Review – Justice League Annual #1: At the Edge of the Universe

Comic Books DC This Week
Justice League Annual #1 cover, via DC Comics.

Justice League Annual #1 – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Writers; Daniel Sampere, Penciller; Juan Albarran, Inker; Adriano Lucas, Colorist


Ray – 9/10

Corrina: Epic


Ray: Since the beginning, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV’s Justice League run has been big, bold, ambitious, and maybe a little overwhelming. Justice League Annual #1, with guest art from regular Injustice 2 artists Daniel Sampere and Juan Albarran, collects all those strengths into one issue concluding the first act of the series and launching us into a bigger story. With a full ten double-page spreads, this is one of the most widescreen comics I’ve read in a while, and it perfectly fits a story that takes place at the far reaches of space. The Justice League has decided to restore the Source Wall, and to do that they have to restore the four Entropy Titans to their original places. Teaming up with the Green Lantern Corps, Miss Martian, and Starman, they head to the Source Wall to tow the three remaining Titans into place. There’s just one problem – one of the originals is dead, and in an attempt to fix what was broken, Hawkgirl has offered to take its place and sacrifice herself to the Source Wall.

Kendra being willing to essentially kill herself was a shocking twist and maybe a bit out of nowhere, but being reincarnated so many times must skew one’s sense of mortality. The scenes between her and J’onn were the emotional peak of the issue, but it wasn’t long before a new major threat emerged – in the form of Brainiac, last seen seemingly dying in Justice League: No Justice. His return was always inevitable, but this is a great spotlight for it. The Legion of Doom’s return to the main narrative kicks this story into its second gear, and the ending that finally unleashes Perpetua onto the world is some of the most visually stunning comic book work in a while. After all this hype, Perpetua needs to live up to the buildup as a big bad, but this issue sets up a fascinating status quo with Earth potentially paying the price for the League’s misjudgment. I can’t even begin to guess where this series is going to go as Snyder and Tynion continue, but that’s a testament to the scale they’re playing on.

Justice League Annual #1
The war for the Source Wall. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: What do you do when you’ve the stakes are the survival of the Source Wall of the Universe?

Raise them, of course.

Not only do events not work as the JL had planned, they get worse with the release of Perpetua.

The real joy of this book is in the spectacular double-page spreads, art that perfectly depicts everything from the Source Wall to the massive scale of the Entropy Titans, and then the personal moments, especially when Kendra decides to sacrifice herself. (Gah, I thought, we just basically got her back, and now we lose her?) But that plan goes awry because Brainiac has to mess it all up. (So, silver lining maybe?)

Now what? Another year’s worth of stories, for certain, but unless it’s a full company crossover, I’ll hope that the epic stakes are contained in this series, because otherwise, they could take over the entire company line.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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