I’m not entirely sure why any fan of comics wouldn’t be reading “Justice League” on a monthly basis or attempting to keep up with it through the graphic novel collections of the series. How can anyone resist a book that stars Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Cyborg? Every person on the Earth has to like at least one of these heroes. If you haven’t jumped on the train yet, “Justice League Volume 2: The Villain’s Journey” is a good place to start.
This collects issues #7 through #12 of the critically acclaimed series. Now that we’ve seen the beginnings of the Justice League’s formation, we fast-forward to the present. Green Arrow is pushing the team to induct him as a member. What are his motivations for wanting to join the ranks of Earth’s greatest super heroes? At the same time, someone from the Justice League’s past is out to get them. He’s powered by supernatural forces and looks to prove to the world that everyone’s newest super heroes aren’t as immortal or infallible as they appear to be.
Writer Geoff Johns continues to give readers complex stories filled with just as much action as there is plot. It’s easy to fill pages with one battle after the next. However, Johns doesn’t fall back on that. He has a story to tell and does it in an engaging manner. I love the way he dances between the supernatural and scientific explanations for the beings featured in “Justice League Volume 2: The Villain’s Journey.” He satisfies both sides of the fence by leaving it up to the reader to translate on his own. I choose to take them as supernatural entities, by the way.
What can be said about Jim Lee’s artwork that already hasn’t been? I could write all day about the perfect craftsmanship of his illustrations. His work is precise and beautiful. Every panel is a superb example of Lee’s talents. Gene Ha, Carlos D’Anda, Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, and David Finch contribute artwork for the book as well.
The graphic novel also includes an epilogue featuring Pandora and a mysterious man in a hat and trench coat I would guess is The Question. It also includes a variant cover gallery that highlights the works of Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair, Mike Choi, Marcelo Maiolo, Carlos D’Anda, Gabe Eltaib, Cully Hamner, Bryan Hitch, and Paul Mounts. Each one is gorgeous in its own way.
“Justice League Volume 2: The Villain’s Journey” gives the team a different sort of enemy to battle. It’s one that is motivated by unpredictable human emotions. Unlike Darkseid, this villain is driven by loss, pain, and sorrow. It comes highly recommended thanks to engaging writing by Geoff Johns and the immaculate artwork provided by Jim Lee and company.