After what seems like months away, “Justice League of America” #8 starts to reveal what happened to the heroes collected under “Justice League” team banners at the end of “Trinity War.” Matt Kindt replaces Geoff Johns as the writer on this title, but Doug Mahnke still handles the art, which makes for a nice transition as Mahnke works very well with the characters in this comic book.
As this is Kindt’s first full issue as writer, it seems only appropriate that Martian Manhunter — the character Kindt guided through a series of backup stories — serves as the focal point of this issue. J’onn J’onzz drives the adventure of “Justice League of America” #8, but Stargirl, Simon Baz Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman and Shazam all have some panel appearances. Through those appearances, Kindt gives little glimpses of the mental states of these characters as J’onn tries to piece together what exactly has happened. Kindt’s voice for Manhunter is sharp and engaging, giving the reader enough insight to discern the level of the character’s confusion. The story doesn’t really reveal much, but spends the entirety of the issue setting the table. At least by the end, readers realize a number of the heavy hitters are around, but have to pull themselves together.
At some point, a twenty-two-page story was deemed acceptable for a $3.99 pricepoint. I’ll accept it for this issue, as the adventure and the unknown power are an interesting story, but for the extra buck, Marvel at least throws in a digital copy of their twenty page stories. Thankfully, Mahnke manages to make even the smallest of panels seem vast with the stunning amounts of detail he pours into his work with the roster of characters Kindt visits in this issue. Mahnke has always had a very solid grasp on the Martian Manhunter, but the New 52 emphasis on J’onn’s alien appearance plays right into Mahnke’s style and strengthens the visuals for “Justice League of America” #8 as J’onn tries to find the rest of the League. Amazingly, despite having a quartet of inkers and a pair of colorists, Mahnke’s work is solidly consistent throughout the issue.
“Justice League of America” #8 offers the first glimpse into the post-“Trinity War” situation for the members of the various Justice Leagues. Not everyone is accounted for in this issue, but Matt Kindt and Doug Mahnke make the most of the characters who are present. The story is by no means wrapped, but the adventure is teased enough to lure readers into “Forever Evil” #3 for more on their favorite surviving Leaguers.