Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #29
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Justice League #29: Does a Starro dream of an electric Justice League? Sensing the danger to come, Jarro fears for his newfound friends. He ponders each one and their potential fate to decide whether he should mentally block them from going forward into what could be certain destruction”—the coming war with the Legion of Doom!
Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV are about to take the Justice League in to the highly anticipated Justice/Doom War storyline. There has been a lot of complex setup to get the League to this point, so a recap of the story so far is somewhat essential, especially for readers who might be coming in late.
As a recap, there is a fair bit of exposition, but Snyder and Tynion build it into a charming tale around it. We get the tale of how Jarro, Batman’s favourite Robin, defeats the Legion of Doom to save the Justice League from their inevitable defeat by the Luthor’s team.
To do this, Jarro has to make the sacrifice of giving into his evil destiny and become Jarro the Conqueror. But things are not as they seem. Jarro has indeed become the Conqueror, but has used his mind control abilities to convince the League that he is saving them from the Legion, when he actually intends to save them by keeping them hidden and under control on the planet of his origin.
However, Batman is able to break free of Jarro’s mind control and talk him down. I find it somewhat surprising, yet effective that it’s Batman who reaches Jarro with a hopeful message. This message being that Jarro is like the universe in that although he was created to be dark, he is fighting to be better than his nature.
There seems to be a touching bond developing between Batman and Jarro. We have seen before that Jarro has adopted Batman as a father figure, but when Batman hugs the little starfish, we realize that Batman actually reciprocates the affection Jarro feels.
We also make a rather unsettling discovery in this issue, as Jarro reveals that his vision of the League’s future: that the League will lose to Luthor’s team, and will be turned into obedient human/Martian hybrid servants of Perpetua. But even in the face of this vision, the Batman convinces Jarro to fight with the League against this near-certain fate.
We also find out that Jarro is potentially a lot more powerful than he appears. However, we also find that the Legion is regrowing the original Starro the from a fragment of the Conqueror. It seems likely that both Jarro and his progenitor are going to figure prominently in the war ahead.
In a delightful nod to League history, there is a panel that shows Jarro the Conqueror fighting the Legion of Doom. This picture is very reminiscent of the cover of The Brave and the Bold #28, where Starro fights the League in a similar tableau, which is beautifully rendered by artist Bruno Redondo.
And I enjoyed the Flash and Green Lantern’s bemusement at being given their “marching orders from a psychic starfish”. It’s a nice moment of levity just as things are about to get very dark for the League.
The only drawback is that there are a number of pages of word-heavy exposition. However, as a recap is needed before heading into the Justice/Doom War, this is forgivable. Even more so, as the Snyder and Tynion have come up with an entertaining pretext for dumping all the exposition on us.
It looks like we are finally reaching the event that everything has been building up to. With the stakes being nothing less than the fate of the entire multiverse and facing almost certain defeat, the League is in for their biggest challenge yet. Grab your popcorn, kids because this is going to be one hell of an event.