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Justice League #13 - The Secret of the Cheetah, Part One; On the Outs Review

4

This one is about consequences. There's plenty to be seen here and it's not just about a certain kiss that happened in issue #12.

The Good

This issue picks up immediately after the events of issue #12. Superman and Wonder Woman have kissed and DC is making it out to be a big deal. Fortunately there is more to it than just a simple kiss. With a focus on Wonder Woman, we see her battle with Cheetah. It was interesting as this is her first appearance in the New 52 but I had to think about it as we've seen Cheetah in AME-COMI GIRLS and I recently re-read the JUSTICE miniseries.

Cheetah's origin and her connection to Wonder Woman (and Steve Trevor) is described. The few pages describing past events really made me long for the Wonder Woman stories I grew up with. Don't get me wrong, I am digging the current New 52 WONDER WOMAN series but throughout the past year, I've felt something has been missing. The idea of Wonder Woman's connection to Barbara Minerva is completely fascinating. This isn't to say that those completely enthralled with her series won't appreciate her depiction here. Wonder Woman fights a fierce battle which leads to a display of the rest of the team wanting to act like an actual team. This is a surprising sign of growth among the members. If this team hasn't been trusting of others, there should be a connection.

What Geoff Johns is giving us is how formal the team has been. It's only now that they are starting to come out of their shells with each other. Just because five years have past since the first arc, that doesn't mean the team has been hanging out together that entire time. Wonder Woman mentions that Cheetah is her problem. She or the League doesn't insist on rushing to Superman's side if Lex Luthor poses a problem.

There is also a look at Cyborg. I've mentioned before that it's a little odd that all the members except for Cyborg have their own series. We get to see their development as characters but we don't really know much about Cyborg and what he's been doing since his accident. There was also a scene with Batman and Aquaman that makes me crave more team ups with these two.

The back up this month focuses on Steve Trevor. He's dealing with the changes after Wonder Woman and the League have pushed him away. We know Steve is going to be involved with the upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA series. Let's just say you'll want to see what this is about.

The art is handled by Tony Daniel. The first page did throw me off a tiny bit. You can see Daniel's style in Superman and Wonder Woman's face especially. Despite the big battle between Wonder Woman and Cheetah that opens with a Jim Lee-style two page spread, Daniel owns the scene. The use of colors and shadows really enhance the emotion on the characters' faces. There's a lot going on between Wonder Woman and Superman as well as Wonder Woman and the team. Andy Diggle and Tony Daniel on ACTION COMICS is going to be great.

The Bad

As much as I love Wonder Woman's depiction here, it does feel different from what we're seeing in WONDER WOMAN. Should we focus on continuity? I enjoy WONDER WOMEN and really dug this issue. Should the focus be on enjoying issues individually instead of being hung up on the connection between different series.

The sense of knowing who Cheetah is but not fully knowing who she is in the New 52 caused a little confusion. If she and Wonder Woman had a history for some time, it would seem the League would know more about her than they did. Especially Batman and Cyborg. We unfortunately still have that sense of confusion because we don't have all the answers. We don't know what fully has transpired between the members of the League. It's been five years and we know they trust each other to certain extents but there still is an almost sense of suspicion or doubt between them. We are seeing that change and it seems a little odd that it's finally happening now after all this time.

The Verdict

There is some dealing with the kiss between Superman and Wonder Woman here. That's not all we get. Seeing Wonder Woman and Cheetah face off against each other gives a welcomed feeling of what we used to have before the New 52 started. It's interesting to see that even though the team has been together for five years, they still don't know everything about each other or fully trust one another. That is beginning to change as Johns gives the members a little more humanity. We see them trying to break down the walls between them and try to be more than just a team. The idea is they should be there for each other, not because they need to be but because they want to be. It's this kind of character depth that makes this more than just a comic book filled with popular DC characters. Tony Daniel's art manages to show the emotion and changes the characters are going through. The back up focusing on Steve Trevor gives us hints of what's to come in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA next year.

43 Comments
Posted by drreneninja

I thought this was the best issue of Justice League yet. A good combination of plot, characterization and a pretty solid update to one of Wonder Woman's biggest baddies. Plus, I usually enjoy Tony Daniel's art, so it was great to see him draw the Justice League.

Posted by mattwing87

How come every JL cover shows majority of the members knocked out?

Edited by fodigg

I'm concerned after reading the review. Azz WW > Johns WW so far, IMO.

Posted by G-Man

@fodigg: I've mentioned it on the podcast several times, I do enjoy Azz's WW but it's pretty different from the WW I read before. I love the idea of actual WW adventures not involving gods.

Staff
Posted by MisterKetch

Azz's WW has been a much better characterization of her so far, in JL she comes off as this ticking emotional time bomb that looses it at the drop of a hat, not to mention being fairly cold and heartless. Glad to hear JL is finally coming into its own though.

