Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #27
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: James Tynion IV
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Justice League #27: Eons ago, the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor and the World Forger stopped the rise of Perpetua—but can they overcome billions of years of mistrust to work together and do it again?
Plus, Lex Luthor’s offers across the DC Universe haven’t gone unnoticed—Martian Manhunter is aware of “the Offer.” And J’onn J’onnz will pay the price.
Martian Manhunter’s quest to find Luthor leads him instead to Professor Ivo, creator of Amazo. We learn that Luthor had given Ivo the task of creating something called “the Apex Predator”, which is Lionel Luthor’s term for the creatures Perpetua had created from humakind and Martiankind. It appears that recreating Perpetua’s servants is an important part of Luthor’s plans.
Hawkgirl arrives in time to save J’onn and help him defeat Ivo. Kendra tries to talk J’onn to give up his search for Luthor, but is interrupted when Luthor finds them. This issue is part of the Year of the Villain chapter “The Offer”, where Luthor presents various characters around the DC Universe with an offer of something they desire. It isn’t shown what Luthor is offering J’onn, or what he expects in return, but it can’t be good.
I also wonder what J’onn’s reaction will be. Will he reject the offer out of hand, or will he be tempted by it, or might he even actually accept whatever deal Luthor is putting forward?
I also have to take a moment to point out how cool it is that Luthor’s drones appear to be miniature versions of the Hall of Doom.
There is also a short, but touching encounter between Starman and Shayne, the child that J’onn and Kendra never had. Shayne is struggling with the idea that since he came from a timeline that no longer exists. He feels that this means that he doesn’t really exist. Starman sets him right, telling Shayne that he’s made out of possibility: “Possibility exists. Possibility matters.”
I like this exchange. One of the things I liked best about the Will Payton Starman title was that Will was a caring person who valued his relationships with others. It is good to see this side of the character again after all these years.
Meanwhile, the main team, including the World Forger have travelled to Nil, the home of the Monitor. The World Forger explains why there is a single Monitor again instead of 52 by giving a recap of DC’s changing cosmology. Luckily, Tynion is writing this issue, so the explanation is kept relatively simple. It turns out that the rise of the Dark Multiverse in Dark Nights: Metal has caused him to reform into a single being again.
However, the Monitor is despairing and talks of the chill of death. Speaking directly to the Flash he makes reference to Crisis on Infinite Earths, “You, Barry Allen. You most of all must still feel the echoes… the chill of death.” And for a brief, but powerful moment, Barry can remember the echoes of his death in the Crisis.
But the League manages to present the Monitor with the one thing that convinces him to fight on: hope. Hope versus despair is a continuing theme throughout the overarching story in the DCU since the dawn of the Rebirth era. At this point, it seems that the conflict between these two concepts is going to be at the centre of the story’s culmination.
So, the Monitor, like his brother the World Forger did before him, agrees to join the League. But the third brother is going to be the hardest to win over – the Anti-Monitor. It will be interesting to see what argument the League could come up with the recruit the most destructive villain in DC’s history.
The only thing I don’t like is that although this is billed as part of “The Offer” phase of Year of the Villain, the actual part of the story doesn’t come until the tail ending of the story, which ends on a cliff-hanger. The promised offer isn’t even in the issue, but rather teased for the next. This seems to be somewhat deceptive.
However, I would be reading both this and next issue in any case, I haven’t been misled into buying a comic I wouldn’t have otherwise. But I am still a bit annoyed that I have to wait another two weeks to find out what the offer actually is.
Also, hasn’t DC already done the ‘archvillain offering Faustian bargains’ bit before? Yes they have and it was called Underworld Unleashed, where the Demon Neron offered various DC characters their hearts’ desires in exchange for their souls. I think this time, however, it might be different enough to justify DC going back to this well again. I suspect that Luthor’s offers might be an even worse bargain than Neron’s.
We have been promised that every issue of Justice League will now be an event issue, and the team of Snyder and Tynion have been delivering. With the Year of the Villain starting up, it would be a good idea for any DC fan to start reading this title if they aren’t already.