As “Forever Evil” met delays and found shipping problems in its path, “Justice League of America” meandered through the minds of Stargirl and Martian Manhunter, providing a superhero odd couple story like no other, but easy on the superhero. Matt Kindt and an army of artists bring a conclusion to the series, which perhaps lingered a bit too long.
The “Forever Evil” tie-ins of this series avoided presenting anything resembling the entire team of Leaguers, as they were trapped in Firestorm following “Trinity War.” The result was a comic book version of psychoanalysis of Stargirl and Martian Manhunter, sometimes through the thoughts of each other, other times through their own thoughts of themselves and reflections of their personal histories. In “Justice League of America” #14, Stargirl and Manhunter are still the focal characters, but it isn’t so much their thoughts about themselves as it is about the team. Kindt sits Stargirl down across from Steve Trevor for a debrief of the recent events, giving the reader a chance to catch up on the members of the ephemeral team. This also leads to Trevor claiming success for finding Wonder Woman’s lasso and using it to free the League and sets up a double-page spread of an epic battle we never really saw during “Forever Evil.”
The art for “Justice League of America” #14 is the closest thing to a homogenized house style as anything DC Comics has produced since relaunching the line in 2011. Pencilers Tom Derenick, Eddy Barrows and Diogenes Neves share similar page construction sensibilities and storytelling structure and inkers Vicente Cifuentes, Eber Ferreira and Marc Deering provide a coating to the story that brings the artwork to level playing field where the colors of Hi-Fi can effectively smooth the visuals out with a liberal application of bright colors. An analytical study of this issue would help readers discover the differences between the three pencilers and identify where one stops and the next takes over, but for the most part the visuals are consistent.
The roster of “Justice League of America” as a whole never wowed me and this “Where are they now?” installment does nothing to shift that mindset. The three characters that most interested me — Hawkman, Vibe and Element Woman — get a total of three panels between them, despite the twenty-four issues of story in “Justice League of America” #14. This issue, like so many issues of this series just fails to bring the action, adventure, superheroics and fun I expect to see in a “Justice League of America” comic book, which is kind of a down note to end with.