Justice League #2 – Scott Snyder, Writer; Jorge Jimenez, Artist; Alejandro Sanchez, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: After reading the first issue, my first impression was that Scott Snyder’s take on the Justice League was going to be heavily inspired by the legendary Justice League Unlimited cartoon. There’s still that element, but this issue makes me think another heavy influence is going to be the classic Super-Friends cartoon as filtered through a modern, darker lens. That shouldn’t work, but somehow, it does. It works very well.
Justice League #2 is much less cosmic and overwhelming than the first and continues to split the action neatly between the heroes and the villains. Although I really liked Lex Luthor’s brief flirtation with heroism in the Rebirth Superman line, a return to full villainy for him was always inevitable and Snyder’s take is unique. Possessed with a new sense of messianic destiny, this is a more manic Luthor than we’ve ever seen before. He’s a bit senselessly petty in the opening scene when he terrorizes an American Legion outpost, but this Luthor embraces the mad scientist vibe while maintaining the intelligence and ruthlessness of the modern version.
John Stewart is coming into this story not as a League member, but as a recruit that J’onn is bringing in for his unique abilities. The issue shows Snyder has clearly done his research when it comes to the characters’ history, as it ties in heavily with John’s greatest regret – the destruction of the planet Xanshi. That makes this a more fleshed-out take on John Stewart than we’ve gotten in a long time – most people just tend to write him as “Stoic leader guy”. There’s a lot of plot twists in this issue, including a mysterious baby with some sort of power, a potential lost Lantern frequency that may be tied into the Dark Multiverse, and a new costume change for Sinestro. The visuals by Jorge Jimenez are spectacular, especially when it’s revealed exactly what fell from the sky the last issue.
This is the kind of Justice League run where it feels like something huge, cosmic, and devastating is coming, and a team like this is truly necessary. It could be too driven by action, but so far Snyder’s characterization is top-notch. I and a lot of people were sorry to see Priest go, but the franchise seems to be in very good hands.
Corrina: I thought the opening issue was a bit too busy but the Martian Manhunter’s narration kept all the disparate parts together. Justice League #2, however, jumps around a great deal. It’s ambitious and Snyder is obviously intent on playing with a huge cast of characters. I have to admire him for that.
There are also some great visuals, such as Batman speaking through Swamp Thing in order to contact John Stewart and gain his help.
There is nothing that is not spectacular about the art in this book, from the double-page spread of the fight against the mutated Croc to the close-ups in John’s spaceship.
While Ray sees the JLU influence, I see Grant Morrison, in the choice the more over-the-top elements, such as the ships inside the bodies of our heroes. (Maybe it does call back a bit to the JLU episode where all hands are on deck, which includes Batman’s classic line of not being able to fly. At all.)
But I’m not comfortable with this continued focus on how the “heroes broke the universe.” Maybe that’s because it seems lately that the DC heroes can’t ever get a win. There’s a balance to superhero stories of the darkness and the hope and it feels like they’ve crossed the line into darkness lately, especially with our main heroes. I’m also not thrilled with Barry’s characterization, where he seems childish in his objections. I did likeHawkgirl’ss line about having driven every kind of car but, so far, she’s been given nothing useful to do.
With all the ambitious elements of this book, it’s essential that a reader starts at the beginning, so if you missed issue #1, you’re going to be wildly confused.
However, I suspect it will read well in a complete, collected edition. But for now, I’m a little confused as yet.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.