Review – Justice League #35: Countdown to Doom

Comic Books DC This Week
Justice League #35
Justice League #35 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Justice League #35 – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Writers; Francis Manapul, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist


Ray – 9/10

Ray: Scott Snyder has hyped Justice League #35 as the one where he sets the stage for everything in the coming year of DC Comics, and it’s not hard to see why. When we last left off, the Justice League and their allies had collected the Totality – only for Hawkgirl to go full Peter Quill and attack Luthor, opening the door for him to turn the tables and nearly kill her, resurrecting Perpetua in the process. (Note:trope of a loved one losing their mind and causing the battle to be lost is not one of which I’m fond.)

Now the sigil of Perpetua shines over the entire world – and not just the world, but the Multiverse, signaling to every world that evil has risen. Starman is dead (or so it seems) and the JSA is stranded in the present day with the heroes.

With a prophecy from the past signaling that this is the end, there are some surprisingly emotional scenes – especially in a conversation between Batman and Jarro. Most apocalyptical scenes in comics are chaotic, but Snyder and Tynion manage to find time for some intimacy among the destruction.

Doom in the sky. Via DC Comics.

At the same time, the villains are just as busy as the heroes. Now that Perpetua is out of her tube, she’s determined to undo the work of her sons and spread chaos across the multiverse. That spells doom for a fairly iconic world from Elseworlds, Gotham by Gaslight, which is destroyed in a brilliantly drawn segment from issue artist Francis Manapul. I’m not sure blowing up worlds in the Multiverse to show the threat level is my favorite storytelling technique, but it’s also an amazingly dramatic scene with that world’s Batman performing one last act of heroism.

While the chaos in the main segment is big and dramatic, there’s a really strong intimate segment between Hawkgirl and Shayne as they drift through space, trying to find their way out before Hawkgirl bleeds out. What Snyder and Tynion have done with Shayne – an alternate reality child for a new couple – is particularly impressive. We now know that this is the final arc of this run before Snyder transitions to a bigger project, and it’s certainly going out with a bang.

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

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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