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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler Free Praise!
Let me count the way I love Villain's Journey. Spoiler-free for all you whiners.

1. The new villain was fantastic. Great and original, and they didn't feel the need to give him a super-stupid name like "Machine Ghost" or "Oblivion" or something. Just David Graves.

2. The way the members of the Justice League play off each other. So many dynamics to...
Published 19 months ago by Sugar Ray Dodge

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Grave stuff
“STAAAY!” “AWWAAY!” “STAYAWAAYY!” screech the toothy horrors that burst off of the first page of the second Justice League book. It serves as a not-so-subtle warning to potential readers that this volume of Justice League is pretty diabolical and might best be avoided. As a fan of the first book, I was surprised to see how low the...
Published 9 months ago by Sam Quixote


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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler Free Praise!, February 17, 2013
This review is from: Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey (The New 52) (Hardcover)
Let me count the way I love Villain's Journey. Spoiler-free for all you whiners.

1. The new villain was fantastic. Great and original, and they didn't feel the need to give him a super-stupid name like "Machine Ghost" or "Oblivion" or something. Just David Graves.

2. The way the members of the Justice League play off each other. So many dynamics to explore.

3. The way the team is set up now reminded me of The Ultimates, which is good. But it is also distinct from the Ultimates, which is also good.

4. The story was great and I liked how it all ended. Last page of issue 12 was GREAT!

And that's really all I can say without being a spoiler. If you read this and volume 1, you should be ready to dive into Throne of Atlantis. If this doesn't hook you into being a subscriber of the comic book, then there's nothing I can do for you. ...because you have no soul.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expanding the World of the Justice League, February 5, 2013
This review is from: Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey (The New 52) (Hardcover)
One of the titles from DC's New 52 reboot that I've really enjoyed is Justice League. The seven main characters (Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg) have some tweaks to their personalities that makes the interactions among them new and entertaining. Watching the League learn to work together (since the previous 50+ years of continuity has been removed) is a lot of fun. Additionally, the villain is interesting enough to want to follow the story through to the end. The story traces how the aftermath of one of the Justice League's battles affects one family. Too many superhero stories focus on the battle and defeating the foe; rarely do we see what happens to the innocent bystanders. This story reminded me of Astro City 1/2 in its depiction of how regular people are affected by having heroes and villains in their midst.

This is a title that is definitely worth following. I give it five stars and highly recommend it.

I was provided a copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Being in the League: The Best of the Best, February 11, 2013
This review is from: Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey (The New 52) (Hardcover)
This volume contains issues 7-12 of the ongoing series.

It has been five years since the teams first adventure and formation, from Justice League Vol.1: Origins. The League is a more cohesive unit but still is a group of individual super-powered individuals wanting to do their own thing. The U. S. government also wants to run this group as well. They try to aid the League with their human team known as A.R.G. U. S., led by Steve Trevor. All the while former Justice League villains are being captured and tortured for information about fighting the League. A villain who felt the League failed him at a time when he needed them most. One who feels they do not deliver justice but he instead intends to give it to them.

Taking on the Justice League is no easy task. There have been many great runs. This one, by Geoff Johns, is starting to get up there (my favs are the Giffen/Demattis, Morrison, Waid, Kelly, and Meltzer takes). And he has been given the task of reinventing the League for a whole new universe. He does a very good job of managing Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg.

The first two issues are a prelude to the four part Villains Journey arc. The first deals with the League in the modern day, now that five years have past from the first story (first six issues) of this series. Batman is the self appointed leader and gives out the orders. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) is not much of a team player and does his own thing feeling true to Johns portrayal of the character in his own series: loud, abrasive, and a lone wolf who hits first and asks questions later. Superman and Wonder Woman play nice and seem to have a loyalty to Batman. Cyborg is another good team player as the teams transportation provider, via boom tube, and digital information broker. The Flash wants to play nice but is led astray by Hal's antics. And Aquaman begrudgingly follows orders from the land mortal. The team plays out real nice as each member serves their purpose and there is a slight amount of friction (mostly from Green Lanterns overly aggressive style) that gives this spin on the League a fun yet nice new spin. This issue is illustrated by Gene Ha whose art is very nice and feels like a compliment to Lee's.

