There seems to be a resurgence in well written and content-rich comic books this year. Marvel’s “fresh start” #1 series is an example of that and Justice League by Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez is another. Each issue has managed to deliver on character development, exposition, and action, making the price tag more than worth it. Issue #3, out this week, is no different.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
John Stewart: Ultraviolet Lantern? Believe it! Under the influence of the Ultraviolet Spectrum, John Stewart engages in some ultraviolence against his teammates Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Meanwhile, the rest of the League investigates the scene of the fallen Source Wall fragment, and encounters not only a horde of giant monsters, but a pair of longtime archenemies using stolen Atom technology to literally get under their skin. Best to stock up on Cortizone for that sort of itch! All this and…the Turtle? Yep.
Why does this matter?
This series is probably the most important all of the DCU since it’s laying the groundwork for new sources of good and evil penetrating Earth and all its people. We’ve learned about threats to the Earth that were thwarted and in this issue, we learn of a Lantern threat that was once long locked away. Until now.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
John Stewart has gone mad with a source of power taking over his body and it wreaks havoc on our heroes. Before we get to the action, however, Snyder details a captivating backstory with Sinestro, revealing an earlier time when he was pure good and locked that power away. This dilemma is juxtaposed with Superman and Martian Manhunter’s mission to infiltrate the Totality. It’s impressive how Jimenez and Snyder can pull off two monumental high-stakes situations in a single issue which further increases the value of the read. In any other book, just one of these conflicts would suffice for the 20 pages of comic story.
I’m enjoying how Snyder writes each of these characters too. Customarily he’s written solo books like Batman or Superman Unchained but you wouldn’t know it from how well he imbues each character with a spark of personality. Little off-the-cuff comments like Flash being surprised he’s never heard of this new Lantern force since there’s a “crayon box of Lanterns” out there help give the book personality. There are also some beautiful captions for Wonder Woman that perfectly exemplify why her lasso is so great.
The art is nothing less than spectacular. Jimenez is putting in some of his best work to date and the team aspect, with multiple characters on each page, is never half-baked or confusing. That’s harder to do than one might think. Alejandro Sanchez is a wizard with the colors too. The final full-page spread is incredibly epic. In another full-page spread involving Hawkgirl, you’ll marvel in the use of lens flare and shininess with something truly haunting also in the frame. It’s gorgeous work.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’m at a loss as far as what could be considered bad about this comic. I suppose there could be more Batman and Superman? They’re in there though and have good moments. This is some of Snyder’s best work to date.
Is it good?
This is a marvelous work and I don’t use that word lightly. It’s a story that is working out to be one of the most rewarding stories DC Comics has to offer.
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