JUSTICE LEAGUE: ODYSSEY #5

#1
The league finds themselves in the midst of another battle as they try to find Cyborg and escape the Machine World.

Victor has his own issues to deal with when he discovers that his followers have built their own Mother Box. One capable of turning every living being in the Ghost Sector into cyborgs. Not wanting to condemn anyone else to his fate, Victor fights back, but the draw of the Mother Box causes more problems as Victor is compelled to merge with it to learn more about the Ghost Sector itself.



Jean-Paul meanwhile fights besides one of his followers and the battle shows the hero the darkest aspects of his nature as well as reveals the true fate of the followers of Starfire. A revelation that will cause Rapture to question his mission and his faith in Azrael. At the same time, Darkseid reveals the reason the Ghost Sector was hidden as well as why the Coluns were trying to hide from him.

All of the new gods of the Ghost Sector are being tested and Azrael’s test speaks to the heart of Jean-Paul Valley’s conflict. Even in the visual chaos and beauty of the battle on the page, Williamson keeps the story grounded in the emotional with Azrael and Cyborg to a lesser extent. Seeing the manifestation of everything he could become in Rapture is a great character point to showcase Jean-Paul’s struggle to find purpose. There is an energy and immediacy to this story that is hard to ignore. Every beat moves closer to something big and unknown and the characters keep the story engaging.

Following Darkseid’s journey is great. Knowing that he is always working his own agenda helps keep his overall motives a mystery and even finding out a small part of his plan only whets the appetite to learn more because you know there is more that has yet to be revealed.

Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art is beautiful in its detailed chaos. There is so much happening on the page visually, but there is focus among the action and every page contains something amazingly detailed to admire. There are so many great panels to look at in this issue and the pace of the story is also found in the art. It’s a visceral, visual feast for the eyes.
 
#2
Issue #5 of Justice League Odyssey gives us a hell of a lot of action, and some much-needed answers as our heroes grapple with the morality of leading their worshippers on while trying to find out what Darkseid has up his sleeve.

This was an Azrael centric issue. We really get a look into his internal struggles, and learned why he can kind of be a dick. At his core, he’s a dude that just doesn’t know his place. He thought it was with the Batfam in Gotham, but that proved to be a lost cause, so he placed all his faith in this wild goose chase with Cyborg and company into the unknown corners of the universe. And so far, this ain’t been it either, chief. Conflict and confusion got in the way, and now everybody’s fighting a bunch of wannabe Cyborgs while Vic is nowhere to be found.

But Cyborg’s location winds up having huge ramifications for the series. He just found out what Darkseid’s plans are, and it ain’t nice. He’s essentially building a bigger and badder Apokolips. But what makes it super spooky is that he’ll be able to steer it across the multiverse, conquering countless lives along the way.



Something I enjoyed about this was how it really shows just how much all of these Justice League titles are connected, and how they all are serving each other and the grander story trying to be told. This revelation that Cyborg has goes all the way back to No Justice, the event that kicked off Snyder’s helm of the Justice League. The aftermath of which resulted in a bunch of bottled up planets being released into the universe. Well, those planets are now just what Darkseid needs to build his new Apokolips. And if you’ve been reading the main Justice League title, you know that the Source Wall has been obliterated, seemingly making it possible for anyone to venture into the multiverse with no consequences.

Another cherry on the interconnectivity milkshake is that the events of this series were briefly acknowledged in the Justice League Annual. Seeing that acknowledgment from both books not only validates why these heroes weren’t at the big battle at the Source Wall, but it reminds you that what they’re doing will have some ramifications that spread through the other books as well, albeit not as big. It’s just really cool to see the interconnectedness of all of these stories stay consistent issue after issue.

I’m excited to see where our heroes go from here now that they know what Darkseid is planning. Are they gonna go and try to catch hands? Are they gonna try and rush home to help out their friends? Suddenly, the B-Team feel that surrounds this group just got even more intriguing, as now that the stakes are fully revealed, it’s really gonna feel like David vs. Goliath once things start to ramp up. And who doesn’t love an underdog?

Justice League Odyssey #5 reminds us that this book is a puzzle piece in the enormous Justice League story being told across three books right now. If you’re a completionist like myself, this is one of the things you live for. All these books are droppin’ mad breadcrumbs, and I’m getting fat off all the clues and threads.
 
#3
Issue #5 of Justice League Odyssey gives us a hell of a lot of action, and some much-needed answers as our heroes grapple with the morality of leading their worshippers on while trying to find out what Darkseid has up his sleeve.

