This issue of Justice League puts its focus on the new Green Lanterns, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, as we open to see the duo clearing out an asteroid threat. Simon is obviously having fun, but Jess’ anxiety has begun to rear its head. The Justice League, THE Justice League, it was supposed to be awesome, right? Except it seems like Batman would rather jump off a bridge than talk to her and it takes the whole group a minute or two every time she and Simon show up to remember they aren’t Hal Jordan. (Seriously, JL, get over him.)
But they clear the field with little effort and head back to the station, Simon especially, floating high on their accomplishment.
Back at the station, we see Lois Lane, interviewing the League for what is essentially a puff piece. Clark still can’t believe she let Perry talk her into it, but Lois had her reasons. Namely seeing her husband while he’s on duty, and bringing Jon to his dad’s work while there, for once, isn’t an imminent villainous threat. Jon is suitably excited.
Simon and Jessica swagger back in, and Simon is really in a good mood, high-fiving anything that’ll move. Except for Batman. Batman is still the king of the Grumpasaurus tribe. Lois and Jon prepare to head home until the alarms go off. Victor informs the rest of the team that there is now an unidentified life-form on the ship, that likely came back in with the two Lanterns.
And just like that, any confidence Simon and Jessica had deflates and wafts out the metaphorical window. Ouch.
After conferencing with Barry and Arthur, the League determines that it’s not safe for Lois and Jon to come home until they can determine what exactly it is they’re dealing with. Batman goes to start investigating, and Lois tags along, saying she’ll help. In a rather brilliant little strip, Lois reminds Batman of her years of investigative research to the point that he caves and gets out of her way. That, ladies and gentleman, is how you deal with Batman.
Meanwhile, Simon and Jess are mentally beating themselves up and once again feeling like failures. Diana wisely puts an end to that potential spiral and calls both of them for an impromptu training session. But not before we see Jess step out of the shower and one of the alien life forms literally bore into her body. *shudder*
Jon and Victor have a sweet moment of bonding time over Victor’s super awesome three-dimensional gaming system.
Back at the training session, Diana squares off against Simon and Jess. We’ve said it over on their Green Lanterns title, but these two work very, very well together. Once they ironed out their issues and opened up to each other, they became a formidable force. We get to see this in action as they manage to catch Diana off guard and knock her down. She congratulates the two, before promptly knocking the wind out of them and reminding them she didn’t say the fight was over. She tells them to square up again, before knocking Jessica flat once more for good measure.
Before they can truly start round two, their not-so-friendly trespassers swarm in and begin to take shape. As the rest of the League race to help, Lois has discovered their visitors resemble an ancient swarm of Antarctic krill.
The fight begins to escalate and Batman realizes that the krill swarm are reacting to Jessica. Who is understandably very anxious at the moment. He passes the message to Clark, who manages to swoop in and let Jessica know that their queen is somehow linked to her and is reacting to her emotional state. If they’re going to get out of this, Jessica has to calm down and figure out a way to get the swarm in a contained area.
Which means letting them swarm HER.
Once the swarm is contained and Jessica manages to pluck the queen out/off of her, she and Simon relocate them to the moon and release them from the supremely awesome ant farm construct Simon made for them.
With the crisis averted, they head back to the station and Jessica approaches Diana to thank her for the training lesson. Only Diana is surprised and informs her that she wasn’t training them. She was training with them. Jessica is a little overwhelmed and has to excuse herself. (We would too, Jessica, we would too.)
This is obviously a one-shot issue as we gear up for a new adventure, but it was still a fun story and let us peek a peak at how the new Green Lanterns are settling in. Nothing earth-shattering happens, but it reminds us of those Silver Age issues that you could read and not have to do anything but delight in a fun adventure packed with humor and action. Not every issue has to be life and death with “extreme consequence”, and it’s nice to see that Rebirth continues to put that sense of fun and wonder back into their titles.
Fanfinite Rating: 8/10
Justice League #22
Writer: Shea Fontana
Art: Philippe Briones
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Dave Sharpe