Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #35
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colours: Francis Manapul, Hi-Fi
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Justice League #35: This issue: Lex Luthor wins! Everything Lex has been working for over the past year and a half comes to fruition as he finally possesses the fully powered Totality and plans to bend Hypertime to his will. The Legion of Doom’s leader will defeat the Justice League once and for all and make his final pitch to serve at Perpetua’s side—and the Multiverse will never be the same!
Well, this is a situation we’ve never seen the Justice League in before: completely defeated. We’ve seen them lose battles before, but they quickly regroup and win the final conflict. But this time, it’s the final conflict – THE final conflict on which the fate of the Multiverse itself depended on.
So where does the League go from here?
Batman, as ever, refuses to acknowledge that there’s nothing they can do. When Batman declares that they need to get assemble everybody to regroup. “You mean say goodbye,” Jarro insightfully comments. When Batman denies this, Jarro adds, “I read minds, Dad.”
And if you had any doubts about how bad things are, Snyder and Tynion show us a triumphant Perpetua wiping out an entire universe. Earth-19, the world of the Batman from Gotham By Gaslight is now no more. And Perpetua states her intention to do likewise with any other universe that sides with Justice over Doom.
In the aftermath of their defeat, there are a some interactions that stand out as somewhat poignant. Aquaman makes an attempt to clear the air with Mera, but she rebuffs him, stating, “Not now.”
And When John Stewart offers to return the Justice Society to their own time, Alan Scott demonstrates the heroic attitude of the JSA: “It sounds like you’re in for the fight of your lives. The Justice Society isn’t going anywhere.” The original super team refuses to give up while they are still needed.
This issue marks crosses over into a number of Year of the Villain tie-in issues. We see a number of scenes of various characters throughout the Multiverse noticing Perpetua’s symbol of Doom in the sky. Some of these vignettes are right out of the tie-ins.
One of these scenes shows the Crime Syndicate of America on Earth-3 gazing upon Perpetua’s symbol. “Looks like the Multiverse is about to become our kind of place.” Nearly two decades ago, Grant Morrison wrote a story about their world, called JLA: Earth Two. Morrison put forward that the main DC universe favoured good over evil, and good would always eventually win. Earth-3 is the opposite, with evil as the ultimate victor.
It seems that Snyder and Tynion have picked up on this idea. Under Perpetua’s reign, all the universes will be reoriented on evil/Doom or they will be destroyed.
As the issue closes, Perpetua sends Luthor off to finish off the task by killing the Justice League. It looks as if the League has one more battle ahead of them, a battle to survive in Perpetua’s Multiverse.
There doesn’t seem much grounds for complain this issue. Some crossovers make each tie-in issue compulsory to understanding the overall event. While it appears that the crossover issues add to the story, it does not seem that they necessary to follow the story happening in the main Justice League title – so far, anyway. But the glimpses we see of those other issues are likely to pique the interest of the reader, giving an incentive to check them out.
The big questions now are how will the Justice League survive the upcoming battle, and how can they come back from this big defeat. Snyder and Tynion have dug a very deep hole for the League. Now they have to come up with a satisfying way for them to escape.