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Imagination Centre Reviews: @DCComics Justice League, JLDark, JLA, Pandora @JohnMcCubbin3


Here are today's Guest Reviews by John McCubbin from Imagination Centre for DC's; Justice League #21, Justice League Dark #21, Justice League of America #5, and Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.


Justice League #21 - Shazam! Conclusion


THE MARCH TO TRINITY WAR CONTINUES! This is it! Shazam’s origin story concludes in an extra sized extravaganza! As Black Adam threatens to gain control of all magic, Billy Batson learns that in order to stop him, he’ll need help from the unlikeliest of people. But what greater role awaits Shazam in the larger DC universe? And what does the Justice League have to do with it?


Preview



Family


Since it started almost two years ago this has been an amazing series, and although it's had it's ups, and downs, it's overall been a very fun book. The Shazam! back-ups have also been a key part of this series for well over a year now, and I'm sad to see it end, but excited at the same time.

Plot

As Black Adam threatens to kill his friends Billy Batson has to make a huge choice in whether giving up his powers to save his friends, or stopping Black Adam.

Review

This was a great issue, and although it wasn't the best installment in the Shazam! storyline, it was a brilliant way to end it. Geoff Johns has been doing amazing work on this series, as well as Aquaman, Justice League of America, and Green Lantern (which he left recently) over the last couple of years, and although this hasn't always been the best of those series, it's been one of the most important ones. The Shazam! back-ups however have been brilliant, and one of the best things about this series, and although I'm sad that it's now ended, it was a brilliant ending. Johns' has taken Billy Batson and turned him from a mistrusting young boy into a hero, and I've loved being along for that journey. Johns' has also handled Billy's family perfectly, as well as the villain Black Adam, and overall he seems to really know what he's doing with these character's, although that's no surprise coming form Johns, who's made nearly every character he's touched turn into gold. This issue also had a lot of drama, and suspense, as well as excitement, which was all brilliant, giving a great atmosphere. The action was also amazing, and although it wasn't isolated, with not just one big action sequence, it was still brilliant. The only thing that I hope now is that Johns manages to start a Shazam! series, as I'd love that.

The art in this issue was also fantastic, and Gary Frank has once again produced some phenomenal artwork, and has been doing so throughout this entire story. Frank's best work always seems to come whilst working with Johns, as although he's done great art with other writers, his art with Johns on the likes of Superman: Secret Origin, and Batman: Earth One seem just that little bit better. His style however also suits this story perfectly, as he makes all the character's look amazing. Besides that he also does amazing layouts, making everything look so much more dramatic, and dynamic, which is always a joy. Frank also draws some of the most amazing action sequences, and he seems to have saved the best till last in this story. The action was simply outstanding, being explosive, and exciting, whilst also being dramatic, having lots of depth to it. Frank also has an amazing ability of showing the character's emotions perfectly, and this couldn't be shown any better than on the faces of Billy, and Black Adam, as you can see the hate, and remorse in Black Adam's face, and the hope, and hint of fear in Billy's which makes the story feel that much more alive.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4 - 
(Buy Justice League #21) SAVE 10%


Justice League Dark #21 - Horror City, Conclusion: Die, Die, Die My Darling


Want to know how each team member is going to die? Dr. Destiny has all the gruesome answers. Guest-starring The Flash and Swamp Thing!

Preview




My Rating



Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5

Verdict - 4 - (Buy Justice League Dark #21) SAVE 10%


Justice League of America #5 - World's Most Dangerous, Chapter Five; The Martian Manhunter


Reeling from the traumatic death following issue #4’s cliffhanger, the “world’s most dangerous team” discovers what the Secret Society is ultimately after—and who they are. But can Steve Trevor get this uncontrollable team under control before it’s too late? Plus, a revelation about Stargirl leaves one of her team members out for blood.

Preview



Death in the Team?


This has been one of my favorite series in the New 52 lately, and it's really been the superior Justice League title. I've also loved seeing the developments of the character's, and overall the build up to Trinity War has been amazing.

Plot

After killing Catwoman, the Secret Society of Super Villains plan to take the rest of the Justice League of America out. Meanwhile Green Lantern (Simon Baz) joins goes to the JLA's Headquarters to discuss joining the team.