Steve Trevor feels like the focus of these first two issues as we get a day in the life of the man who the League and the government use as a p.r. stunt. But we can tell something is boiling within him. The second issue has an overly anxious Green Arrow trying desperately to join their ranks. It plays out as a running gag where the League is in the midst of battling some foe when overanxious and arrogant Oliver Queen shows up with a trick arrow or two, a punch, and a smile, none of with is necessary. This issue illustrates the tightness of the "big seven" and a gorgeously drawn two page splash, by the always amazing Ivan Reis, of a flashback as to why this group does not want to expand it's ranks. The majority of the issue is drawn by Carlos D'anda who does a nice job but his work has the characters looking big and clunky. Trevor also has a chat with the frustrated Queen that is an interesting prelude of things to come.

The Villains Journey arc is the final four issues pitting our heroes against a foe who feels he lost everything due to them. He was once their biggest supporter giving this a cliché feeling for a villains motivation but Johns' does a nice execution while filling in the details of this man's fall from grace. It is nice to see how the League really comes together in this story. It really feels like they have bonded and have trust in one another as opposed to their Hail Marry like strategy against Darkseid five years prior. There is even a nice aftermath section that shows how some of our heroes deal the turmoil the just underwent. Jim Lee comes in to finish his artistic run on Justice League. He gives a nice sendoff with some beautiful and edgy line work.

There is a nice epilogue, penciled by Ethan Van Sciver (another win on art!) that gives us an update on Pandora as well as giving a glimpse at one of her Trinity of Sin counterparts that is not the Phantom Stranger...

This volume also collects a section of variant covers with one disappointing one done by the usually impressive Bryan Hitch. A sweet teaser is given of adventures to come in 2013 as well as the two page spread promo of Geoff Johns and David Finch's Justice League of America. Although, I loved all the material provided in this book I was hoping for the Captain Marvel...oops, er, I mean... Shazam backups, written by Johns illustrated by Gary Frank, to be featured in here. I guess DC will release all of these collected at a later date.

This is a great action packed adventure with an exciting story and some cool plot developments that set up this classic team in the DCnU thanks to Geoff Johns. Great art all around as well. I cannot wait for the next collection where Tony Daniels guests on two issues and Ivan Reis takes over as the main artist! Bring on Throne of Atlantis!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic, April 27, 2013
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Geoff Johns has done it again. This is probably the best versions of the JL to appear in comics in years.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun and action packed artwork!, February 5, 2013
This review is from: Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey (The New 52) (Hardcover)
The first volume of Justice League was all out action, forgoing much in the way of story. The second installment doesn't suffer from that weakness. It seems like the story has jumped forward in time a little and now the Justice League is established. The world loves these guys. However our super friends quickly learn that is is quite easy to fall off the celebrity pedestal.

It is great fun seeing these pristine icons get dirty and their individual reactions to the situation. Although at times it felt false and a little forced, it still succeed in making these `gods' feel more human. You even get some internal group struggles, literally. After reading the first volume, I was looking forward to the second volume because of Jim Lee's artwork. Now I am looking forward to the third volume because I want to know where the Justice League will go now that they are on this darker path.

Speaking of Mr. Lee's artwork, you can't really find anyone better for action packed super hero action. He brings epic scale and power to the page. Since the first volume was so short on story, you really could just start reading on this volume without being lost.

ARC reviewed by Chris for Book Sake.
Book Received: For free from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Grave stuff, November 30, 2013
“STAAAY!” “AWWAAY!” “STAYAWAAYY!” screech the toothy horrors that burst off of the first page of the second Justice League book. It serves as a not-so-subtle warning to potential readers that this volume of Justice League is pretty diabolical and might best be avoided. As a fan of the first book, I was surprised to see how low the quality of writing had dipped and disappointed that by the second book the magic had all but gone. However, like the JL in the story, I hacked my way through the monsters and delved deeper into “The Villain’s Journey”, a confusing story about nothing.

