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Justice League - Justice on Trial Cover The amazing Spiderman, Peter Parker, once said ‘With great power, comes great responsibility’. And do you know what? This stock phrase used by a Marvel character, is very appropriate to define this adventure involving DC’s premier super-team. As depicted in this 40 minute cartoon made in 2001.

Justice League - Justice on Trial

Poor Green Lantern, John Stewart. He's in a right mess of it at the moment. You see, if it wasn't bad enough that a galactic tribunal sends the mechanized Manhunters to Earth, so that they can fetch him back to stand trial for a crime that he has committed in outer-space. Worst still, is do you know how all of this plays out? On Earth, the Justice League – including Hawkgirl, Flash, Superman, and Martian Manhunter – try their best to bar the Manhunters path, but John is just willing to go with along with them anyway, and relinquish his power-ring in the process.

Very strange that, huh? But do you know why this is so? It is because John believes that he has caused the death of a world – and the intergalactic pirate, Kanja-Ro, confirms this to be true.

However, the Justice League suspects that something is amiss with this peculiar turn of events, and they decide to spit their team in two, to sort this mess out their way. Leaving Flash and Hawkgirl to deal with the galactic tribunal at John’s trail. Whilst Superman and Martian Manhunter go off planet to investigate matters further.

But wait a minute! This is a Bat-free plan. Can it work, huh? Hmm. The Flash likes to think so. Especially when he tries to defend John with Hawkgirl by his side, and manages to stimulate John’s fellow Lanterns – including Kilowog – to defend him, before goading the Guardians to step into the fray as well. As for Superman and Martian Manhunter on the other hand? They do a good job too. And discover the truth behind the planets destruction, leading to a result – a revelation – a battle – and an aftermath, which is disturbing in nature, perilous in tone, and rewarding to all involved.

Kind of.

I like to think that by in large'Justice League - In Blackest Night', is another animated adventure that has managed to give its own spin on comic book lore. In essence, what it has done, is to take preconceived comic book continuity, and then – as always – compress this down into a single narrative.

Green Lantern Vs Manhunter

OK, I am sure that you are wondering to yourself what I mean by all of this. But for me to be able to explain this to you – it’s bullet point time!!! (1) John Steward actually did cause the death of a planet in the prestige format mini-series ‘Cosmic Odyssey’, as well as recently during the 'War of the Green Lanterns'. (2) The Manhunters back-story is fairly consistent with its comic book counterpart – as they were created by the Guardians, and they did try to rebel against them. Still, in the comic books, this was revealed in the ‘Millennium’ crossover event published in 1988, entailing a much more expansive and threatening story-line. (3) The depiction of Hawkgirls animosity against the Green Lantern Corps is something that has been touched upon in the comic books before – paring the Thanagarians against these galactic protectors on many occasions. (4) Kilowog is the trainer of the Corps, and is a very honorable and erstwhile friend to John, Hal, Guy, and Kyle. (5) Kanjar-Ro, the intergalactic pirate, first appeared in Justice League of America #3 back in 1961. Since then he has always been perceived as a bit of prick and a sniveling little villain too. (6) John Steward was the first hero in the DC universe to unveil his secret identity to the public – but did so in a more elaborate way than what he did here. (7) Oa has been attacked many times in the past, and done so by Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan, the Manhunters, and a shed load of other villains also – all focusing there attack on the central power battery. And (8) John Steward was once a Guardian – as seen in the short lived 'Green Lantern: Mosaic' ongoing series.

 Cosmic Odyssey John Stewart as a GuardianKanja Ro

OK, so now I have all of that out of my system, what did I think of ‘Justice League - In Darkest Night’, huh? Hmm? It was fairly good actually. On a positive note, I liked John’s 'Samuel L Jackson' vibe, John's interplay with the Flash, the Superman and Martian Manhunter paring, and some of the cameos filtered throughout the story as well. On a negative note though, Kilowog looked a bit anaemic and out of character in this tale, the fight between Hawkgirl and the Corps appeared too staged, the galactic tribunal should have been better established, and I personally would have preferred a much more expansive tale than the one presented.

Still, you can’t always get everything you want, right? Overall, this was a fairly consistent and thought provoking yarn, and was very reminiscing of an amalgamation of 'The Clone Wars' and 'Police Academy', with a touch of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' for good measure. Well, only if you squint very hard, and take a lot of medication it does. Why not give it a go yourself? But please remember to ask permission from an appropriate adult first, OK.


JUSTICE LEAGUE - IN BLACKEST NIGHT JUSTICE LEAGUE - IN BLACKEST NIGHT Reviewed by David Lee Andrews on September 13, 2011 Rating: 5
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