Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #58
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Colours: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Justice League #58: “Endless Winter” chapter five! In this turning point issue, the Justice League is scattered across the snow-covered globe, trying to stave off the frozen doom, leaving Green Lantern John Stewart to stand alone. At the Hall of Justice, he begins to piece together clues that could help turn the icy tide that threatens to overwhelm them all. But then an unexpected visitor arrives on cue: the Frost King himself! In the past, however, Queen Hippolyta, Swamp Thing, and Viking Prince witness a terrible decision made by Black Adam-one that will haunt them forever.
Although this is a team book, much of the focus in Justice League #58 is on John Stewart, the League’s current Green Lantern. We see him in Detroit, helping people threatened by the Frost King’s global winter. In particular, he saves and reunites the family of a S.T.A.R. Labs employee, which sets him pondering about family.
At first, John is regretful that he has no family of his own. However, he comes to realize that this isn’t quite true: “I was worried about where I belong… If I’ll ever have a family. This is my family”. The League is more than a team of heroes or a group of friends – they’re a family.
The theme of family is also apparent in the flashback to the Frost King’s first rampage in the 10th Century. Black Adam shows his ruthlessness by putting the villain’s family in his path as a distraction. Adam shows little care for the fate of these innocent civilians, choosing to put their lives at risk to defeat the Frost King.
DC is clearly setting the groundwork for the upcoming Black Adam movie by establishing him as an antihero. In this story he is being presented as a force for good, but very much a believer that the ends justifies the means. While this is somewhat different than his original depiction as a villain, it is very much in line with the way the character has been depicted since the 90s.
I like seeing Detective Chimp sitting in as a member of the League. While he’s a member of the Justice League Dark branch of the team, it’s good to see the main team acknowledging him as a peer and fully deserving of sitting in on their war council.
I quite enjoyed the Xermanico’s artwork. I especially liked the design of Batman’s winterized uniform. While the rest may be protected from the cold by their powers, the fully human Batman would be. And the costume Xermanico drew for him looks like something that would be more practical in the current situation than his regular costume.
As is common with crossover events, the story presented in Justice League #58 will not make a lot of sense outside of the context of the entire Endless Winter story. To fully appreciate the story, you will need to read the other chapters. Unfortunately, this means buying other titles you wouldn’t necessarily buy otherwise if you want the whole story.
Luckily, this is a fairly small crossover event, rather than one that spans the whole DC line over several months. In my opinion, it’s worth the added expense to enjoy the whole story.
However, with the title going from Doom Metal to Endless Winter, and next to the two issue Future State: Justice League mini, I hope we get a break before the next event. It’s getting exhausting, going constantly from one event to the next with no respite in between them.
Justice League #58 was a quite enjoyable chapter in the Endless Winter story, but I hope that when #59 comes out in March, that the title gains some more stability than it has had over the last year. Hopefully, Brian Michael Bendis will be able to provide that stability in his run.