The villain in question is Mr Graves, a bestselling author of a book about the Justice League with an interest in the supernatural. After he and his family are saved from Darkseid and his minions by the JL (see the first volume), his family become sick from exposure to Darkseid’s omega energy and die. Warped with sickness and grief he seeks out an unholy power in the uncharted mountains of Asia to reunite him with his loved ones and destroy those who had taken them from him - the Justice League!

This book gets off to a really slow start. The first issue is the prologue to the “Villain’s Journey” and frankly this could’ve been two pages instead of a whole issue, two pages added to the first chapter of the story for all the relevance it has to the arc. The second issue is by far the worst though. This is the Green Arrow crossover that sits awkwardly in between the prologue and first chapter of the main storyline. Green Arrow wants to join the Justice League SO BAD! He follows them everywhere, whining “aw, c’mon guys! Let me join the club!” etc. For an entire issue. He is so annoying and needy! This issue has no point at all either, especially with the splash page at the end where we see the new “New 52” series “Justice League of America” revealed - with Green Arrow kneeling and drawing back his bow. So we find out he wants to join a superhero team and at the end he gets his lame wish. Why...

This story picks up 5 years after the first book. Let me say that again because this is a huge plot point - Volume 1 = 5 years ago, Volume 2 = 5 years later. 5 years! What happened in between? Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, an army dude, got together then broke it off, and the Justice League have not managed to mesh as a team and still bicker about who the leader is. I don’t understand why Geoff Johns made this decision. In this reboot, technically we’re seeing the characters for the first time but when you fast forward 5 years in between issues, you’re avoiding all of the stuff that you should really be addressing in a reboot. Those are the formative years of these heroes and we’re still not seeing them, even in a reboot designed specifically for this purpose!

And it would really make sense for this book to still be set in the early years of the Justice League’s formation because are we really to believe that after 5 years they still can’t work together as a team - are they truly that ill-suited to teamwork? Then why not disband? But I’m getting ahead of myself...

The problem with skipping over so much time is that everything is told in passing or in flashbacks. So the emotional core of the book is Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor’s relationship but we never saw any of that because it was never written, at least not in the New 52. So we’re told in passing and in a handful of panels sprinkled across the entire book that WW and Steve Trevor had a relationship but WW broke it off for some reason and poor Steve never got over it. Why Steve is even in this book is baffling - why do the JL need a liaison between themselves and the rest of the world? There’s also a tantalising storyline that’s not explored - a splash page of the JL fighting J’onn J’onzz who’s managing to hold his own against the entire team! Uh... I’d like to read that story! That looks fantastic! Martian Manhunter - he was on the team or he wasn’t? Anyway, I’d much prefer to read that than this Mr Graves crap. But no, it’s a 2 page spread and then we’ve moved on. Flashback over, we’re 5 years ahead. Do you care about Steve Trevor now? No? Too bad, we’re 5 years ahead.

Mr Graves as a villain is baffling. He single-handedly discovers an area of Asia where giant Indian Death Gods wander the mountainous landscape that no one’s ever seen before, and somehow inherits from them these magical powers that feed on emotion... or something. Also, he’s one of these villains who looks inhuman - so you know he’s evil - and whose powers kind of swirl around him ethereally so he doesn’t have to do anything, he just stands there and lets the mists or ghosts or whatever they are do their thing while he stands back cackling evilly. That’s always interesting to see a bad guy doing – nothing. And through doing nothing, managing to defeat the most powerful team of beings on the planet.

He not only looks like a stereotypical villain, he does something all idiot villains do: when he has Steve Trevor tied up and on the brink of death, he leaves before witnessing his death! Even though Steve’s death is central to his plan of destroying the JL - “You have to be dead for this to work!” he exclaims in surprise when Steve shows up at the end - he doesn’t make sure he’s dead! It’s shocking how inept a bad guy he is.

