Justice League: Last Ride #3 is finally here and I have to say since reading the previous issue, I have been eagerly awaiting this one. Writer Chip Zdarsky has done an excellent job of drip feeding us information, and for someone as impatient as I am when it comes to great comics, it has been torture!
But before we get into the issue itself, let’s take a look at the covers. The standard cover is by Darick Robertson and Diego Rodriguez and it is absolutely gorgeous, I love everything about it. Seeing the Justice League takes some downtime is something I never tire of seeing, but seeing them at one with nature around a campfire with a very ominous Darkseid bearing down on them is just genius! I absolutely adore how Darkseid is formed of stars, it is so effective and for such a villainous character, is absolutely spectacular!
The variant cover is by Riccardo Federici and features a very ominous Batman lurking among chains and blood. In my opinion Federici can do no wrong, his artwork is fantastic and this piece is no exception. The detail is absolutely phenomenal and incredibly realistic. From the muscle tone, the posture, the creases in Batman’s cape to the lighting every aspect is full of detail that really allows the reader to believe that this scene is taking place.
Justice League: Last Ride #3 opens up with a discussion on where to store Lobo on Apokolips. It is decided that they will contain him and sleep in Desaad’s “Summer House”. Firstly the notion that this ruthless villain even has a summer house is hilarious, and this is exaggerated with much needed humour from The Flash who suggests they host a campfire and tell ghost stories.
Just as we think we understand the stakes at hand in this issue and this series as a whole, writer Chip Zdarksy throws another spanner in the works. Not only do they have this incredibly dangerous mission on Apokolips, but they now have The United Planets trying to pinpoint Lobo’s location as they are worried about him going on trial and would much prefer justice to be served to him as death. This whole sequence tackles something that I’m sure happens in most governments around the world, if not all of them. They have used his services as a bounty hunter and an assassin and cannot afford for the word to get out in his trial that they have been involved. Like I said, this added another level of danger for The Justice League… as if they didn’t have their hands full already!
Justice League: Last Ride #3 also highlight the troubles between the group yet again, but it isn’t only the group that are having issues, it’s the individuals as well and that is explored a little which I really appreciated. We see that both Superman and Batman are struggling with sleep, which seems like a very “human” thing for such a larger than life character like Superman to endure. Batman’s troubles in particular plays a small part to the missing pieces of the story with regards to what happened between The Justice League, but also serves as a warning. Interestingly it’s clear that Batman doesn’t want the rest of The League knowing the details with regards to who gave the warning, which I’m sure will be explored later in the series.
In regards to Superman, he is clearly going through some issues too, though we don’t yet know what they are. He is troubled and that is hard to see as a Superman fan. After he is wound up by Lobo, I adore how he leans on Lois Lane. It isn’t like Superman to allow someone to get under his skin like that, so there must be good reason, but it really showed how strong his and Lois’ relationship is and shows how much she grounds him as a person and also a hero. I really loved that moment.
With stakes like this, it’s clear that The League are under pressure, but just as they seem to be getting on (well more tolerating each other), we start to see those cracks re-appear and we also get to see what the triggers are for that, again lending a hint as to what went on between them. For me as a fan of The Justice League and their relationship, it can be hard to read and see, but it does make for excellent story telling by Chip Zdarksy.
This issue also sheds a light onto the wider threat that this whole mission faces, with The League gone Earth is left under the protection of the next generation of heroes. To see Batman really support them and understand that they are more than capable of this responsibility was really quite lovely to see. I felt like it really showed another side to Batman, giving him the answer to a question that cropped up in the first issue – does the world really need The Justice League?
The artwork by Miguel Mendonça and Enrica Angiolini is fantastic throughout yet again. We have incredibly vibrant character costumes mixed with dark and brooding atmospheres which just really works for me. It instantly drew me into the pages and perfectly accompanies the story that Zdarksy is setting here. There are some atmospheric panels that are just gorgeous, who knew Apokolips could be so beautiful? I adore the out of this world twist on the Northern Lights when it comes to the night sky, it’s simply beautiful and I love the real world inspiration for this.
Though Justice League: Last Ride #3 was rather light on the action, it really went a long way to set up this potential bloodbath of a battle, which is now likely to come to both Earth and Apokolips. With beautiful artwork and intriguing story telling, I am really looking forward to see what is to come for Lobo and The Justice League.
Haven’t picked Justice League: Last Ride #3 up yet? You can get the standard cover by Darick Robertson here (UK), or here (US). Or if you prefer the variant cover by Riccardo Federici, you can get that here.
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