[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Jim Cheung, Mark Morales, Walden Wong
Colours: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
It’s wall-to-Source-Wall Justice League action as artist Jim Cheung rejoins writer Scott Snyder! Hawkgirl takes wing against Legion of Doom leader Lex Luthor; John Stewart faces off with old foe Sinestro; the Flash must run down the Still Force-empowered Gorilla Grodd; and Wonder Woman tackles the tag team of Black Manta and Cheetah—underwater, no less!
The Justice League fights the Legion of Doom in a battle of the fundamental forces for control of the Totality. John Stewart uses the Speed Force in the form of Barry’s Flash Car, facing Sinestro and the Ultraviolet emotional spectrum. Martian Manhunter telepathically reaches out to the entire human race, encouraging them to accept their weaknesses to turn them into strength – which has the effect of turning the Earth into a White Lantern.
And winning the battle against these forces seems to hinge on the Flash mastering the Still Force. In doing so, Barry realizes that Stillness involves seeing the entire map or plan of reality, which fills him with dread. However, he overcomes this, which allows the Leaguers to prevail in each of their fights.
However, it seems that winning the fight and possession of the Totality leaves the League with the question of what the League is to do if it turns out that the Legion of Doom is correct and that reality is essentially evil. Batman’s response to this question is, “We justice harder.” If the world is essentially unjust, the League will have to fight to make it just.
Also, the league are left with a number of mysteries. Hawkgirl’s Nth metal wings glow when near the Totality and now show the ability to heal themselves. But her wings’ connection to the Totality is unknown. Also, when John Stewart breaks free from the Ultraviolet Corps, a new green ring appears on his hand. But he doesn’t know exactly what it is or how it works.
After the battle, there is a meeting of more than one Justice League team. Present are members of the Justice League, Justice League Dark, and surprisingly Adam Strange and Animal Man are present. Is the Justice League United still active and also working out of the Hall of Justice?
Plus, we get a couple of surprise characters popping up at the end of the issue, who look to figure in the League’s near future. First, after his team’s failure to acquire the Totality, Lex turns to the Batman Who Laughs for help. While at the Hall of Justice, the Will Payton Starman appears, holding Jack Knight’s Cosmic Staff. He states, “I come from the past. I have all the answers you seek! But to learn them… three of you… must die!” Quite the portentous ending.
There are a lot of high concept ideas flying around, which Snyder has to weave together into a cohesive story. So far, it seems to be working, but Snyder has set himself a daunting task. I have found the story to be comprehensible so far, but it takes careful reading, but I think that if I had attempted to read this when I was still a kid, I might have had no idea what was going on. I feel there are probably some readers that are confused by this title, and I hope that further installments help clear things up for them so that they don’t give up and quit following the story.
With Metal and No Justice, Snyder has created a number of threads through the entire DCU, and it seems that the threads are converging in Justice League. By telling a story on such a large-scale, Snyder takes a large risk of the whole story falling flat, but so far his risk is paying off.