Hit them with the Royal Flush (Justice League #71 comic review)

Hit them with the Royal Flush (Justice League #71 comic review)Score 30%Score 30%

Justice League #71

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Pencils: Phil Hester

Inks: Eric Gaspur

Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr

Letters: Josh Reed

Recently The Justice League got caught in a cross between Checkmate and an unknown antagonistic force. It turned out that this shadow group was, presumably, The Royal Flush Gang. They managed to steal the Fortress of Solitude and send an army of Deathstrokes to take on The League. Oliver Queen has been a lynchpin in their whole story as he is funding both The Justice League and Checkmate. There have been some allusions to Leviathan as well, but no direct connections have been made to the Bendis crossover, aside from thematic similarities. This arc finally comes to an end as the book is heading towards its conclusion soon with “Death of The Justice League.”

This comic ends the arc, so it is mostly tying up all the loose ends before heading toward the final story this series will hold. The Royal Flush gang is captured at the start of this book and the reader finds out that all the creatures from The Fortress of Solitude escaped. The containment is told through a series of splash pages, in flashback. The League also addresses Oliver Queen and his leadership role in Checkmate. Overall, it is a comic quickly finishes the story.

Tim’s Thoughts
I was not a fan of this arc, and when I saw “The Death of the Justice League” announced it made all the sense in the world. This book is in a holding pattern until the next reboot. Bendis started the book in a promising way, with a really fun Naomi focused arc. But then the entire idea of the “new” team got thrown away to finish a dangling plot thread from his Superman run, and now this pseudo-redo on Leviathan (with none of the stakes). This arc just shows it is a flycatcher for Bendis’ ideas without any real filtration into anything meaningful. I wish we didn’t have to go off and “kill” the team, but at this moment there is nothing in this book that makes me feel any loss. I do wish Black Adam and Naomi got a more meaningful chance to shine, it is too bad every opportunity was wasted.

Regardless of how bad this book is, Phil Hester’s art is fun to appreciate. His cartoony style makes this book worth picking up. The splash pages are dynamic and tell a more effective story than any piece of dialogue. The reader should know what they are getting with Phil Hester on pencils, and that alone will tell you if you want this book or not. And arguably it is the only reason to bother with this comic.


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Summary The Justice League ends this arc with a whimper, as the team (and series) marches toward their death.


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