His plan to “show the world who the Justice League really are”? Never understood it. How exactly was he going to do this? There was a moment where Wonder Woman, for no real reason, decides to punch Green Lantern and then Superman gets roped in and is kicked by WW, and Graves, somehow, manages to broadcast this scene on every single screen in the world, thus showing the world they’re not a very unified team. But that was it. And that’s not much of a plan in the first place is it? I mean what if WW hadn’t flipped out and they flew calmly off – what then? No big scene and the world continue loving the JL, Graves’ plan is in the crapper. I guess it’s a good thing the script is so obliging.

Also, Graves’ writing cabin? It’s a freakin’ mansion, not a cabin! And why does he need a dedicated cabin/mansion to write anyway? Does he really need so much ritual and pretension to write his crummy books?

There are a lot of moments throughout the book that don’t really make sense but instead feel wholly contrived. Wonder Woman and Superman kissing at the end? When did they have feelings for one another - don’t tell me, in the 5 year gap, right? Because it’s not established anywhere. WW fighting Green Lantern and Superman for no reason, then Aquaman challenging Batman for leadership of the JL at the end, and Green Lantern leaving the Justice League - why are any of these things happening!?! There are no reasons, these are events that just happen. I like Geoff Johns’ writing, I think his first JL book was great and his “Aquaman” and “Batman Year One” books were excellent, but his awful writing in this book is inexcusable.

Believe me, I really wanted to like Volume 2, especially after such an enjoyable first volume, but there was so much wrong with this book from the awful villain, the nonsensical story, the bizarre moments, and the glaring 5 year gap between books, that I couldn’t enjoy it. All of these problems failed to immerse me in the story and instead I found myself dreading turning the page for fear of the next blunder about to emerge. Jim Lee’s art is ok but in no way makes up for Johns’ lacklustre script. I’d heard there was a Shazam backup to the JL comics drawn by Gary Frank that I was looking forward to reading but it’s not included in this hardback - maybe they’re saving it for the next book or as a standalone series? Anyway, “The Villain’s Journey” is a dud - “SSTAAYAWAAAYY!”.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Than the First Volume, But With Serious Flaws in the Story, March 6, 2013
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Sometimes a person's life seems to have so much promise, and then things go awry. Sometimes horrifically so. They can not seem to grasp why so many bad things are happening to them, so they lash out at others. A special target can be those people that were formerly viewed as friends or heroes.

In Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey, this is exactly what happened to the main "civilian observer" of the previous volume. In Volume One of the Justice League comic post-Flashpoint reboot, the assembled heroes save the world from an invasion by the evil god Darkseid. All seems to be going well for our heroes, but appearances can sometimes be deceiving. Indeed, the most ardent admirer they have, the young author and family man who praised them so effusively after they saved the lives of him and his family during said invasion, is about to become a deadly enemy. For he and his family are sick and dying due to something they were exposed to on Apokolips (Darkseid's world), and he blames the League for not finding this out and saving his family. Now, he wants revenge.

The story wasn't half-bad, and was a vast improvement over the mediocre tale in the first volume. It had character development, and moved the story forward quite a bit. But that is actually where the problem lies from the point of view of the DC Universe's internal logic.

The story begins five years after the end of the previous tale, Justice League, Vol. 1: Origins, and.... nothing has happened. Apparently the heroes can work together for about five years, and except for Batman and Superman's growing friendship, nothing changes. Nothing at all. I get that they wanted to tell the story of the Justice League forming in the past and then moving forward a few years to the "present day". That's a compelling narrative, but it is completely ruined and unbelievable when one is asked to accept the idea that the characters could know each other for five years and not change at all. They don't know that they are fictional characters waiting for the next story arc to have any development at all, so this makes no sense.

That is really the only problem I had other than the idiocy of the writers pairing off Wonder Woman and Superman at the expense of Lois Lane and Steve Trevor. Why bring back Steve Trevor from the dead post-reboot, in order to have him and Wondy be on the outs? And why ruin the iconic relationship of Superman and Lois Lane? It seems more like the authors' visions from their childhood are being shoved down our throats, and it really irks me. I hope they change this stupidity, and soon.

