Writer: Scott Snyder / Artist: Jorge Jiminez / DC Comics
After a brief break in the arc to visit the Legion of Doom and learn about the origin of Perpetua, we’re back in the Sixth Dimension with the Justice League as they try to figure out how to stop this future from becoming a reality.
This arc has been so much fun. Alternate futuristic versions of the League, new and shiny costumes, Gotham with sunshine. So much about this arc has been candy for anyone who ever asks the question “What If?” Well, that continues in this issue in a really fun way. The last sixth dimension issue ended with a cliffhanger where a Lois Lane in riot gear held the Justice League at gunpoint, and this issue begins with the alternate future version of the Legion of Doom saving them from getting murked. Everything is flipped on its head in this new world. The heroes are the bad guys, and the bad guys are the heroes.
A theme that Snyder has been exploring for a good chunk of this series is the idea that the heroes can never win if they don’t change their way of thinking. Their search for justice is the number one reason why they’ll always fail. I don’t think this is necessarily something he’s trying to persuade to the audience, but I do think he’s putting his characters into this frame of mind so when they overcome it, it’s that much more of a feat. It’s a really interesting concept because while our heroes are looked at in such high regard, they’re not accountable nearly as much as they should be. And definitely not in the scale that Snyder has created. This is some universal culpability. Things are so bad that it would be perfectly understandable for the Justice League to buckle under the pressure.
Someone who seems to be sipping the Kool-Aid is Batman. It might be surprising at first but once you think about it, it makes sense. Batman’s whole crusade is about making the world a place where something like what happened to his parents could never happen again. It’s his motor, his compass, and it’s what decides every move he makes. So when he’s presented the opportunity to make that a reality, even if it’s at the expense of his friends, could you blame him if he at least gave it a thought? It’s yet to be seen what he’ll do but adding this layer to the equation really does make things so much more nuanced. It’s not just good vs. bad anymore. It’s logic vs. idealism.
Justice League #23 brings us back to the sixth dimension where our heroes’ quest for justice once again is held under a microscope. Good is bad. Bad is good. And Batman might have the power to end everything.
9.5 Battle Hardened Jimmy Olsens out of 10
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