Monster ClawsWritten by: Steve Orlando
Art by: Felipe Watanabe, Scott Hanna, Hi-Fi and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Alright, here I am for my first review of Justice League of America! I just flew in from Quakertown and boy my arms are tired. This may be the first written review, but if you listen to our podcast (like my man, Iceman3113), you know that I've read every issue and am ready to roll. So, did the Man from Monster Valley end on a high note? Let's find out...
The issue starts with a full out info dump about Makson and his true intentions. His family wanted him dead and now he is after every single one of them as revenge for the death of his mother...meaning the monster bird that was killed last issue. Not his human mother that was killed by them when he was three or his father that died in that same plane crash.
While I say it was an info dump, it's really only stuff that readers would know already. We never do find out what the Hamilton Court actually does and because of that, Batman saying they are involved in "Black Market Deals" really doesn't hit home at all. I'm also kind of confused about his revenge, but also why his family went back to kill him after all these years. The confusion about the revenge is that Makson stressed that he invited people to the conference who didn't even know they were his relatives until they got the invitation...distant relatives who had nothing to do with any of this. I am guessing this was to show how crazy he was...maybe. I know it did feel off.
Makson eventually tells everyone he is going to kill them as revenge and literally turns into the Monster Man of the book's title, but I want to know how! He suddenly grows long claws to attack people and it's just another silly part of this book filled with silly parts. Did he learn to grow these claws? Did Monster Valley mutate him. Who knows and at this point, who really cares!
We then are introduced to Charity and Robert who only seem important because they say each other's names and have a direct link to SKULL. They turn out to be the big bads behind Makson's problems, but without knowing them at all, it's just another thing to laugh out loud at.
The laughing continues as Makson battles Ray, Vixen and Frost as if he is a metahuman dynamo. Again, he's just a boy raised by monster birds, but that certainly makes him special! He then takes on the entire JLA as his relatives all walk out the front door...honest.
It all ends well, though, as Charity and Robert get arrested and Makson is allowed to go back to Monster Valley. That's when we get the forced conversations between team members to end the issue...it seems to be a standard thing in this book, but they are just getting worse with each issue.
This issue was not good at all. I loved Felipe Watanabe's art last issue and while it's fine here, it's not as good. Steve Orlando's story, however, was just downright bad. The setup and motivations were cliched at best, but confusing and empty when it came to anyone but Makson here. I know that Steve Orlando wants to use this book as a tool for social commentary, but the message here was so convoluted and warped by the end that I really don't know what the message was.
Bits and Pieces:
This book continues to underwhelm as a Justice League book and as a comic in general. I liked Felipe Watanabe's art, but there is nothing else that I can recommend here.