This week's haul had quite a few books I'm looking forward to cracking open later this evening. A new World War Hulk (which has been loads of fun so far...), a new Detective (a fill-in issue, but it's still been a pretty good run so far), the last issue of The Dark Tower (which I have a feeling will read a lot better in trade - not that it isn't good - it is - it's just that the pacing kinda moseys in monthly batches), and of course, a brand new Jonah Hex, which is always a good thing. So ... which one did I pick to read first? Well, that's the Big Question....
Justice League Unlimited #36
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Penciller: Min S. Ku
My love for Jonah Hex aside, I think The Question is my favorite DC character. Especially the animated Justice League version of him. Conspiracy nut, top-down big-picture thinker, and all around ass-kicker, he's one fantastic character. And Jeffery Combs provided an absolutely perfect voice for him. ("The plastic on the ends of your shoes are called 'Aglets.' Their true purpose is sinister.") The Question is also a near-perfect group writing device, if you think about it. He allows a hero to be under the story - to find the seemingly insignificant clue or direction that the plot needs to be driven towards. All the while carrying the audience with him in spite of the other characters instantly dismissing him as crazy. He's like Batman in that way - you know he's right even if everyone else is saying otherwise. You would believe either character stepping out from behind the 3rd act curtain and saying, "I fixed it," but I'll take it one step further - If The Question disagrees with Batman ... Batman's wrong, sorry. And Batman is smart enough to know it. One of my all time favorite lines from that series (and there are several) occurred when some mystery has been uncovered and Batman briefs the other League members:
Batman: It's being taken care of. I've put The Question in charge...
Everyone else: *Groan!*
The Question is the only person who can dig up a hidden plot better than the Batman. Yes. I said it. You know it's true. As I went through the issues I bought this week that I was most looking forward to reading, I was hoping that having a feature story in the kiddie book adaptation of JLU would not diminish all that I love about this character.
I shouldn't have worried. It was, in fact obvious, with hindsight.
I won't spoil anything about this fantastic take on The Question's conspiracy-behind-every-door brand of logic except to say, "Go buy this. It's a fun comic. The way comics oughta be."
The basic plot: The Question uncovers a shape-changing alien plot, reveals it to the League who clean it up. But, when he sees much more to it ("All tied in, you see? Hollow-Earth theory, the Illuminati, hormone-water treatment, mind-control, elevator Muzak... obvious, with hindsight."), the League figures that he's been working too hard and orders him to rest on the satellite. He rigs the teleporter and sneaks out to follow up on all the leads himself.
In the process he follows trails that lead him across a multitude of classic unexplained phenomena. Seriously, I was giggling by the time he used an alien ray gun to fend off the Loch Ness Monster. And that was right on the heals of the Chupacabras incident. It's great fun.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Question story with a major twist ending - and brother! That's one helluva twist right there! Even if you kinda see it coming (being a kiddie book and all), it's very well done, and very much a "Fuck Yeah!" moment.
OK, that's the comic at face value. Now the comic as related from this comic geek to the other comic geeks out there:
We all know that The Watchmen's Rorschach is based on The Question. But this is the first time I've ever seen The Question based on Rorschach. Seriously. Check it out:
That diction, those phrases, heck! even some of the poses ... Rorschach. A great homage. Or is it? I get confused. Which fits in The Question's universe. More questions. Or am I over thinking it? Hurm.
Personally, I think it's kinda neat! And it's only something a knowledgeable comic geek would pick up on. It's a nice touch to stick it in a kiddie book. It actually made it that much more enjoyable for me. Kudos, Mr. Spurrier! I half expected him to start breaking fingers, though...
I know this one is certainly not on many people's buy lists. But at least flip through it if you want to enjoy a great all-around Question story where he shows you exactly why he should be in the Justice League. Y'know.. now that he's dead and all. Recommended.
Most Wanted Panel:
Seriously. He broke into the Freggin' Batcave to use the computers. Alfred's indignant pose cracks me up.