McDuffie and Benes are back at it with The Second Coming Chapter two; Things Fall Apart in Justice League of America #23. This is part two of the return of Amazo! In JLA #22 the Amazo program awoke in the old body of Red Tornado and transferred itself into the new body the JLA was prepping for Red Tornado. As the back drop to this story we have Vixen who is kicked off the team until her power problems are figured out. The story is interesting and intriguing, especially since the last time we saw Amazo he was so easily defeated at the hands of the Justice League. By the way this also happens to be a Sightings issue. I am happy DC has decided to remove the banner they were plastering across the top of all the Sightings issue.

The story opens up with Vixen, Canary, and Zatanna meeting about Vixen’s power problems. Trying to restore the Tantu Totem, Zatanna is repelled when she discovers that Vixen and Animal man are under the magics of a very powerful being, one more powerful than herself. This new villain that will be revealed in upcoming issues is Anansi, the African Spider God. There is an interesting story here in itself that this character is being introduced into the DC world. Anansi is based on African folklore which carried over to Jamaica and has been told for a long time. You can look up various stories about the trickster spider, Anansi on the web. They are very good children tales that teach values and morals in a very interesting way.

That’s for later though the rest of the issue is the Justice League combating the new and improved Amazo. Batman and Black Lightning wake up and quickly alert the Leaguers of the intruder. Superman is already on the job though dealing damage, as much as he can, to the new and improved Amazo. Amazo responds to his assailant by mimicking Firestorms powers and giving Superman a hefty dose of Solar Radiation. Flash is quickly on the scene and there to aide his friend, but Amazo has too many tricks up his sleeves for the speedster who manages to escape by draining the speed from Amazo. It’s a pretty good fight scene and exceptionally narrated from Flash’s perspective. I think Flash is probably only one of a few characters that a writer could pull this narration while in battle concept with.

Amazo has some really good moves here fighting the Leaguers; wrapping Hawkgirl up in a mimicked lasso and keeping Wonder Woman at bay with some fancy heat vision. All comes crashing down on him as Hal uses some of that Guardian approved lethal force in order to severely damage Amazo forcing him into retreat. He phases through the floor and goes into hiding. All of this culminates with Amazo reappearing and dismantling the remaining members of the JLA before targeting Vixen who he deems a higher level threat than any other Leaguer. It was Vixen who single-handedly defeated his last incarnation thanks to her power sapping abilities.

Vixen believing the same will work again begins draining Amazo’s powers, but Anansi warns her it won’t work, either because he won’t allow it or she just can’t. That’s unclear but it is definitely showing how much a liability Vixen is without dealing with this new threat. I like the Anansi introduction into the DCU even if it does seem like a very weird concept to introduce. For Animal Man and Vixen the character as a villain works. The cliff hanger with Amazo poised to kill Vixen was definitely a memorable ending as well.

On the back pages was a farewell to one of the greatest artist in the industry, Michael Turner, whether you agree or not the man’s covers were legendary. His own artwork in Aspen, Marvel and DC are in my opinion are the greatest ever to grace the pages of comics anywhere. Many would say his characters were over done with rippling muscles and fantasy definition, but I looked and saw a man with an understanding of the anatomy and how to make that look dynamic in each panel. He made a superhero come to life and leap off the pages, when I read a comic book with art by Turner I felt that I was reading about gods amongst men and the detailed in each characters and backgrounds were always amazing. He is a great artist that will be missed. Thank you DC for paying respect to the man and the legend who kept putting out comics through his tremendous and inspiring fight with an illness that cripples many.
Benes is a great artist and I love his work on the series.

The only disappointment with this issue is that where is Red Tornado? We have Amazo parading around in his new body and we don’t even get a glimpse of Red Tornado or his wife in the whole issue? Did you enjoy the read?

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