Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #38
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Scott Snyder
Colours: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Justice League #38: “Justice/Doom War” finale! Lex Luthor is triumphant. Perpetua is back to full power and ready to take on the Multiverse, to bend and twist the whole of existence to suit Doom. Has the Justice League finally come up against a foe they can’t defeat? Perpetua is the mother of their universe after all, the original creator. In war, there can only be one winner, and it just may be Doom’s turn to collect the spoils. This issue leads directly into Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1!
In Justice League #39, the League has managed to bring the forces of Justice and Doom back into balance in one small corner of the Multiverse. This has created a bubble in which they stand a fighting chance against Apex Predator Luthor and his army.
However, it is still a difficult fight. Although the previous issues have indicated how powerful Luthor is, we finally see Luthor’s power on full display. He manages to fight the League single-handedly.
This is particularly evident when Superman hits Lex at full power, knocking him through several buildings. Lex gets right back up, saying, “I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be hit by you when you weren’t holding back… Disappointing.”
And just as the League start to get the upper hand, Perpetua herself intervenes. It’s hard to see how the League will prevail against her when they just barely were able to handle her minion, Luthor.
It seemed to me that Lex being turned to a Martian-human hybrid would be a temporary situation. Considering that he absorbed Martian Manhunter to become the Apex Predator, it didn’t seem likely that DC would leave J’onn in that state permanently.
However, it seems that Snyder has plans for Luthor to remain in this form for a while, maybe even permanently. Snyder had introduced a new character, Shayne, who is the son of Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl from a future timeline. Now we see Snyder’s reason for Shayne surviving the dissolution of his timeline. Shayne sacrifices himself to take J’onn’s place as the Martian half of the Apex Predator.
This gives the League the benefit of a much more powerful telepath than Shayne, Jarro, or Miss Martian. But will it be enough now that Perpetua has taken a direct hand in the fight?
It looks like a mighty hero has fallen. Jarro takes what looks to be a fatal blow. However, starfish have amazing recuperative abilities, so perhaps this isn’t the end of Jarro. I hope not anyway, as he and his fantasy of being the greatest Robin have added a bit of appreciated levity to a very tense and dramatic storyline.
With Justice League #38 being the penultimate issue of Scott Snyder’s run on the title, next issue will bring us the conclusion of the Justice/Doom War. While we might assume that the League will be victorious, we also know that this storyline is feeding into the “Hell Arisen” storyline. So, victory isn’t certain. Will it be more of a stalemate? Or might Perpetua and Luthor win? I can’t wait to see how Snyder finishes this story off.