Posted by fodigg

@G-Man said:

@fodigg: I've mentioned it on the podcast several times, I do enjoy Azz's WW but it's pretty different from the WW I read before. I love the idea of actual WW adventures not involving gods.

I agree, but I think it's important in her solo title to establish her new origins, which is what Azz is doing. I'm expecting it to branch out and cover other villains at some point.

@MisterKetch said:

Azz's WW has been a much better characterization of her so far, in JL she comes off as this ticking emotional time bomb that loses it at the drop of a hat, not to mention being fairly cold and heartless.

Agreed. I like the budding love triangle with Trevor, WW, and Supes, but otherwise there's not much to cheer for there.

Posted by Reignmaker

@mattwing87 said:

How come every JL cover shows majority of the members knocked out?

I thought the same thing. It's a common comic tactic to make the issue's threat seem overpowered. I remember they did a lot of covers like this during Morrison's run on JLA as well.

Posted by Mucklefluga

How did i not notice any of the JL members on the cover apart from Supes and WW ?? :L

Edited by Reignmaker

The dialogue between Cyborg and Flash was also quite good in this issue. Really nice to see the most powerful super hero team finally act like a team. Also, having no Hal Jordan was a bonus.

Posted by ccraft

Hey G Man, was that thing at the end with Steve Trevor.. The communicator insiginia is that Graves face??? Also something about a rumor! Maybe having to do with something that woman asked David Graves (or Trevor idk) to write how to bring down Heroes.

Posted by deadpool25mm

@mattwing87 said:

How come every JL cover shows majority of the members knocked out?

well there is one where Superman and Wonder Women are kissing, but is that called knocked out too? XD

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Posted by ccraft

They couldnt make a Cyborg comics series, like he said he doesnt do much unless someone needs him to do something. When hes not busy he watches tv.. But I think he will change, he seems really confused about being a human or just a robot. I have no clue what he could do in a solo series... Probably something to do with S.T.A.R Labs. I would like to see a series, they're probably already talking about it.

Posted by jwalser3

@mattwing87 said:

How come every JL cover shows majority of the members knocked out?

To make the villain look bad @ss. I think it's a shock value, you know? Like I was really excited when #4 had Aquaman standing over GL.

Posted by Target_X

I loved this issue, how they weaved everything together from past events. I do feel so badly for Steve though. =(

Posted by theTimeStreamer

really not a fan of cheetah, even less of this version (barbie body i mean). she is just lame and last century. and the last page twist ugh.

Posted by RudeCherub

@theTimeStreamer: Oh sure, dumb idea, I mean no one is going to make a tv series about Werecreatures, or a movie about vampires, or a comic about a rabid infection.....

Posted by kingjoeg

Where did Shazam go? Does anyone know if the back-ups with Gary Frank are coming back?

Posted by Reignmaker

@kingjoeg said:

Where did Shazam go? Does anyone know if the back-ups with Gary Frank are coming back?

Shazam joins the team in issue 15. If there are going to be anymore Shazam backups, I would venture a guess that the next issue (14) will feature the last one.

Posted by ccraft

I think cheetah has an interesting story, this is my 1st time reading a comic with her in it. I think her face looked more fierce, I was expecting a more sexy approach consirdering shes nude... Im not happy seeing superman bitten, his skin is strong right? But if you want someone bit and go crazy u want superman! Batman going to end it rather quickly, probably has kyptonite.

Posted by pspin

This is a much better origin for Cheetah than than the other ones, they were too convoluted and different but not really different at the same time to really be effective but the way this ties into Wonder Woman and her past make her seem, at this point, to make for a much better villain

Posted by Shamelesslysupportinaznballers
Edited by Funrush

@Reignmaker said:

@mattwing87 said:

How come every JL cover shows majority of the members knocked out?

I thought the same thing. It's a common comic tactic to make the issue's threat seem overpowered. I remember they did a lot of covers like this during Morrison's run on JLA as well.

Well, yeah, but do they need to do this almost every other cover? It gets annoying. I'd like to see more creative covers like the one for #10. Not stuff that just shows off the characters running or flying, or just stuff like them all being dead.

And yes, I know #10 was also a death cover, but that accomplished it in a way that wasn't overly cheesy.

Posted by longbowhunter

I haven't read an issue of JL since the first arc ended. Like a lot of people I wasn't impressed. With it being such a light week for me I picked this up. Everything seems to have improved. The dialogue , the characterization and the plot. Tony Daniels made the panels sing. I'd like to see more issues like this one. My one complaint was the back up feature. It's cool that it leads into JLA, but I absolutely hate everything about the new 52 Green Arrow.

Edited by lil_cam_ron

Liked the issue, but can someone explain how Superman can get hit by bullets and not get a scratch, but a tiny bite from Cheetah and he's suddenly a Super-Were-Cheetah? I mean, shouldn't Cheetah not be able to break his skin?

