Review: Justice League #2

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Jorge Jimenez

 

Summary

“THE TOTALITY” part two! The League faced an impossible decision…and now they must face the consequences! While Martian Manhunter and Batman attempt to recruit an old ally back into the fold, The Flash and Hawkgirl are blindsided by new challenges that could rewrite their mythologies!

 

Positives

Scott Snyder is taking the Justice League to a truly cosmic scale similar to how Morrison did with his JLA run in the 90s. However, Snyder goes further and dials it up to eleven. The Source Wall is broken, the multiverse is dying, and the Earth is suffering the effects from both.

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At the same time, he is introducing some philosophical concepts and connecting them to familiar elements of the DC Universe. One of these concepts is “Justice,” which he describes as going beyond your base nature to make the world a better place. The other is “Doom,” (in the sense of destiny or fate), which he likens to staying within your limits and true to that base nature.

These concepts are embodied in the Justice League and the Legion of Doom, and the symbols that represent these concepts also intentionally resemble the Hall of Justice and the Hall of Doom, both appearing just as they did in the Super Friends cartoons of the 70s.

This mix of cosmic scale and philosophical ideas is rife with potential. If Snyder can produce a compelling story from these building blocks, it could be a defining era for the League.

There are a few moments of creative brilliance evident in this issue. For example, Batman having the idea to use Swamp Thing’s powers to convey a message to Green Lantern John Stewart in deep space. This very neatly demonstrates Batman’s supreme problem-solving ability.

Also, having Sinestro switching to a new part of the emotional spectrum, Ultraviolet is an interesting development. And it fits much better with his classic costume than Yellow energy did.

Negatives

The high stakes and all the fascinating concepts make for a potentially epic saga, but attempting such a story entails a large creative risk. Readers can lose interest if there isn’t a decent story underpinning all the fascinating ideas being thrown at them. However, I am sure that Snyder is up to the job.

By a strange coincidence, just before reading this issue, I had made a Facebook post mocking a Hot Wheels toy car themed after the Flash. “Why on Earth would the Flash need a car?” I asked.

Then I read this issue, and what is Barry doing? He’s building a “Flashmobile” that can ride the Speed Force. Well, I suppose it’s not as useless a project as it sounds, as he isn’t actually building it for himself, but to help the Titans deal with one of his old villains.

 

Verdict

In the wake of Metal and No Justice, Justice League appears to be the core book of what DC is calling the “New Justice” family, which will also contain Justice League Odyssey, Justice League Dark, and Titans. For better or worse, this puts this title at the forefront of the DCU. And based on the first two issues, I think we’re in for a hell of a ride.

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.