By Joshua Williamson, Stjepan Sejic & Deron Bennett
Justice League Odyssey #2 continues the strong start of the first issue by plunging us into the thick of things with the return of Darkseid. As usual, no superhero is going to take Darkseid’s word at face value so we get the obligatory fight to kick off the issue and of course, they don’t stand a chance. It’s an epic beginning that tests the mantle of this newly formed team, who are still learning the ropes. Azrael is out of his element entirely, Jessica Cruz is someone who shouldn’t even be there, and Starfire and Cyborg have their own problems.
The decision to attack Darkseid straight away rather than to hear him out normally would feel like an anti-heroic thing to do but you have to remember that it is Darkseid we’re dealing with after all. He’s manipulated them countless of times in the past and of course they’re traveling with Azrael, who is notoriously easy to manipulate. So no chances given is a good thing. But we do learn fairly early on that Darkseid is the reason that they are all here and the cosmic backdrop really works in the book’s favour.
The team dynamics are so far certainly unique and represent a different Justice League roster compared to what we normally have. Aside from Starfire and Cyborg having history working together and to an extent Jessica with Cyborg on the League they don’t really have a history together and as a result they’re not quite the fully-functioned team yet. So there’s a lot of learning curves to be found in this issue no matter how experienced the heroes are.
Stjepan Sejic does the heavy lifting artistically and he captures the grand cosmic scale of the book gloriously. Every panel is a visual treat, and Sejic gets the scale of what Justice League Odyssey is trying to achieve and holds nothing back. The panels complement the tone of the issue really well and with him working on both colours and pencils the Odyssey team are in very safe hands indeed.
You really get a feeling of how intimidating Darkseid can be even when he’s trying to come to the League as the non-aggressor, and it’s helped by the fact that he isn’t depowered in any sense here. He’s still Darkseid. Deron Bennett’s lettering too adds that extra factor every time Darkseid speaks and it gives him that certain aura that you know he’s a figure not to be messed with. And when Darkseid comes for you to help, you should listen.
The situations that surround the team are orginaic and not contrived at all. Every character feels like they are justified to be there, and Williamson so far has given them all plenty to do. This helps that the Odyssey roster is fairly small, and although at times the book can feel more similar to Guardians of the Galaxy than say, Justice League in space, it does have a strong sense of awesomeness to it that will only continue to establish itself in future issues.