Posted by samuelanderson9659

Superman isn't invincible to magic

i figure Cheetah is so fast due to magic during infinite crisis she trained with Zoom to get faster.

Posted by KnightRise

@ccraft said:

Hey G Man, was that thing at the end with Steve Trevor.. The communicator insiginia is that Graves face??? Also something about a rumor! Maybe having to do with something that woman asked David Graves (or Trevor idk) to write how to bring down Heroes.

The face looked more like the three-eyed skull shown with Pandora

And "that woman" was Amanda Waller.

Posted by _Black

That variant is sick.

Posted by Sovereign91001

@lil_cam_ron: prolly cause she's magic and Superman is vulnerable to magic

Posted by G-Man

@Shamelesslysupportinaznballers: Ah yeah, that bothered me. I was gonna mention that. Cheetahs are pretty fast but...

Staff
Posted by darth_jones

I wish I was enjoying this series more. I don't think it's the worst thing in the world, and it's definitely a MAJOR improvement from where the Justice League was before the New 52, but it's been a little disappointing. Which is surprising because I seriously love Geoff Johns. Oh well :/

Posted by Agent_Prince

Is it wrong that i think this Wonder Woman is the 'right' one? The one in her own title is in a world of her own, different personality. Also, Justice League International Annual #1 is better than any issue of Justice League so far, and covered 'The Kiss' in a much better way.

Posted by Omnicrono

@Agent_Prince said:

Is it wrong that i think this Wonder Woman is the 'right' one? The one in her own title is in a world of her own, different personality. Also, Justice League International Annual #1 is better than any issue of Justice League so far, and covered 'The Kiss' in a much better way.

It's not wrong. Actually, I agree with you. JL's Wonder Woman just seems to be more like she should be.

Posted by noj

@ccraft: Superman is vulnerable to magic and it seems like the Cheetah is a magic based character so her biting him actually makes sense.

Posted by SmashBrawler

I have mixed feelings about this issue. On one hand, I liked the fact that the characters actually stopped to talk to each other, and the new backstory Johns gave to Cheetah is interesting.

On the other hand, I'm not a huge fan of Tony Daniel's art, the story didn't move much (even though this is a two-parter only) and no Shazam back-up (for shame!).

Posted by JohnnyGat

My favorite part of this issue. The conversation between Flash and Cyborg.

Posted by Zoch81

I enjoyed this issue I thought the art was good Im glad that Superman and Wonder Woman being handling well I also liked that finally started as a team also liked was Flash and Cyborg chat one thing didn't get how cheeth get drop on Flash and Superman but overall thought this was a good issue.

Posted by xtremekidx

this is by far the most satisfying issue of new 52 jl....i mean the talk and relationship being established between cyborg and flash was really good and i wanted more vic and barry moments....good to see less of batman and aquaman to give others a chance...team felt like a team for the first time and i just cant wait for the issue...BTW,the trevor and ollie thing was too good for me and made me tingle for JLA!!

Posted by Onemoreposter

@ccraft: Idk. Batman hasn't done fck all in 13 issues. Johns is making him particularly useless in this incarnation of the Justice League.

Posted by Reignmaker

@Onemoreposter said:

@ccraft: Idk. Batman hasn't done fck all in 13 issues. Johns is making him particularly useless in this incarnation of the Justice League.

I agree. He comes off as the powerless human that bosses everyone around for no apparent reason. While I don't think Johns is a bad writer, I'm not understanding the hype I've heard about this guy. From what I've been able to gather, he doesn't really seem to "get" some of these characters.

Getting back to Batman though, I think Grant Morrison and Mark Waid did a MUCH better job making him feel relevant when they were on this book.

Posted by Onemoreposter

@Reignmaker said:

Getting back to Batman though, I think Grant Morrison and Mark Waid did a MUCH better job making him feel relevant when they were on this book.

Absolutely. Grant Morrison and Mark Waid did wonders on 90's JLA. Too date those are my favorite runs on my favorite incarnation on the JLA.

@Reignmaker said:

While I don't think Johns is a bad writer, I'm not understanding the hype I've heard about this guy. From what I've been able to gather, he doesn't really seem to "get" some of these characters.

No, he really doesn't. In particular he seem's to not get Batman to the point where it seems like he doesn't even like the character. Then again I don't much think he get's Green Lantern or Superman either and that's the work most people like him for. Personally, I think DC would be much better off if Johns hadn't shown up 8 years ago and started pointing his giant retcon gun at the DCU, but that's just one man's opinion.

Posted by MonkeyToe

I liked how they handled the kiss in this issue. They didn't make too big a deal about it without completely blowing it off either. It was acknowledged that it happened, that it wasn't a proposal of marriage, while still allowing the question of whether it will happen again or not hang in the air.

Posted by ultimatepunchrod

Tony S. Daniel is awesome. Really liked his art in this issue.

Posted by Thaxus

$4 Worth spending anytime..