Review: Justice League #13

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

Writer: James Tynion IV

Artists: Guillem March

Colors: Arif Prianto

Letters: Tom Napolitano

 

Summary

It’s on—the Totality will totally total the Multiverse! What could possibly go wrong when the Legion of Doom gets their hands on it? Plus, what is the connection between JUSTICE LEAGUE and the new BATMAN WHO LAUGHS miniseries from Scott Snyder and Jock?

 

Positives

In 2013, DC gave us “Villains Month” to tie in with Forever Evil. Each regular DC comic featured a different supervillain, whose name would be scrawled over the regular logo. In a callback to this event, this month we have Legion of Doom #13 with the Justice League missing from their own book.

Instead of the two groups fighting, the conflict is within the Legion of Doom, between Lex Luthor and the Joker. The Joker doesn’t like that Lex is working with The Batman Who Laughs, sensing a deep wrongness about this alternate version of Batman. For once, there’s a line that’s too insane for the Joker to cross that Luthor isn’t afraid to.

This puts the Joker and Luthor in a fight for control for the Legion of Doom, in which the Joker shows exactly dangerous he is by outthinking Luthor. Then he willingly gives control back to Luthor, as he had only shown how deadly he could be just to make the point that the Batman Who Laughs is even worse.

This issue sees the addition of several new members like the Riddler, Solomon Grundy, Scarecrow, and Giganta. Although they don’t stick around, this is a nice nod to the Super Friends cartoon, as most of the new members were also on the cartoon version of the team.

But this issue also sees Brainiac being introduced to the team, who was also in the cartoon Legion. With the addition of Brainiac, the team gains a heavy hitter to replace the departing Joker. And on top of that, Luthor has possession of the Totality.

 

Negatives

Scott Snyder has been bringing together a complex web of complicated concepts, which has made Justice League a difficult title to follow at times. It takes a careful reading. Luckily, James Tynion IV has written some of the issues, and his issues tend to keep the story grounded and clarifying the concepts Snyder has introduced.

I’m not saying that Snyder’s writing is bad, but in this particular case, the story is definitely helped by his collaboration with Tynion. Hopefully they will continue their teamwork on this title.

 

Verdict

This was a fascinating break from the normal Justice League story, which gives a unique look at the Joker. He’s been shown as evil, murderous, and even sometimes a comedic buffoon. But this issue shows that despite his insanity, he has a brilliance that can outpace Lex Luthor’s

 

 

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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.