DC Comics' "Infinite Frontier" reboot continues with Justice League #59, in which Brian Michael Bendis introduces a brand new Justice League villain: Brutus. Unlike the more "complex" and "complicated" villains in modern superhero comics, Brutus is blessedly simple bad guy (at least at first glance). The horned brute simply appears on Earth and lets the Justice League know his intentions in no uncertain terms: "I'll keep it simple - ALL of this is mine now!" Even though some DC fans may look at Brutus as cartoonishly arch, the issue has a few clues there may be more to the villain than there initially seems to be.
Warning: Justice League #59 SPOILERS Follow!
Brutus makes his appearance in the skies above Black Adam's city of Kahndaq. Not surprisingly, Adam isn't the most welcoming host to Brutus, and tries to instantly take the villain down. However, Brutus is able to go toe-to-toe with Black Adam, while being amused at the "power level you're flexing!" Brutus wants to know if Adam is the ruler of Earth - presumably to know who to beat down. He has Black Adam on his back when the rest of the Justice League finally arrives.
Superman doesn't care for the villain's mouthy threats, and simply tosses him into the atmosphere; if anything, the Man of Steel is just happy that Black Adam was being a good guy. Brutus falls back Earth and goes a few rounds with Aquaman (and his sharks) before there's a slight twist in the battle.
When Aquaman serves up Brutus to be smacked down by Hawkgirl, the villain has some kind of truly bizarre energy-based reaction to the Thanagarian Nth metal mace. That interaction makes Brutus retreat into a dimensional portal, declaring that "I was clearly ill-prepared for this. I see that now. So pause. But I will be back. And better equipped." As black Adam also predicts, this "invasion" is far from over.
So far, Brutus is no Darkseid. He seems like a thin arch-villain alien warlord type - Mongul with horns. But again, that knee-jerk reaction may be purposeful misdirection. The villain's delivery makes it seem as though there could be a twist like Brutus actually being a younger or more timid being with some kind of enhancement. If it's, say, a mystical enhancement, it would explain the Nth Metal reaction. That's all speculation, but there is something unusually juvenile about Brutus' disposition. We'll surely find out more when he returns.
Justice League #59 is now on sale from DC Comics.