Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #25
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Colours: Alejandro Sanchez, Hi-Fi
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Justice League #25: The “Sixth Dimension” storyline wraps up in this oversize issue as Superman faces down the World Forger to save the Justice League! Can Superman withstand the might of a being that can create worlds from nothing?! Plus, with the Justice League away, Mr. Mxyzptlk’s been wreaking havoc! Can anyone on Earth stand up to the fifth-dimensional menace?
This iteration of the Justice League title reaches it’s 25th issue and this milestone is being marked with a new logo and extra pages containing a story leading into DC’s Year of the Villain event.
During this title’s 25 issues, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV have partnered to write the series, passing the writer’s pen back and forth or co-writing the odd issue. This issue, Snyder writes the main story, capping off his Sixth Dimension story, while Tynion pens the backup story leading into Year of the Villain.
This partnership has been working well for the title, with each complementing the other’s strength and weaknesses. For example, Snyder likes to introduce fascinating cosmic concepts that can be rather complex, while Tynion skillfully makes the complexities more accessible to the average reader.
I was very worried when the previous chapters of the Sixth Dimension storyline were portraying Batman as betraying the League and siding with the World Forger. While on one level, Batman leans more to a pessimistic view as opposed to Superman’s optimistic view, I could not see Batman compromising his ideals in any way or turning against his teammates.
I was sure that Batman had some plan up his sleeve. He must have been pretending to side with the enemy until he was in the ideal position to strike against the World Forger. Well, I was right – well sort of.
It turns out that while Batman’s instincts tell him the World Forger’s plan to create a utopian version of the DCU is the best way forward. However, he realizes that he might be reading the situation wrong, so he creates a scenario where Superman can prove him wrong.
This shows how the friendship between the World’s Finest team has evolved. Batman has reached the point where he can trust Superman’s instincts over his own – in ethical questions at least.
So, the League turns against Doom, siding with Justice, refusing to found a perfect world on unjust acts. In doing so, they may have lost their best chance at saving the entire Multiverse. But Batman shows his tactical genius by coming up with a plan that never occurred to the World Forger: for him to join forces with the League against Perpetua and the Legion of Doom.
One of the highlights of this storyline has been the flashbacks to Superman spending time with his son Jonathan. We get another flashback this issue, but this time Clark is the child spending time with the original Jonathan Kent. These flashbacks tell a touching story that convey the optimism in the face of adversity that runs through the Kent family. It is a touching vignette that reminds us of who Superman is and what he stands for.
The backup story is shorter and mainly serves as setup to the Year of the Villain event. In it, the League return to the Third Dimension to discover that much has happened while they were in the Sixth Dimension – and none of it good.
Mera fills them in on what happened in the DCU during their absence and summarizes the events of the DC’s Year of the Villain Special #1, which you can read online here.
Unfortunately, Tynion has a small number of pages and a lot of exposition to impart. But he does deftly manage to bring the readers up to speed and tee up the big event about to kick off across the DC Universe.
While I was relieved to see that Batman hadn’t wholly gone over to the dark side, I still find it hard to accept that he would even consider doing so. While he does often feel that the ends justifies the means, there is a hard limit to that. I refuse to believe that Batman would ever even entertain the idea of wiping out the flawed DCU to replace it with a perfected versions. There have been multiple stories of villains where Batman has fought alongside others to prevent such a plan – one noteworthy example being Zero Hour where Hal Jordan as Parallax was attempting to create a perfect world where nobody would ever have to die.
However, I can grudgingly accept this and write it off as a momentary aberration on behalf of the Batman. Considering that he’s been run through the emotional wringer of late in Tom King’s Batman title, the Darknight Detective might be prone to lapses in judgement right now.
Justice League #25 concludes the Sixth Dimension storyline, and now we finally get to the main event that DC has been teasing for a while now. As we start into this epic crossover event, we will find if Snyder and Tynion’s high-stakes gamble will ultimately pay off or fizzle out. I’m betting on the former.