This was an Azrael centric issue. We really get a look into his internal struggles, and learned why he can kind of be a dick. At his core, he’s a dude that just doesn’t know his place. He thought it was with the Batfam in Gotham, but that proved to be a lost cause, so he placed all his faith in this wild goose chase with Cyborg and company into the unknown corners of the universe. And so far, this ain’t been it either, chief. Conflict and confusion got in the way, and now everybody’s fighting a bunch of wannabe Cyborgs while Vic is nowhere to be found.

But Cyborg’s location winds up having huge ramifications for the series. He just found out what Darkseid’s plans are, and it ain’t nice. He’s essentially building a bigger and badder Apokolips. But what makes it super spooky is that he’ll be able to steer it across the multiverse, conquering countless lives along the way.



Something I enjoyed about this was how it really shows just how much all of these Justice League titles are connected, and how they all are serving each other and the grander story trying to be told. This revelation that Cyborg has goes all the way back to No Justice, the event that kicked off Snyder’s helm of the Justice League. The aftermath of which resulted in a bunch of bottled up planets being released into the universe. Well, those planets are now just what Darkseid needs to build his new Apokolips. And if you’ve been reading the main Justice League title, you know that the Source Wall has been obliterated, seemingly making it possible for anyone to venture into the multiverse with no consequences.

Another cherry on the interconnectivity milkshake is that the events of this series were briefly acknowledged in the Justice League Annual. Seeing that acknowledgment from both books not only validates why these heroes weren’t at the big battle at the Source Wall, but it reminds you that what they’re doing will have some ramifications that spread through the other books as well, albeit not as big. It’s just really cool to see the interconnectedness of all of these stories stay consistent issue after issue.

I’m excited to see where our heroes go from here now that they know what Darkseid is planning. Are they gonna go and try to catch hands? Are they gonna try and rush home to help out their friends? Suddenly, the B-Team feel that surrounds this group just got even more intriguing, as now that the stakes are fully revealed, it’s really gonna feel like David vs. Goliath once things start to ramp up. And who doesn’t love an underdog?

Justice League Odyssey #5 reminds us that this book is a puzzle piece in the enormous Justice League story being told across three books right now. If you’re a completionist like myself, this is one of the things you live for. All these books are droppin’ mad breadcrumbs, and I’m getting fat off all the clues and threads.
 
#4
Summary

Explore more about the man of mystery known as Azrael! Meanwhile, worshipers of Cyborg want to use a MotherBox of their own to turn themselves into cyborgs, and Darkseid’s plans are revealed at long last!



Positives

Ivan Plascencia’s coloring is probably the best thing about this book, and it shows why colorists need to be valued and cherished more within the comic book community. Carmine Di Giandomenico contributes some nice art to the story, but I do think he is capable of much better work. The story was well drawn with what Di Giandomenico was given, but there is a lot of disappointment to sift through.



Negatives

This 5th issue, along with the other four issues, is a haze. To be quite frank, there is very little point or purpose to anything in this run or any of the characters. It feels like Joshua Williamson gave up before it even began. When the run was first announced, people were skeptical, but intrigued, baffled, and fairly interested. What a strange cast of characters to combine into a new team book. People wondered if they had what it takes to make a great team, and with Williamson, they did not. This final issue attempts to explain how Azrael got to where he is, and where he might be going on his personal journey. Neither the brief narration of his past nor his worshipers that he’ll meet in the future, the Order of Azrael, depict this journey with any emotion or feeling. The majority of the story is meaningless exposition that do little to interest the reader and all run together. It is quite easy to read through the entire book carefully and have not remembered a large majority of what one had just read.

There is nothing memorable in this story expect for The Other Box, a ridiculously named piece of Apokoliptan technology even more chaotic and disruptive than a Mother Box. There is nothing in this issue that evoked one ounce of investment or emotion in what I just read. Jessica Cruz is barely in this issue, Starfire is in a state of static worrying or anger, Cyborg’s “crisis” brings him back to a reductive point of self-loathing the that represents a major weakness in many portrayals of the character, and the rest of the characters are extremely one-dimensional. Additionally, the storytelling as a whole seems very rushed and clunky, with odd paneling choices and an expositional splash page that just seems sloppy. I’d love to know what Williamson was thinking during this arc, because I don’t feel any passion coming from the pages. I apologize for the harsh words, but it is the truth.



Verdict

This was a forgettable arc that calls into question this books entire existence. I sincerely hope Dan Abnett will prove why it has one.
 
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