Review – Justice League #25: Batman’s Gambit

Comic Books DC This Week
Justice League #25 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Justice League #25 – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Writers; Jorge Jimenez, Javier Fernandez, Artists; Alejandro Sanchez, Hi-Fi, Colorist


Ray – 9/10

Corrina: Batman: Betrayer or Savior?

Ray: As the first mega-arc of Scott Snyder’s Justice League run comes to a close, he once again proves that there’s no one who can do cosmic action like him. Nothing about his past work made me think he was a natural for big stories of the multiverse, but he’s surprised me in the best way. When we last left off, it was one HELL of a cliffhanger. Batman had betrayed the League and signed up with World Forger’s plan for controlled destruction of the universe to keep Perpetua at bay. He had trapped Superman in a sunless dimension, taken on a powerful new suit of cosmic army, and was about to take on his former teammates singlehandedly. Clearly, Batman’s not becoming a villain, so there’s obviously something more going on here and the way it unfolds in Justice League #25 provides some of the best scenes for Superman in a while. It’s odd that Snyder’s one run on Superman was so forgettable, because his scenes here are among the issue’s highlights.

I could quibble with the fact that Batman’s plan has some gaps in it and World Forger’s eventual alliance with the League comes in a bit of a hurry, but the comic is so thrilling that you get lost in it and the plot is too engrossing to notice minor flaws. Once the Snyder/Jimenez story is over, it’s back to Earth for a backup story focused on Lex Luthor by Tynion and Fernandez. The League has been gone a week and while they’re welcomed back by Mera, Starman, and Jarro (Bruce, let him call you dad, you jerk. And introduce him to his siblings!), things have gone south in their absence. Lex Luthor has urged the world to embrace evil before the end of the world, and riots have ensued worldwide. While the League tries to figure out their next move in a world that has turned on them, Luthor debuts his new form and gets ready to make his offers. As “Year of the Villain” kicks off with this book as its spine, I’m all in on seeing where it goes.

Superman vs. the Universe. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: I could quibble with a few more things, such as how the ambiguity of Batman’s plan is forgotten, how Perpetua as the main villain is still a bit of a snooze, and ditto for the World Forger, as enemy or ally.

But Snyder’s pacing is excellent and he has a knack for getting to the core of these characters, especially Superman, which is what makes this run enjoyable.

The art team handles the bulk of the storytelling of Superman’s break-out from limbo, with callbacks to some classic panels in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. The contrast between the darkness and the light that brings him home is breathtaking. Then the art switches gears to the space fleet and, another switch, to the personal confrontation between the heroes and the World Forger. That’s quite a range.

I like the characterization that allows for the World Forger to be persuaded to help, rather than be utterly defeated. I have lingering questions about his pocket universe, however, such as what’s “real” and what are creations of his mind that were supposed to fool the Justice League.

Jarro continues to be a hoot.

And the Year of the Villain plotline rolls on. :sigh: Again, my least favorite thing in an event, with the villains taking over, a downer for the returning team. (And for me.)

Snyder’s run hasn’t been perfect. But it has held my attention.

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

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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