Writer: Scott Snyder / Artist: Jorge Jiminez / DC Comics
After a first issue shrouded in mystery and suspense, this week Snyder lets us know that he ain’t playin’ around with these characters. He interweaves some deep cuts from DC’s history to inform certain characters’ motivations and doubts. Whether you’re familiar with those stories or not, it’s undeniable that including them adds some meat to the narrative.
One of these instances is with John Stewart, who has a bigger role in this issue than he did in the first. His reservations to join the League lie in a bad decision he made on Xanshi, that resulted in the loss of millions of lives. This is in reference to Cosmic Odyssey, a 4-part miniseries from the late 80’s. If you do some comic book math and subtract the 10 years that Rebirth stole, then Cosmic Odyssey probably took place like 2 years ago in the DCU. Don’t quote me, though; I suck at math. What’s cool is that we don’t just know that John Stewart is reluctant because the story is telling us, there’s a whole comic we can go back to and see for ourselves why he’s feeling the way he does.
Besides the agency applied to characters like GL, this was really an issue rooted in nuanced conflict. There’s a lot of revealed tension that makes you feel uneasy, but eager to keep going. It reminded me of Annihilation in a few ways. It seems like the Totality works a lot like The Shimmer: whatever goes inside comes out refracted or mutated, which means we might be getting some crazy versions of these characters pretty soon.
I like that the Justice League has to go up against something that they know nothing about. Usually, the threat is pretty clear, even if it’s something they’ve never faced before. Its motivations are usually something that stands in the way of stability, but an idea that stems from No Justice that seems to be bleeding into this book is that everything is really just a matter of perception. It doesn’t matter if something’s good or bad. At the end of the day, everything just is, and you can only react to it. Things are getting deep, man. Makes me happy I took those philosophy classes in college. Here’s lookin’ at you, Camus.
Jorge Jiminez is on the art this week, and mannnnn! If you don’t know Jiminez by name, shame on you. You’d probably recognize his work from Rebirth Superman and Super Sons, where he worked with Peter J. Tomasi. He brings with him such a wholesome take on these characters that highlights what makes them all special: their humanity. Through Jiminez’s work, these characters feel like real people. That weight is a perfect pairing to the story being told.
So far, two issues in and this series is everything that’s been promised. They swing for the fences, and we reap the benefits. Justice League is epic, personal, mysterious, and authentic. This feels like it’s gonna shape up to be a definitive run.
9.5 Kryptonian Cephalic Veins out of 10
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