s Spectacular Spider-Man series, there hasn’t been a lot done with it to make it stand out from its bigger brother, Amazing Spider-Man. However, all that’s set to change now that Marvel Legacy has set in, and the rebranded Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #297 raises the stakes and the action in this series considerably.

Faced with trying to protect his “sister” Theresa Durand, Peter Parker has now been put in the crosshairs of The Grey Blade and The Tinkerer, who’ve sent a team of mercenaries to track down Peter Parker and Spider-Man to get to her. A majority of Peter Parker #297 is a huge action set piece, as Peter Parker must make his way through his apartment building and escape without revealing he’s Spider-Man, which is easier said than done.

Despite the fact that this issue barely covers the fact that Spidey revealed his identity to J Jonah Jameson last issue (aside from a quick reference when Jonah arrives to save him), I have to say, this is the strongest script Chip Zdarsky has done on the series. A good mix of jokes and action, this issue is a great showcase for Zdarsky being more than just the “quirky comic guy” that he built a name for himself on with Howard the Duck.  The only gripe I have is that this issue and the series in general, don’t really fit in with where the other Spider-Man titles are currently in the Marvel universe. An editor’s note giving us some kind of idea of the chronology of this story would clear this up pretty easily.

On the art side of things, I have to admit, Adam Kubert has been a little lackluster with this series. However, like Zdarsky’s script, this issue has some of his strongest work on the title, which is a pretty big relief. I was worried that Kubert was going to fall into the “established artist who’s phoning it in” that we’ve seen a lot of lately, but that’s not the case here, as there are some really awesome and dynamic action pages in this issue, especially when Spidey makes his way though the mercenaries in his way.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #297 is a pretty easy issue to jump into, but you might want to go back and grab the issues from the start of this run before it was renumbered to get the full story. Zdarsky and Kubert really brought their A game for this issue, so here’s hoping they can keep it going for the rest of the story arc.

Comic Review: Dark Fang #1

 

Dark Fang #1 (Image Comics)index2

How would a vampire react to our world of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Image’s new series Dark Fang looks to answer that question, and the results may surprise you. Written by Miles Gunter and drawn by Kelsey Shannon, Dark Fang is a really unique twist on the vampire tales you’ve read countless times, and Valla’s origin story is pretty cool as well.

After spending a hundred years in the ocean, Valla returns to the world of humans in the modern day. After discovering her victims are obsessed with a “glowing box”, she learns of the different ways that she can use it to make money, something she is in desperate need of since she’s been gone for a century. Quickly becoming an internet sensation, Valla adjusts to her new lifestyle of internet fame and fortune, until a mysterious black spot appears on one of her fangs.

Dark Fang has a lot of fun skewering our obsessions with technology, but the thing that stands out the most to me is Valla’s back story. While this first issue is book ended in a weirdly disjointed way, once Miles Gunter’s script focuses on Valla’s history as a vampire, I was really intrigued. It’s a weird cross between Dracula and The Little Mermaid¸ and it works surprisingly really well. While the other aspects of this issue aren’t as strong as that, it’s enough to get you to understand Valla’s worldview, and make you hope for more flashbacks to her time under the sea.

Speaking of The Little Mermaid, that’s a clear influence on artist Kelsey Shannon’s art. While Dark Fang is definitely drawn in a cartoonish style, it actually works really well for the world Gunter and Shannon set up. Like Gunter’s script, Shannon’s art is at its best in the “origin section” of Dark Fang, where the artist can really cut loose with some stunning undersea landscapes and panels.

Despite the awkward opening and ending of this issue, I’m still curious enough about Dark Fang to keep going with it. The clever twist on Valla’s origin story and her feelings towards modern culture are pretty entertaining, and I really want to see where her story goes from here. Fans of vampire stories like Interview with the Vampire, Dracula, and even Twilight would probably find a lot to like here.

THE WAUGH BAG REPORT

Waugh's Bag, Volume 5, Issue 45!

Waugh’s Bag

Volume Six, Issue 45!

