By Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke, Gabe Eltaeb, Tony Avina & Rod Reis
Owlman’s origin is unveiled! It’s an excellent spin on the infamous genesis story. It may only be the first four pages of the book, but that part alone makes the comic worth the $3.99 price point. The issue focuses on Owlman’s agenda in Gotham and his plans for Dick Grayson (Nightwing). Geoff Johns not only presents the birth of Owlman, but also gives insight into Earth Three Dick Grayson.
The book basically gives two origin stories, a recap of what’s been happening in the Forever Evil storyline in other titles, and progresses the plot of the comic event. It sounds like a lot of information in just one comic! Well, to no surprise, Johns is able to navigate and write the contents of the story skillfully without sacrificing heart. What stands out most is how Geoff’s use of Aristotle’s modes of persuasion (ethos, pathos, logos) works so well in this issue. He presents Owlman’s ethos and pathos in the origin and his current agenda to protect his budding family. The inner monologues Johns writes for the character just ache with melancholy and a compulsive need to fix relationships. Logos comes into play because of how informed and methodical Owlman is, but that is to be expected considering he is Batman’s Earth Three equivalent. Also, a potential new villain’s creation may have taken place…only time will tell. There is so much more to talk about, but I don’t want to diminish the reader’s enjoyment.
Doug Mahnke took over for Ivan Reis in this issue. It’s great to see the former Green Lantern creative team back in top form! Mahnke has such distinctive look for facial expressions, so as Owlman’s beginning is depicted the tense emotions really come off the page. This also rings true when he meets with Nightwing to try and bring him to his side. While reading the comic, Doug’s work on the Under the Hood story arc with Judd Winick came to mind. He has a clear understanding of atmosphere and visual presentation. He uses canted images and is not afraid to have minimal backgrounds to heighten the tone of the action in panels. This only works when there are colorists such as Gabe Eltaeb, Tony Avina and Rod Reis who know which palettes to use. This book is just a visual spectacle from start to finish.
Justice League #25 just crushes it! It is extremely rare for me to read a comic book twice in one sitting. Just go pick this one up…you’re welcome!