It’s a fine day in Metropolis. The Source Wall is broken, the Legion of Doom are trying to wake an elder god, but the Justice League members are smiling.
And they have a plan. Facing incredible omniversal forces, who better to help than one of the most powerful beings in creation?
As it happens, the League’s wrecking the Source Wall has had a deleterious effect on Mxy’s Fifth Dimensional home and so he’s willing to help. He tells the heroes about the next dimension up from his own, a place so bizarre that only his longtime antagonist, Superman, can go there and stay sane…
What happens next, I won’t spoil, because if you weren’t planning to try this issue, let me recommend it to you. Scott Snyder continues the story he’s been telling since this book’s inception, and while I’ve been wearied by the endless march of maguffins and raft of revelations – last issue’s Legion of Doom side story by Snyder’s usually entertaining protege James Tynion IV should have been called ‘Justice League Exposition’, it was such a non-stop infodump – this issue feels wonderfully refreshing. It reminds me of when Chris Roberson came in and rescued Superman from J Michael Straczynski’s Grounded arc – overnight, a pretentious pudding of a storyline became an explosion of imaginative popcorn. The heroes here take their jobs seriously, but without undue grimness, making for a hugely fun read; a new perspective on Mxy and fellow imp Bat-Mite is intriguing; and as for what happens when Mxy sends Superman through a doorway to the unknown… wow. That credits page gag about glasses is a wonderful take on an old joke, and it’s fun to see that old Mxy classic, the city that comes to life.
Jorge Jimenez is back on the art and his work is looking better than ever. From the nicely naturalistic Daily Planet scene that opens the issue to the dark final page via the marvellous Mxy mischief, this is a treat for the eye. Jimenez and colourist Alejandro Sanchez are on the same page, page after page. Jimenez is likely extra-enthusiastic because he’s co-plotting this time… good on Scott Snyder for ensuring his collaborators – and readers – have an ever-improving experience.
Letterer Tom Napolitano tones Mxy’s word balloons to match his outfit, a terrific touch I’ve not seen previously.
The main cover by Jimenez and Sanchez is fun, but a little too chaotic – it could do with looking a tad more like a metropolis attacking, those Venus flytrap cars don’t scream ‘city’. There’s a variant from Rob Liefeld that’s pleasant enough; mind, it doesn’t half look like Batman is carrying Wonder Woman’s stupid sword.
With a little luck, this magical Mxyzptlk tour will be equally entertaining next issue.