Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #28
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Javier Fernandez, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Justice League #28: The Apex Predator rises! Justice-Doom War is coming! This is the culmination of the Legion of Doom’s master plan, and they will take the Justice League to far-out places they may never return from”¦and do things the DC Universe may never recover from.
At the end of last issue, we saw Lex Luthor make an offer to Martian Manhunter. This issue, we find that Luthor’s offer was merely a pretext to lure J’onn into a trap. Perpetua’s servants had once been a mix of Human and Martian DNA, making them the Multiverse’s apex predator. Luthor intends to absorb J’onn into himself to fully become a new Apex Predator and rule in Perpetua’s name.
Although J’onn and Hawkgirl put up a worthy fight, Luthor manages to absorb J’onn’s essence and has his apotheosis. This makes Lex the most powerful he’s ever been, but it also makes me wonder if he hasn’t planted the seeds of his own downfall here. I wonder if J’onn’s consciousness still remains in some corner of their shared being. Could J’onn still manage to have an effect on Lex, consciously or subconsciously.
With Luthor’s offer to J’onn turning out to be a trap, it makes me wonder how many of the other offers Luthor are traps, or at least devils’ bargains that end up benefitting Lex, but not the person taking the offer. Even at the height of Lex Luthor’s benevolence, he hardly was the trustworthy type, but now that he’s given himself over totally to evil, it is hard to imagine that any offer from him is worth taking.
Meanwhile, Starman, Shayne, and Jarro attempt to use their combine abilities to see into the future to see what what lies ahead. Unfortunately, all Starman sees in the future is the “end of everything”. My suspicions are that there is indeed a cosmic cataclysm looming as the current Year of the Villian and Justice: Doom War dovetails into Doomsday Clock, and that this event will be the occasion for a major continuity reset.
I also wonder if the trio of Starman, Jarro, and Shayne will become a force to be reckoned with. Each of them are fairly new additions to the extended League, and have clearly been brought into the story to serve a purpose. What this purpose could be is hard to imagine, but I’m sure Snyder and Tynion have something in mind.
As for the core team, they are in the antimatter universe of Qward, searching for the Anti-Monitor. They find that the Anti-Monitor has departed, but instead find themselves confronted by a contingent of the Legion of Doom: Cheetah, Grodd, and Sinestro.
This leads to the League executing a tactic they rarely use: immediate retreat. This comes as a bit of a surprise to readers. It’s not often that we see the League backing down from a fight, but it shows that the League is taking the current crisis seriously. There was too much chance of losing that particular battle, so they chose to back off and face the Legion of Doom later.
I can’t find much to criticize about this issue. Sometimes Scott Snyder lets the story get lost in the exploration of the complex cosmology he has created for his overarching story, but this issue is written by James Tynion IV, who is great at keeping the story on track and moving the plot forward.
There is also the matter of this issue being part of the Year of the Villain event spreading across most of DC’s entire line. Often this necessitates readers having to buy all the tie-ins to understand the main story. However, it seems that the essential part of the story is happening here, allowing you to skip the tie-ins without losing track of the plot. But completionists may still feel some pressure to buy them all.
Snyder and Tynion have now set up the ultimate high-stakes fight between the forces of Justice and Doom. The entire multiverse is on the line and Lex Luthor is at the height of his power. Justice League looks to be the title where the fate of the entire DCU is going to be determined. Skipping this story is not an option for any serious DC fan.