[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Pasqual Ferry
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Legion of Doom returns as the history of the Legionnaires Club is revealed! Lex Luthor’s mysterious connection to this ancient secret society runs deeper than even his Legion of Doom comrades ever suspected, and his secrets threaten to destroy everything. A blood connection to the dark underbelly of the DCU’s history bubbles to the surface in this epic, villainous tale.
Once again the Legion of Doom takes over the issue, with the only sign of the Justice League only making an appearance on the Variant cover. Well, nominally it’s a Legion of Doom story, but the focus is on Superman’s two deadliest foes, Luthor and Brainiac.
These two villains have teamed up a number of times in various eras of DC history, and the dynamics of this team has varied significantly, but it has never been an easy pairing with it usually ending with one or both betraying the other.
And this holds true here. When Luthor enters Brainiac’s consciousness, Brainiac announces that he now has Luthor under his control, and that he would henceforth use Luthor as a puppet, while Brainiac takes the power of the Totality for himself.
But Luthor was expecting this move, and he realizes that neither can claim this power alone. Brainiac has the knowledge they need to awake Perpetua, but is unable to do so without making himself as vulnerable as Luthor has made himself vulnerable to Brainiac.
We are also treated to the story of how Vandal Savage used humanity’s greatest minds to delve into the secrets of the Totality – the last of these being Lex’s father, Lionel. Not only does this give us some background on the totality, but gives us a glimpse into Lex’s character.
In the comics, whenever Lex’s father had been mentioned in the past, it had been as a drunken, abusive father who was envious of his son’s brilliance. We now find that although this is the Lionel Luthor that Lex remembers, that Lionel was only like that after Vandal Savage had erased his memory. The unaltered Lionel was in fact somewhat reminiscent of the Smallville TV show’s Lionel – actually on the same intellectual level as his offspring.
James Tynion IV handles the writing chores again this issue. It seems that while Scott Snyder and Tynion are working together on the overall plot of the title, that Tynion is handling the actually scripting for most of the issues. This arrangement is really paying off for the series, because although Snyder is great at pulling together a lot of cosmic ideas into a single story, Tynion has a gift for keeping that story comprehensible for the average reader.
The artist this issue is Pasqual Farry, whose work I haven’t encountered before. His style is a bit different than I’m used to seeing on Justice League, but seems well suited to the book – although it’s hard to say that definitively, considering that he didn’t actually get a chance to draw any of the book’s starring characters this issue. I look forward to seeing his renditions of the Justice League in future issues.
Well, other than the fact that the actual Justice League didn’t make an actual appearance in their own book, I can’t find much fault in this issue. This storyline is taking a rather long time to play out, but that’s understandable given the large number of threads that Snyder and Tynion are weaving together. But we are finally starting to see things coming together. I don’t know when all the plotlines across the DCU are going to converge exactly, but it is becoming clear that it’s headed towards something big.
DC has been teasing that something big is happening across the entire line of DCU titles, and it is clear that Justice League is going to be a pivotal piece of this major event. It still isn’t clear exactly what’s coming, but each issue seems to bring us a step closer, ramping up the anticipation.