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Justice League #21 Review

Comic Books

Justice League #21 Review

This is part two of “Endless,” a two part story by Bryan Hitch that’s got a Groundhog Day-esque premise with superheroes. The first issue in the arc had Flash time hopping backwards further revealing what was going on and eventually realizing the Justice League is at fault for killing hundreds. Just another day for the team!

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Justice League #21 Review
Justice League #21
Writer and Artist: Bryan Hitch
Publisher: DC Comics

So what’s it about? The official summary reads:

“ENDLESS” finale! In order to save the lives of a fallen friend and many innocents, the League must make the dangerous time loop work for them and stop it all from happening. All that stands in their way is one man’s hatred—and a hammer that can bend time!

Why does this book matter?

Hitch is drawing this issue too, which is a nice treat for fans of his. It’s also the end of a mindfuck of a story, so if you want your mind properly un-f----d read this!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Opening on Jake, the victim of the Justice League from last issue (and the guy harboring the weapon that did kill everyone), Hitch plays with our expectations. Starting off in a calm residential home, there’s no inkling of superheroes or explosions in sight; this scene sets up not only the warranted revenge Jake wants, but also some surprising marital twists too. The scenario ends up setting up a smash cut to the Justice League fighting a giant alien and Hitch further plays with the reader’s expectations with this scene as well.

Justice League #21 Review
Get ready for 3 pages of this.

Somewhat surprisingly Hitch turns this alien battle into a dialogue between Batman and Flash, which ends up being one of the strengths of this issue. Call it a team up, but Batman and Flash end up attempting to resolve the time conundrum and save Jake in the process. The climax ends up being a surprise, but one that was properly set up so that this two issue arc ends up being a statement about the future of the Justice League and a satisfying statement indeed.

Hitch’s art is sharp and detailed staying true to each of the heroes. I quite like the alien design he’s come up with as it makes the villain foreboding, but also respectable looking. That plays into the conclusion well. There’s a lot of average people in average clothing in this issue with a lot of dialogue, and though superhero fans might deplore this, Hitch keeps the panel work clear and interesting.

Justice League #21 Review
It is kind of funny how they just stop fighting to chat.

It can’t be perfect can it?

The motive behind everything seems to come out of nowhere and certainly wasn’t brought up last issue. It wasn’t brought up in the opening pages when Jake speaks to his wife either. I’m keeping this vague to avoid spoilers, but what a left field plot device! This ends up giving the entire conflict purpose, but it’s also an element that seems to be random and about a character we really don’t know. Adding to this, Jake isn’t the most interesting character. True, we saw him in full rage mode last issue and now he’s a calm happy parent which is a nice juxtaposition, but do we really care? We’ll never see this character again. The entire issue ends up feeling like a melodrama about a random citizen who just so happens to have involvement with a weapon we didn’t know about before and probably won’t see ever again. It’s the type of comic you’ll shrug off, especially since future gloom and doom threats to the Justice League are nothing new.

Is It Good?

A generally good story though its plotting seems to have some randomness that’ll catch you off guard. As a two issue story arc to foreshadow threats to come it succeeds, but do we really need a story that focuses on a random character to achieve this?

Justice League #21
Is It Good?
This issue wraps up the two issue story arc with more of a message than a deeply satisfying story.
Art is tight and works well
Concludes with a bigger message of dangers to come
Fun to see Batman and Flash team up
A plot element comes out of nowhere to quickly deliver motives behind it all
Ultimately there's a lot of character work for Jake with little payoff

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