Justice League #26 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Javier Fernandez, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: The New Crisis on Infinite Earths
Ray: James Tynion and new artist Javier Fernandez jump on board for an issue, Justice League #26, following the conclusion of the massive 6th dimension storyline, and they don’t miss a beat in continuing to increase the stakes in the most epic Justice League run in years. After the League’s return from another world and Lex Luthor’s ultimatum to the rest of the planet, it’s all hands on deck for the heroes of the DCU. But one hero isn’t back at the Hall of Justice planning – he’s off following his own leads. J’onn J’onnz, the current leader of the League, is undercover as Detective John Jones and is following a series of leads to find proof that Lex Luthor is still alive – and tempting ordinary people towards their darkest desires. These segments are Tynion at his creepy best, even though this isn’t a horror book – the settings are eerie and the depictions of people being turned towards evil with a suggestion are reminiscent of some of Luthor’s best stories.
But the segments within the Hall of Justice are even better, as we see what all hands on deck truly looks like for the Justice League. Superman addressing the Hall of Heroes, containing Justice Leagues from across the Multiverse, is amazing. I never thought I’d see Red Rain Batman and Captain Carrot playing roles in a mainstream Justice League issue, but here we are. All the sub-teams ranging from the Justice League Dark to the Terrifics and even the dysfunctional Teen Titans are coming into play, with the League whipping them into fighting shape. The mysteries involving Starman and Jarro continue to evolve, but it’s Hawkgirl who really shines as she comes into a leadership role here. Here complex relationship with J’onn, her alternate-dimension son, and her experience as a veteran of endless war all come into play. The ending has a great twist revealing who J’onn is actually tracking, and I cannot wait to see where this goes next.
Corrina: If it wasn’t clear before, it’s clear now that this run is basically a brand-new Crisis on Infinite Earths. It’s taken more than double the time to get here, and it’s taken some side roads, like the 6th dimension, but the similarities are clear as Superman addresses heroes across the Multiverse. The Earth may end, the Source Wall is breached, and the Monitors are back. Given Tynion’s love of obscure characters (see: Aztek), can Harbringer be far behind?
But where the individual stamp comes in with this series is the focus on the personal reactions of the individual members of the League. In this issue, that’s J’onn, being the Manhunter in his name, searching for answers, and coming back around to the new origin revealed earlier this run, that of being experimented on by Lionel Luthor. (How this fits in with the current, excellent, Martian Manhunter miniseries is unclear.)
I’m not as sold on the new characterization of Hawkwoman (she should be Hawkwoman), as there hasn’t been enough of an emphasis for me to gain an idea of what she’s like, though she seems to be inching toward her Justice League animated series self, and that’s all to the good.
If you like crazy epics with superhero science that involves nearly every character in the DC Universe, this is your book. I’m not a huge fan of epics, so I haven’t totally bought into this run. But I bet it will read well in trade when it’s eventually finished.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.