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Another month is rapidly passing by and once again readers have been presented with another installment with the best ongoing series that has the words “Justice League” in the title. Unsurprisingly, it is once again the series that has the least to do with anything JL-related. That’s right, for JLA’s Vibe has proven itself to be in top form for August.
Excluding the added benefit of not being wrangled up within the steadily decreasing in quality “Trinity War”, JLA’s Vibe has been able to sculpt it’s own story. As of now JLA’s Vibe has become so secluded as to actually be a standalone. It can stand tall and independent within itself, which will perhaps be the most mystifying thing about this whole endeavor when everything is said done. While it was marketed as a leech upon the more hyped up and marketed Justice League of America, it has it’s own pantheon of characters, supporting characters, and mythology that it is weaving – and with JLA’s Vibe #7 it finally makes it’s last disconnect.
The biggest aspect of this series, both narrative and character wise, clearly been has been the focus on family. Much like the pre-“New 52” Blue Beetle series, the whole dichotomy between secret identities and heroic identities do not real hold any sway. Vibe’s personal life has been an integral part of his role in greater DC Universe, which it all finally coming to a grandiose head within these pages. Vibe’s brother Dante has become the centerpiece of the inner turmoil that lies inside of Vibe.
Due to the fact that since page one of the title the readers have been put along this track along with Vibe, getting a real feel for the family dynamics, and the general camaraderie between the two – the audience cares along with Vibe that Dante has been placed in mortal danger. Not only Dante, but the incredible revelation that Vibe’s long-dead brother Armando is not only still alive – but indoctrinated toward the side of evil. Of course, this all sounds insurmountably silly and contrived, but it works because it’s been something excruciatingly built up.
Saddled along with point that JLA’s Vibe has never taken itself completely or wholeheartedly seriously. One of the main indicators of this has been the use of puns in issue titles, or in referencing various famous songs and pop culture. The balance of both the light and heavy are near perfect, relatively, in this issue that sees Vibe take a beating both physically and mentally. At its core, however, it is a plain transition between story arcs issue – in that it simply picks up the previous month’s pieces and sorts through them in order to lead into the next story.
So, while on the story front, everything is nice and steady it is the art that once again find the right median between silly and serious and portrays that tone page by page. Pete Woods was a good fit for the first couple of issues, but he has received a worthy successor in Andres Guinaldo, whose work is fun to look at and also very tightly constructed. There’s nothing truly revolutionary going on, but it is a good display of the fundamentals, and that is its own achievement. JLA’s Vibe will be put on hold throughout September due to the onset of “Villain’s Month”, which only serves to make the next installment more tantalizing.