“Movie Review: Justice League

It’s been a long road to Justice League. After numerous false starts, a George Miller almost directed movie, and Batman V Superman, it’s finally time for DC’s all stars to take the stage on the big screen. But after a troubled development that saw Zack Snyder have to step down due to a family tragedy, which caused Joss Whedon to step in and handle reshoots, the League has finally assembled, and the hopes and dreams of the entire DCEU rest upon it. With so much riding on Justice League, and the amount of work involved in making it, being worried about the end result is a legitimate concern. But amazingly, Justice League does mostly work, especially when it comes to correcting the mistakes that Warner Bros and Zack Snyder made in previous DCEU efforts. 

Now before we go any further, let me get this out of the way: Justice League is not as good as Wonder Woman, which still stands as the high mark of WB’s DC movies. But it’s also nowhere near as bad as Batman V Superman or Suicide Squad. There’s a joyfulness and spirit of hope to this movie that was nowhere to be seen in those previous entries, and it seems like with League that Snyder and Warner Bros executives actually listened to the concerns of fans and critics and tried to course correct their initial plan. Of course, there are some caveats with that, like when Batman (Ben Affleck) says that “Superman was a beacon of light” for people. Well, he wasn’t in Batman V Superman (at least not anytime I watched it, which has been too many times, and no, it doesn’t get better each time I watch it), so I’m not sure what Superman we’re talking about. But if you can roll with it and accept that Warner Bros is trying to right the ship, you’ll find a lot to like about Justice League.

One of those things to like is the cast, which let’s face it, has never been a problem with these movies. Every member of the Justice League has a chance to shine here. The interplay between Batman, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and The Flash (Ezra Miller) is a lot of fun, and will definitely remind you of your favorite banter moments from The Avengers. Of course, with a script punched up by Joss Whedon, that’s not a huge surprise, but it’s a welcome one after Batman V Superman saw the two title characters barely spend any time talking with one another, especially when if they just talked it out they’d never need to fight in the first place. 

Justice League’s plot is very much a “getting the band” together one, and while it tells that story at an accelerated pace, there’s actually a lot more story packed into it than you’d expect. Batman has been investigating a possible alien invasion, and has decided that it’s time to assemble the other metahumans he discovered from Lex Luthor’s computer in order to combat them. That’s it. No really, that’s it. After the countless plotlines and side trips of BvS, it’s a little weird to have such a straightforward plot, but it’s actually really refreshing, if one of the film’s faults as well. Because if there’s one area that WB should’ve copied Marvel at, it’s setting up the characters in solo movies first.

We didn’t need a ton of back story on Thor in The Avengers because he had his own movie first. If you missed that one, you could go back and watch it, or watch it before you see Avengers if you really cared enough. With Justice League, the only characters we have any real connection to are Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Since Wonder Woman’s the only character with a solo movie before Justice League, when the Amazons show up you already know their deal (assuming you saw Wonder Woman, which I’m guessing you did). But when Aquaman heads to Atlantis for a short scene, it’s a bit of a weird moment because you don’t really know his connection to the sea kingdom, or how Atlantis operates. Earlier in the movie Aquaman states that he’s a man with no connection anywhere, so why does he care if Atlantis is attacked? Sure, we get the bare information that we need for the plot of the movie, but anyone going into this movie cold (or just from seeing BvS), might be turned off by that.

Much was made about Justice League’s scant 2 hour running time, and while I don’t agree with the fanboys who made death threats to the people who reported it, I do think that one of the movie’s faults is the runtime. While the setting up of the League is fun, and some of the best parts of the movie, it’s definitely an area that could’ve been improved by having more time to breathe. The moments we get with Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman are pretty good introductions to them, but it also means we have to accept some pretty broad strokes of the narrative brush. Questions like “how did Aquaman know where to meet the other League members?” or “Wait, how do they know this SPOILER will bring Superman back?” are definitely ones that will ruin the movie the longer you think about them, but the fact that they bring you to some legitimately fun sequences almost makes up for it.