Overall, not a bad volume. It just has a major, glaring problem in it's internal logic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much like the first volume, you've got some great artwork but a dull story., July 6, 2013
By 
N. Beitler "Avid Reader" (Aurora, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey (The New 52) (Hardcover)
Title: Justice League Volume 2: The Villain's Journey (HC)
Publisher: DC
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Jim Lee, Gene Ha, Carlos D'anda Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Scriver, David Finch (pencils), Scott Williams, Gene Ha, Carlos D'anda, Joe Prado, Mark Irwin, Jonathan Glapion, Sandra Hope, Matt Banning, Rob Hunter, Joe Weems, Alex Garner, Trevor Scott, Ethan Van Scriver, David Finch (inks), Alex Sinclair, Art Lyon, Gabe Eltaeb, Pete Pantazis, Hi-Fi, Somia Oback, Tony Avina (colors), Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair (covers)
Collects: Justice League #7-12
Price: $24.99

This book sure is pretty. Too bad the story is so dull. You can sell a comic book called "Sammy the Clam Sells Car Insurance" if Jim Lee is illustrating it. But it's not going to have any real longevity. For a book to go from good to great, you need both great artwork and a great story. This book has one of those components, but is sorely lacking the other.

I'll make this short and sweet: The Justice League fighting evil spirits is just stupid. This is not what I pick up the Justice League to read about. I want to see them facing cataclysmic cosmic baddies of stopping a mastermind plot of Lex Luthor and his latest legion of bad dudes. Seven of earth's mightiest heroes fighting a bad father and several evil spirits he is communing with is a waste of my time to read about. And just to make things more confusing and less interesting for the readers, this story arc takes place about five years after the first one. Huh? Why do that? Did all of the other New 52 books jump forward five years? I don't think so. Considering this Green Arrow seems almost nothing like the one in the book by that title, though, maybe that IS the case.

Great artwork by a talented art team, but this story just sucked. This book continues to do well in sales based on the stellar artwork, but it can't last forever on those merits, alone. The writing on this book has GOT to get better!

Writing: 5/10
Artwork: 8/10
Cool Factor: 6/10
Value: 6/10

Overall: 6.25/10
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a decent read, but not as good as vol. 1, February 10, 2013
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This review is from: Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey (The New 52) (Hardcover)
Geoff John's 2011 relaunch of the Justice League was inspired. The first volume of this series was outstanding. He was not able to keep up the standard in this second volume. The dialogue is fine, but the main villain leaves a bit to be desired. It is also set 5 years after the first book (without explaining that 5 years have past). Despite working together for five years, they still don't know each others' identities and they don't work as brilliantly together as one would expect. The artwork is typical Jim Lee: curvy and colorful with big splash pages. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I was disappointed that it was not as good as volume 1.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great, but for Green Arrow, April 22, 2014
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I thought the first volume of the New 52 Justice League was a solid start to the series, with a lot of potential. This volume continues to build on that potential but doesn't quite fulfill it.

Once again, the artwork is fantastic and calls to mind the JL animated series. In this volume, a new (to me, at least) villain comes onto the scene. He has a personal connection to the team, which is a great way to add urgency to the story. The team will need to confront some inner demons in order to become stronger. Another good tension-builder is Steve Trevor. He was introduced in Vol 1 as the government liaison to the JL. Here his character is given more weight than the pitiable human dumped by Diana. It was a well-executed maneuver that laid the foundation for the much hyped Superman-Wonder Woman relationship. I'm eager to see where the writers go with that since these two characters seem like a perfect match.

What I didn't like about this volume was the shoehorning in of Green Arrow as a way to introduce the spin-off series "Justice League of America." He is so desperate to be a member of the JL that he follows them everywhere like a lost puppy. I have no interest in that team, and Arrow's character was just too campy and downright pathetic here. He wasn't funny, he was silly, which is out of sync with the tone already set in JL Vol 1.

Overall, this was a good continuation of the series and I will continue it. Highly recommended.
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Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey (The New 52)
Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey (The New 52) by Jim Lee (Hardcover - February 5, 2013)
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