Justice/Doom War is the final epic by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV on their run of Justice League which reaches part 6 this week. We are three issues away from the finish with part 9, but like the best of stories, things look dire for our heroes. The big-bad Perpetua is at near full power, Lex Luthor is doing her bidding, and the heroes are down for the count. It’s the second time the heroes have pondered if all is lost, but this is the Justice League and you know they’ll never quit!
This issue effectively moves a few pieces on the board to get us ready for the next layer of battle. It opens with Perpetua’s symbol in the sky for all the multiverse to see. She has risen and she’s already won, or so she hopes folks see. Lex Luthor has a more purposeful place after this issue too further aligning him more as an attack dog than a leader. It’s an interesting move by the creators since he’s typically the head boss. It makes you wonder how much longer he can put up with being the second in command. Also effective is an act by Perpetua that’s huge. It not only shows her power but shows the reader this series means business. What she does is worth purchasing this book alone.
As far as mid-point issues in the arc this comic does a lot to show the stakes of the event. The creators effectively show us what the universe might become if the villains win and it’s horrifying. Add to this the fact that the heroes aren’t even sure how to get an edge and it’s a harrowing issue perfectly setting up the last few issues of the event.
The one weakness of this issue, which has permeated the event for the most part, is how Lex Luthor has been reduced to a lap dog. This is obviously on purpose, but it’s a simplistic turn for the character who is typically in charge and has fifty backup plans. It’s also odd for an egomaniac that is now super-powered. There seems to be no alternate plan or backstabbing planned either which would be expected, but a welcome turn since so far the villains are quite basic in their purpose and planning. He simply wants to help her erase all the good in the multiverse, I guess, but what happened to his humanity? There seems to be a missed opportunity here.
What isn’t faltering in the slightest is the art by Francis Manapul with colors by Hi-Fi and letters by Tom Napolitano. Manapul knows how to bring us closer to an intimate scene with characters on one page while blowing the doors off with epic visuals on another. Layout design always seems to defy expectations either with well-sized wide shots running from top to bottom of the page to slashes diagonally to explore the space in an exciting way.
Overall this sixth installment in the “Justice/Doom War” event is quite something. If you like your stories huge in scope and centered firmly on good vs. evil you’ll have a great time with this. The fact that Snyder and Tynion have pulled off one hell of a villainous choice–one that might rival any act of violence by any villain ever–and you can see we’re reading one of the most significant stories in DC Comics history.
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