Mind Capsules – Justice League #46 and Hercules #2

Justice League #46
Justice League #46

Writer – Geoff Johns
Artist – Francis Manapul
Colours – Francis Manapul
Letters – Rob Leigh

The Darkseid War rages on and what remains of the League are at a loss as to what to do next. Things have been spiralling out of control ever since the arrival of the Anti-Monitor and now with their numbers cut in half, should they come up with a plan, they will have to enact it with less than the League’s full strength. Geoff Johns continues his tale of gods newly born and of those that have fallen and it is riveting to say the least. Those who have been transformed are notably absent such as Batman who is in Gotham and the rest including Green Lantern, Shazam, the Flash and Superman who are simply not present, and with Kalibak and his allies standing against them, one confrontation among many they have recently faced, the odds are not in their favour. Thankfully Big Barda, one of Darkseid’s trusted Furies shows up to even the odds for our heroes as she has recently been married to Mister Miracle. Wonder Woman is still amazed that she has not heard of Grail or her mother Myrina Black and that the secret they comprise has been kept for so long without nary a mention. Francis Manapul comes on board as penciller and his style has changed dramatically, whether it is just for this issue or if it is a permanent change is something left to be seen, but it looks like a cross between his own and Darwyn Cooke’s and it is quite striking, so much so that you want to go back and just study every page after you finish the book in case you missed anything. The heroes are heroic and the villains villainous and Manapul has really outdone himself on this latest chapter. The one thing that you have to wonder is just where it is that Johns is taking this book. With half of our heroes essentially above it all and Grail now a god herself, one that has the power of the Anti-life Equation, the players keep getting more powerful and each of them with their own agenda. What is going to happen to the Anti-Monitor, where is Lex Luthor and is it even possible that Darkseid will make a comeback? Big Barda will help to level the playing field, a little bit anyways, but with the possibility of Ultraman and Superwoman getting involved, things are bound to get worse before they get better. Thanks to the latest story-arc, Justice League has become DC’s most exciting book, one that screams to be read the second it comes out.

4 out of 5

Hercules #2
Hercules #2

Writer – Dan Abnett
Artist – Luke Ross, Emilio Laiso
Colours – GURU-eFX
Letters – VC’s Joe Sabino

By any standard, Hercules lives a normal life one that you might call humble knowing the demigod. Currently he shares an apartment with Gilgamesh the Forgotten One and he has started to look at his life seriously, wanting to be taken seriously and not looked at as a joke anymore. After decades of drinking and carousing and not caring what people thought he now wants to be the hero he once was, beloved by all. To that effect he has resumed heroing, no tasks too big or too small and as such, also utilizes today’s technology to help him do so. It is a fresh approach to the character courtesy of Dan Abnett, Luke Ross and Emilio Laiso and it works. The book has a little bit of everything like drama and action and even a little bit of humour unlike previous volumes where humour was the main ingredient and much of what is present is due to his supporting cast which involves Gil and his landlady Sophia. There is even healthy dose of mystery because someone or something is causing those mythical races of old to disappear and not in a good way either. Abnett treats Herc with respect and here, he really seems to act like the serious, humble hero and he also lets the man flex his intelligence. Hercules has never been stupid and seeing him question what is going on, first with the giants and secondly with Athena, proves that the man has what it takes to do what is needed, and to do so with something more than just his fists. This title, much like many of Marvel’s other new books, was completely unexpected and the fact that it has turned into a really good book was a very pleasant surprise. Suffice it to say, there is a ton of action in the book as Hercules fights a few giants and with a title starring the demigod, you have to know that there is always going to be some epic battles, but now thanks to Abnett, there is a lot more to our hero and this latest title than there ever has been before.

4 out of 5

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