Speaking of Superman, if there’s any character that feels like a different character from the previous films, it’s him. Once he comes back (come on, that’s not a surprise), Henry Cavill plays him like a completely different person. While it’s very strange for a character to get a hard reset like this, it’s a welcome one. For the first time Henry Cavill finally acts the part instead of just looking it. There’s a warmth and charm to his Superman that brought a smile to my face, and for once I finally bought the idea that THIS Superman is the one who could inspire people.

Also inspiring people is Wonder Woman, once again played to perfection by Gal Gadot. Much like in Batman V Superman, Gadot steals the show and has some of the best action sequences in the film. Even more so than before, Gadot stands shoulder to shoulder with the other actors and more than dominates the screen as the Amazonian. It’s simply a blast to see her on screen kicking ass.

You know who else is a blast? Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. A character that I’ve long loved but was always embarrassed to say so, Momoa plays Arthur Curry like a badass longhaired loner who at first wants nothing to do with the League, but after Atlantis is attacked he decides to join up. It’s shaky reasoning, for sure, but like Wonder Woman, it’s a lot of fun seeing this swaggering dude with a trident mess stuff up (for those wondering, yes, you’ll hear him say “yeah”, “my man”, and “dig it” like a hilarious underwater Macho Man). Momoa is clearly having a blast, and it’s infectious.

The same can be said for Ezra Miller, who was honestly the biggest surprise for me, as I was sure I was going to find him super annoying. But surprisingly I found his take on the Flash to be pretty damn funny. Casting Flash as the amateur on the team was a pretty inspired take, and he’s got some truly standout moments here. The same can also be said for Ray Fisher’s Cyborg once he gets into the team dynamic. Before that he’s pretty much just a sullen guy who’s part robot, but when he gets to bond with the team he’s pretty cool (and his CGI looked a lot better to me here than it ever did before).

But what of The Batman, played again by Ben Affleck? Well, he still certainly looks the part, depicting a Batman that looks like he walked right off the page. Affleck’s got more to do in this movie than in Batman V Superman, and he handles it pretty damn well. There are some moments where it looked to me like he was ready to go home, but there’s also moments where he really looks like he’s having a good time, even though it’s a little odd having Batman drop some Whedon quips. For my money he’s still one of the better Batmans we’ve had in the movies. If this is the final time Ben puts on the cowl, it’ll be an okay send off, but I’m pulling for him to give us one more cinematic adventure before he hangs up the cape.

Of course, the League has to fight somebody once they get together, and this time it’s Steppenwolf, who’s leading an invasion of Earth by the Parademons to transform our Earth into a mirror image of Apokolips, the planet he wa-you know what, long story short, there’s really only one kind of team up story, and Justice League’s is basically the same as The Avengers. A bunch of heroes have to team up to stop a big threat. The big threat this time being a giant CGI horned creature that’s voiced by Game of Thrones actor Ciaran Hinds, who honestly didn’t do much for me. He really exists to lead an army of nameless drones and fight the Justice League. His goal is no different than any other major villain’s, and while Hinds does as much as he can with the role, there’s only so much that a CGI villain can bring to the proceedings.

Combining Joss Whedon’s dialogue with Zack Snyder’s action stylings could’ve gone either way: either a complete disaster or a pleasant surprise. But to be completely honest, Justice League isn’t either of those things. It’s surprising that it’s watchable at all when you think about the amount of behind the scenes drama that took place with it.  There are weak elements to this movie (and they are pretty weak), but the moments that work? Well, those moments work extremely well.

In the end, that’s kind the best way to look at Justice League. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. The ending of the film made me hopeful for future WB DC films, and I’m actually looking forward to a director’s cut blu-ray because I want to see more of these characters. Hell, I’m looking forward to a sequel to this movie because I want to see more of these characters. Justice League is like watching a ship course correct in real time, but for the first time I’m rooting for the ship to make the turn because I can see the awesome potential that’s on the shoreline.

VERDICT: B-

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