Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Justice League Unlimited #36: The Best Recent Comic You Probably Haven't Read

If you've seen all of the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited television episodes (as I have, and as you should), then you'll know that the animated version of the Question is as much Rorschach as Ditko. The animated Question, voiced brilliantly by The Re-Animator's Jeffrey Combs, is a terse, seemingly-paranoid, unfriendly, no-nonsense investigator who has little time for anything other than the pursuit of truth.

He's a great character who has been only used to tell one type of story, which goes something like this: The Question seems like a paranoid lunatic at first, but his crazy theories turn out to be right in the end. That pretty much sums up his role on the animated series, but it's a GOOD role, and I love his every appearance.

So, how does that make Justice League Unlimited #36 a good comic? Well, it's just a bit of backdrop for what writer Simon Spurrier does in this issue. And you read that correctly: the issue is written by SIMON SPURRIER, whom many of you may be unfamiliar with, but you won't be for long, because he's one of the best writers coming out of 2000AD in recent years, and he hit the American market hard this summer with his Image title, Gutsville. Gutsville is a twisted, Victorian noir-horror story set inside the belly of a whale. It's great. And this is the same guy who brings the animated incarnation of the Question to four-color life in the newest issues of Justice League Unlimited.

"Wild Geese," the JLU story, seems to be a twist on the traditional Question tale, as the Justice Leaguers not only disbelieve his paranoid lunacy, but seem to mock him and purposely lead him along errant paths just to keep him out of their way. But what's so great about Spurrier's story, is that not only does he perfectly capture the tone of the animated Question, but he provides a twist to the normal Question plot that you might see coming (or you might not), but it's still a lot of fun to read. And it's fun to read because of how unbelievably far-reaching and all-encompassing this conspiracy seems to be. Every urban legend, every contemporary myth, every ridiculous story from around the world factor into the Question's investigation, leading to the shocking (maybe, unless you're paying attention) revelation at the end.

It's the Question done right. It's the Best Recent Comic which You Probably Haven't Read. And it's a Johnny DC title, ostensibly for kids. It is for kids, but it's also for you, because it's great.

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