Martian Manhunter Back-up

The Martian Manhunter discovers the creature responsible for the destruction of his planet, and goes to seek his revenge.

Review

This was yet another brilliant issue, and although it wasn't quite as good as last issue, it wasn't far behind. Geoff Johns has really been doing a fantastic job on all his series, but this has been the one that has stood out the most for me as of late. The way he's developed this team over the first five issues has been amazing, and even more during this, as with the Secret Society of Villains having already killed Catwoman, the JLA will have to work as a closer unit to defeat them. Johns' also writes the character's brilliantly on their own, as you can always see their personalities, and characteristics, and although I've enjoyed seeing them work together, they've been just as interesting individually. The drama in this issue was also outstanding, as the issue was really deep, and dramatic, as well as suspenseful. The action was also handled superbly in this issue, and it was very exciting, and dynamic, and the dialogue during it was amazing. To be fair the dialogue was brilliant throughout the entire issue, mainly when the leader of the Secret Society was talking, as he's a really mysterious, and interesting character.

The art from Brett Booth was once again outstanding, and I've been extremely happy that he's managed to work on this title for these two issues, and wish it was for longer. I really enjoyed David Finch's art in the first three issues, but Booth's has been simply phenomenal, and much better. His work in DC has been amazing, and I've loved what he's done in both Teen Titans, and Nightwing, and this may just even be better. The detail in Booth's art is simply fantastic, and there are little, to no imperfections, if any at all. The layout of Booth's artwork was also brilliant, and it really added flare, and drama to the issue, making it stand out more, which is always a positive. The best thing about Booth's art however has to be how he handles action, and he showed that in here. The action sequences were simply outstanding, having ton's of excitement, and suspense. Booth also does a great job of drawing all the character's, and I love how he manages to make them all look like they usually look, whilst adding his own subtle changes, and style. Booth also did a fabulous job of showing the character's emotions, and facial expressions, as you could easily tell how they felt, which adds more depth to the story.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 2/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.6
 - (Buy Justice League of America #5) SAVE 10%


Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 - Three Million Days; A Prequel to Trinity War


The mysterious woman connected to the creation of the New 52 gets her own series! Pandora is on an action-packed, blood-soaked mission to hunt down the horrors she inadvertently unleashed upon the world. Can she save the DCU—and redeem herself in the process? A prequel to the upcoming “Trinity War”!

Preview




Sing Our Song


This was a series that I was originally going to pass on, but due to the fact that Pandora will supposedly play a big role in Trinity War, I decided to get this issue, and the other two that tie in with the crossover, as well as the one issue from The Phantom Stranger, the only other series I wasn't previously getting.

Plot

After freeing the Seven Deadly Sins, Pandora is punished alongside The Question (Vic Sage), and Phantom Stranger, being collectively called the Trinity of Sin. Pandora now has to spend eternity walking the Earth, whilst trying to atone for her sins.

Review

Although this wasn't an astonishing issue, it was still very good, and an interesting insight into Pandora's past. Ray Fawkes, who currently co-writes both Justice League Dark, and Constantine with Jeff Lemire did a great job with this issue, and he put real emotion into the Pandora character, showing that she wasn't as bad as her tale would appear. I also loved how he spent time telling how she spent her time through the years, and how he showed the determination she had to atone for he sins. I also loved how he handled the Seven Deadly Sins, and the Circle of Eternity as after seeing them briefly in Shazam back-ups in Justice League, it's nice to see them in more depth. It was however slightly slow at times, and this is what let the issue as a whole down.

The art from Daniel Sampere, and Patrick Zircher was very good, and although the change is noticeable, due to their styles being similar, along with the fact that Hi-Fi (Brian Miller) does all the coloring, makes it flow very smoothly. I did however much prefer Sampere's art, as although both artists art was highly detailed, and dynamic, Sampere's was much smoother, which appealed more to me. Zicher did however do a great job of the few action sequences he worked on, as although they weren't startling, they were very dramatic. Sampere's did however also do a better job of showing Pandora's emotion, and the character expressions, as although Zircher also did a good job, especially with Greed, the smoothness of Sampere's art just made his stand out more, feeling much more emotional.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 2/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.3
 - (Buy Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1) SAVE 20%

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John McCubbin is a blogger at http://imaginationcentre.blogspot.co.uk/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.

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