Justice League #13 Review: Lex Caught Them Hands

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Writer: James Tynion IV / Artist:Francis Manapul and Guillem March / DC Comics

It’s a battle from within as Legion of Doom Part 3 pits the Joker against the rest of the team!

This was without a doubt one of the darkest issues we’ve gotten so far, and that’s all thanks to the Joker finally unleashing his chaos. This issue mainly deals with the LOD recruiting another villain after Manta betrayed Luthor in the Drowned Earth finale. But thing’s fall off the rails when the Joker finds out that Lex lied to him. Why you always lyin’, Lex?

I had been wondering why the Joker’s presence felt a bit lackluster so far. He’s the Clown Prince of Crime. The agent of chaos. Everyone else seemed to be getting their shine, yet the Joker was just in the back. He wasn’t even smiling much. It didn’t feel right, but then it all came full circle. Back in an earlier Legion of Doom issue, it was revealed that Luthor had enlisted the help of the Batman Who Laughs, which the Joker was not happy about. He asked Luthor to get rid of him. Lex seemingly obliged, and everything was fine. But then the Joker found out that Luthor lied, and from that point on, all bets were off.

Fast forward to this issue, and the Joker is all about that smoke. All because Luthor can’t be honest. The Batman Who Laughs is still very much a part of Lex’s plans. And Mistah J ain’t about it. It’s interesting to see how the Joker is threatened by Laughs. Especially when you look at the relationship between Batman and the Joker. They’re a yin and yang. But the difference is that the Batman Who Laughs is a lethal mix of the two. Joker embodies seemingly aimless anarchy, and Batman is all about calculated precision. Laughs is like the 4 Lokos of DC characters. It ain’t good for nobody.

So how does the Joker respond to the blatant disrespect? He dismantles Lex’s entire operation from top to bottom. Homie came through and Joker gassed the entire LOD and everyone who showed up for their career day event on the moon. Then, he gave Lex an ass whooping so hard, you almost felt sorry for Lex. Almost. He is having a bad few days, though. Manta betrayed him, and now Joker. The ranks within the Legion of Doom are thin. But at least they still have the Totality.

We got art from Guillem March this issue. I believe it’s his first time working on this run. He’s got some interesting interpretations of these characters, but his strengths are without a doubt with facial structure and features. For a Joker-centric issue, that makes sense. There are some truly terrifying abstractions to the Joker’s face that will be haunting my nightmare’s and daydreams for the foreseeable future.

It seems, like everything else in this run, that all of this was just part of the plan from the jump. As soon as I begin to doubt something like a mistreatment of the Joker’s character, they stop me in my tracks and tell me why I’m wrong. The Joker was supposed to feel off this entire time. The fact that I noticed just meant that the creative team did their job.

Justice League #13 gives us one of the darkest issues of the series as the Joker reveals his true reasoning for joining the Legion of Doom. The answer shouldn’t shock you, but it is kind of funny. Remember, everything’s all one big joke.

9.5 Luthor Lies out of 10

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  • Morgan Hampton

    Staff Writer

    Morgan Hampton is a writer--OH MY GOD I CAN ACTUALLY SAY THAT NOW. *ahem* Excuse me, sorry for that outburst. As I was saying, Morgan Hampton is a writer currently living in San Francisco with an obsession for all things nerd (except Medieval stuff. Get outta here with that mess), and a passion to represent the underrepresented. He's an aspiring comic book writer so catch him in the funny pages some time before the apocalypse. He holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from SFSU so he's broke.

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