The Justice League are facing several problems. Actually, ‘problems’ is understating things enormously. There’s new villain team The Legion of Doom. The mystery incursion they’re calling The Totality. The predicted end of the Multiverse in a year’s time. And the evil planet Umbrax that’s out to pull a corrupted Earth into its evil galaxy.
I think that’s its deal, anyway. There’s no recapping worth a damn this issue – if you’ve not been reading Justice League every two weeks and borrowed Batgirl’s eidetic memory, you have three options. Get onto Google, go with it and let the comic wash over you, or throw the thing across the room – which could cause a mess if you’re reading on a tablet.
I just read on, remembering little bits here and there, such as the two revealed ‘hidden forces’ that complement the Speed Force – the Still Force and the Invisible Emotional Spectrum. It’s the former that the Flash taps into in order to close the Cosmic Membrane and shut Earth away from Umbrax.
The Invisible Emotional Spectrum, meanwhile, has been harnessed by renegade Green Lantern Sinestro in a bid to recruit Green Lantern John Stewart to his dastardly cause.
Legion of Doom organiser Lex Luthor is trying to get to the Totality, but Hawkgirl has no intention of letting him access it via his, er, magical doorknob.
The other Leaguers – J’onn J’onnz, Cyborg, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman – are offering physical and emotional support in their various ways… the one who gets the big moment is Aquaman.
So, the Umbrax problem is ended, but everything else is still on the table. After the action, writer Scott Snyder closes the issue with character moments and plot movements involving the greater Justice League.
Hey, look, Adam Strange and Animal Man are there, alongside the main JL and JLDark – either Justice League United still exists (oh, please!) or the Rolodex doesn’t go beyond A. For me, this sequence was the most enjoyable part of the book. I love expository dialogue and heroes hanging out. I also love the Nineties character who makes a surprise appearance (wrong logo, mind!).
I hate hate HATE the villain who appears on the final page. They’re the new Joker’s Daughter in terms of a badly conceived character who just keeps showing up.
Still, I certainly got my money’s worth this issue. Yes, I wish Snyder – talented scribe and lovely chap – wasn’t so blatantly writing for a collected edition, but for epic madness, this is hard to beat. And it’s not like Snyder doesn’t showcase the heroes’ personalities during the conflict. I especially enjoyed this…
…because yes, before someone decided John Stewart had been a marine, he designed buildings.
This is a great bit of chivvying from Diana.
And it’s not like the big concepts go entirely unexplained. Here’s what the Totality is all about.
So basically, it’s the creamy filling in a space Twinkie. But it no doubt tastes better than sugary wallpaper taste.
Moment of the issue?
One thing I’m not getting is why the Joker is hanging out with the Legion of Doom. Yeah, the story is a bit mad, so yes, Joker, but really, he’s a lunatic killer, there’s no reason to have him on the team rather than, say, a brawler or a spellbinder or another evil genius. Still, the story’s not over yet… but Lordy, I am so very sick of the Joker, he’s totally overused.
Jim Cheung, who kicked off the series, is back on pencils, inked by Mark Morales, Dexter Wong and someone called Jim Cheung. The pages look good, for the most part – there’s one that’s just off – in a Jim Lee/Scott Williams way. There’s plenty of action, and the storytelling is thoroughly decent… I do wish, though, that the super-packed script had left room for Cheung to deliver a massive moment or two, show why he’s such a big name.
Tomeu Morey’s colours are asked to do a lot of work, telling us about emotions and environments, with a side helping of special effects, and they don’t let us down. Letterer Tom Napolitano, meanwhile, has fun with fonts, especially when Superman takes the Mickey out of Batman. Holy Gothic!
The aforementioned Jim Lee and Scott Williams provide this issue’s variant cover, with colourist Alex Sinclair. It’s nice, but just a Superman pin-up… I want the Justice League. The regular cover by Cheung, Morales and Morey is more arresting, being a story-specific image featuring an amazing three Leaguers (mind, it took me a second or two to spot J’onn, he may as well not be there). Those colours are gorgeous.
All in all, this is a fun conclusion to The Totality sequence, if not the overall storyline. Loose ends abound, but knowing Scott Snyder’s admirable ability to commit to a book, we don’t have to worry about seeing things play out. If only, though, someone would commit to a recap page.