Writer: Scott Snyder / Artist: Jorge Jiminez / DC Comics
Issue #21 was packed with so much, but what really helped it shine was its decision to focus on its big reveal. It wasn’t drawn out over a few issues, or even left for the last page. It hits early, and the rest of the space within the book is how the team deals with it. I appreciated that. Snyder really knows when to get close and when to pull the reader back a bit. It was starting to feel like we needed to know a little bit more about what was happening and voila, he gifts us with an entire issue with that right at the center.
But don’t get it twisted. This issue may have paid its dues in the form of progressing plot, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t a couple of fleeting moments that left your jaw on the ground. Snyder and Jiminez are still bout that action.
One such moment was the first few pages of the issue where we pick up right where we left off. It’s Superman vs. Zaddy Superman and neither of them is pulling punches. The only problem is that Zaddy Supes hits HARD. Homie was hitting like Ivan Drago. If he dies, he dies. Trust me. They’re in a pocket dimension with no yellow sun. Superman felt them licks. But the most powerful moment that really shows off Zaddy Supe’s strength was when Superman, with all his speed and power, rushes toward his older self, but he’s stopped in his tracks by his index finger. HIS INDEX FINGER! This dude took the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag to a whole other level, man. I don’t know how Superman can recover from this one. Zaddy Supes just destroyed his whole career.
Aside from the plot progression and ass beatings, I wanna take a second to praise the colors on this arc. Alejandro Sánchez is on duty this time around, and I think he’s doing a phenomenal job with adding another powerful layer to this story. Something that I’ve appreciated about this arc is how colors are used to subvert your assumptions. The villains all wear bright colors. Everything about this perfect world is predicated on its positive portrayal. Usually, the bad guys wear dark colors. That’s how you know they’re bad guys. It’s an old Western trope that we still see used fairly often today. By making everything so bright and full of bliss, Sánchez makes it easier for us to buy into the validity of this world. Even though under the surface, things are darker than any of us could have imagined. On top of that, everything is just really beautiful to look at. It really is eye candy on every page.
My one gripe with this issue is that the cover spoils a big reveal in the issue. Not the big reveal I mentioned earlier, but another one that’s pretty huge for the series as a whole. It ultimately had a lot of weight taken out of that particular moment for me personally, but I get it. It’s one of those things where you’ve got to make a book look appealing on the shelf. It just sucks when it’s a situation that could potentially compromise the power of an issue.
Justice League #21 gives us a healthy balance of giant imps, uncharacteristic Batman opinions, and overpowered index fingers. It’s proven yet again that it’s a series that is without a doubt about that life. You better recognize.
9.5 Justice League Skype Meetings out of 10
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