Neil Gaiman’s Lady Justice Vol. # 2 (graphic novel review)

June 28, 2017 | By | Reply More

Lady Justice is a vengeful spirit who lends her powers to downtrodden women. When they don the white blindfold they become her avatars and have kickass powers. This is the second volume of ‘Lady Justice’ stories and it starts anew with number one. The first run was cancelled but they had another stab at it. Actually, the first story here is from Neil Gaiman’s Wheel Of Worlds Vol. 1 # 1 and features our old mate Henry Phage aka the Teknophage of Kalighoul, an alternative Earth he rules. They’re having a contest to find or create the perfect woman and Lady Justice gets involved. Scripted by Bruce Jones and drawn by a confusion of artists, it wasn’t the usual fare but it’s always nice to see Mister Phage strutting his reptilian stuff.

The second run of Lady Justice’s own title starts with ‘Slow Death’ written by C.J. Henderson and pencilled and inked by Fred Harper who can draw a girl. It’s about smooth gigolo Enrici getting his just desserts from the woman in the blindfold. You could guess the ending from the start but it unfolded nicely.

Usually, there are story arcs that stretch over several issues with a different writer and artist for each arc. This resumes in issue # 2 with ’Control Freak’ a four part yarn written by Rich Rainey and pencilled by Chris Marrinan with various inkers. Brigitte Diamond has been an assassin for some secret agency ever since Doctor Thorne messed with her mind. He’s quite different to the Doctor Thorne envisaged by Anthony Trollope. It was a good James Bond-style caper and a gorefest as usual. Marrinan’s art seemed to vary greatly. Pages 96-98 were very well rendered, reminding me somewhat of those old Batman stories pencilled by Irv Novick. In other places, it seemed to go a bit wonky or stylised, perhaps, but the storytelling was always clear and that’s the main thing.

Issues # 6-8 is another long story with the overall title ‘Woman About Town’. The script is by Daniel Brereton and the art by Fred Harper. Lady Justice helps Jordan Hackett, a parole officer whose sister has become involved with a naïve young criminal. She gets tangled up in a drugs war. This had interesting characters: a ruthless gang boss, a dumb henchman, a smart henchman and a few innocents caught up along the way. The ending was somewhat unexpected.

Alas, ‘Neil Gaiman’s Lady Justice’ didn’t succeed on its second run neither and folded after number # 9, an interesting first part to a story about a ghetto schoolboy gang boss. I liked the principled Principal who had started out thirty years before with high ideals of educating the young and ended up bitter and disillusioned as things got worse and worse. He’s one of those whiny liberals who can‘t accept the new ways. Loser! Still, his heart was in the right place.

Plastering Neil Gaiman’s name all over this line of comics from the Sci-Fi Channel people didn’t guarantee success. However, Neil Gaiman’s Lady Justice Vol. # 2 is an excellent example of its time, the 1990s, and this volume is good value for money with over 200 pages and high production values. The stories are solid, the art generally capable. Worth a look for genre fans.

Eamonn Murphy

June 2017

(pub: NBM/Papercutz, 2016. 232 page graphic novel softcover. Price: $14.99 (US), $20.99 (CAN), £13.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-62991-480-0)

check out website: www.nbmpub.com/

Category: Comics, Superheroes

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About the Author ()

Eamonn Murphy lives in the west country and grew up reading Asimov, Heinlein, lots of other old SF and Marvel Comics. After many years hard labour he has settled down to a quiet life with a nice lady, two rescue dogs and four ducks. He writes reviews for crowsnest and a few short stories, some of which even get published in obscure magazines. His self-published (Beware!) horror novel 'Arnos Hell' set in a Bristol graveyard is available on Amazon as a kindle book. His YA novelette 'The Brigstowe Dragons' will be published shortly by Alban Lake. He seldom blogs at https://eamonnmurphyblog.wordpress.com/

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