Review: Justice League #21

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

Writers: Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez

Artist: Jorge Jimenez

Colours: Alejandro Sanchez

Letters: Tom Napolitano

 

Summary

The Justice League pulls back the curtain on their futures and learns that not everything is what they’ve seen. The team goes to confront the Justice League of Tomorrow for the truth, but can they handle it? Meanwhile, with his powers waning, Superman struggles to remain hopeful on a world with no sunlight.

 

Positives

The supposed Superman of the future is revealed to be the World Forger, son of Perpetua and creator of the Multiverse. And if Mxyzptlk is to be believed, he could be the most powerful being in the Multiverse, or at the very least, on a par with his brothers, the Monitor and Anti-Monitor.

I find it interesting that the World Forger isn’t so much evil as he is the ultimate expression of the end justifying the means. He presents the League with the possibility of guiding their universe into being a paradise, but at the price of permanently imprisoning every person who would side with Doom over Justice.

Also, to try to convince the League to side with him, the Forger has no problem of imprisoning Superman for the rest of his life, and not caring if he lives or dies in his lonely prison. While the Forger seems to honestly want the Multiverse to side with Justice, but he doesn’t appear to have much inclination towards practicing it himself. Could it be that he is actually trying to steer the Multiverse towards Doom instead of Justice?

Usually when the League is being presented with a scenario that seems too good to be true, you expect Batman to be the holdout, retaining his suspicion even after the others are convinced. It is striking that we see Batman tempted to forsake his ideals to attain this possible paradisiacal world, while the others realize they can’t sacrifice the Multiverse’s evildoers to realize this utopia for everyone else.

Although the cosmology can be challenging to follow, the basic plot of the issue is that the League are given a Faustian choice. They can make the world into a paradise and aligning the Multiverse with Justice. But to do so, they have to act unjustly. Their ultimate refusal to do show is the ultimate expression their dedication to Justice, even though it may doom the multiverse.

 

Negatives

Once again, Snyder is adding layers of complexity to the DC cosmology. I have a feeling that some readers are probably going to be left confused or misunderstand what is going on in this story. Perhaps we need James Tynion IV to step in help explain things again.

 

Verdict

This issue shows the team refusing to give up their ideals, even though reality itself is at stake. Just when I think Snyder’s raised the threat level as high as it can go, he seems to nudge the stakes a bit higher. I can’t wait where this is all leading.

 

 

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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.