I’m probably one of the few people on the planet that absolutely loves it when JRJR shows up to illustrate a random DC book. To say nothing of Superman Year One or his recent Batman contributions, what he brought to this issue was a breath of fresh air after all the Red Cloud hubbub in recent issues. Even Bendis was on point this issue! (I mean, he usually is, but I’m one of the people that isn’t happy with how he’s treating the Kent family aspect).
Now I haven’t been reading the Leviathan books or much of the Year of the Villain line-up outside of the occasional tie-ins, and so this book really dove deep into the midst of all that, but it’s a simple enough plot to follow along with. Essentially Lex Luthor is now making his play and is striking out against Superman. The issue is book-ended with a clash between the Justice League and Luthor’s Legion, linked together by a bunch of exposition of “how we got here.” It’s an old comic trope, but Bendis pulled it off well here.
Not much in the way of plot, but Romita’s art is absolutely gorgeous. I mean, I understand the hate. It can be a little cartoonish at times, but my god – all the colors and just seeing so many classic characters illustrated by this guy at once is SUCH A TREAT. I would immediately go back to this issue just to gawk at the art, because JRJR is one of my favorites and this is an excellent showcase of why.
TL;DR Score: The story is good, but as always Romita can carry a book on his own.