Justice League of America #19
Written by: Steve Orlando
Artist: Hugo Petrus
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Carlos D’Anda
Previously on JLA: Prometheus infiltrated the JLA’s headquarter through disguising himself as a documentarian, and revealed himself to begin a brutal attack on the league; systematically taking them out one-by-one.
This time: Lobo and Black Canary attempt to hold the fort against Afterthought’s attack, as Lobo rips his shirt off in declaration of dissing the main man. Letting his ego get hold of him, Lobo accidentally smashes Canary in the face with a massive dumbbell, quickly getting a slug to the face himself from Afterthought cleaning up after his mess. Prometheus and Vixen go toe-to-toe as the purple punisher reveals his true intentions; conducting a public shaming of the Justice League of America, that they stand too far above the people they claim to want to protect. Vixen’s totem is just another example of how she sees herself as a god, and the necklace is Prometheus’s next target. The two are brought to a mild stand-still; although with enough time and effort, Prometheus is more than confident enough in his ability to kill his opponent. Canary manages to limp away from the very one-sided fight between Afterthought and Lobo, discovering the ghost of Ryan Choi, what the young Atom was reduced to after his encounter with Prometheus. By taking it slow and listening to each other, the two manage to tune Canary’s cry into the exact frequency to free Ryan; a trick quickly replicated in order to free Frost from her icy prison. Frost quickly runs to confront Afterthought, blasting the villain with a frozen field of icicles. As the heroes take a moment of reprieve, it’s a moment too long as Prometheus radios in; informing them of the field of bombs at their feet.
Reed Strong’s Strong Read: Afterthought was a character prominently from Orlando’s recent Midnighter run, and as this dude does with all his high concepts, he executes some extremely clever fights in this issue. This is one of the team books currently going that really feels like a team; the characters work together, have different dynamics depending on who’s talking to who. Prometheus himself continues to be an extremely clever bastard, managing to be both an insane mental threat as well as a physical juggernaut; but never to a point of completely overpowering anyone. He and Vixen manage to go toe to toe, and an immediate threat gets balanced with the idea of how long-term someone like Prometheus really is. This arc is moving fast and Prometheus-ing even faster, delivering some of the best fights and character dynamics of Rebirth so far.