Writer: Scott Snyder / Artist: Jorge Jiminez / DC Comics
Titles as grand as Justice League hit so hard and so often that sometimes you need to take a break and decompress, regroup, and flat out chill. That’s what Justice League #9 is.
But most importantly, amongst the multiverse dying and science rewriting itself, this issue was a breath of fresh air that somehow injects hope into the abyss.
Issue #9 stands alone, as it’s placed between two major arcs, but that doesn’t mean that it’s just a throwaway. This might be my favorite issue of this run so far. Themes like healing and persistence are wonderfully explored in ways that will put a smile on your face. And if you’ve been wanting to spend some time with a particular character, then you’re gonna wanna read this. Everybody eats. We get closer to each of them in ways you may not have ever imagined: by seeing their rooms at the Hall of Justice. We get brief glimpses into the way each team member likes to live when they get a break, and it speaks volumes to who they are at their core.
Jiminez really shines in this issue. From space parasites to piecing the moon back together, to the cafeteria at the Hall of Justice, there isn’t much left to the imagination. This issue teems with positivity and ambition, and out of the few artists that rotate this book, Jiminez is the perfect fit for tone that Snyder conveys. Much like his run on Supersons, he really knows how to capture everyone’s humanity. Even the aliens.
Okay, so strap in. Now that we’ve talked a bit about the exterior of this issue, it’s time to get a little nerdy about some of the craft on display in the series as a whole, but specifically in this particular issue.
The space between panels can play with time in different ways as the reader is forced to fill in the action from one panel to the next. If a character has their eyes open in one panel and closed in the next, we imagine the action of the character closing them. It’s one of the many ways the audience can engage with the story. And it’s a technique that when used well, can be incredibly powerful. The space between pages works the same way, as does the space between issues. This allows writers and artists to skip through rough or time-consuming moments, because they know the audience will just fill in what isn’t displayed. I’ve seen so many times where the ‘time’ between issues is just quickly summed up, and you’re forced to fill in the rest. It’s one of the pitfalls of monthly comics. But Justice League does something that I really appreciate.
The events that take place feel like they’re happening in real time. I know that sounds like a given, but hear me out. Let’s take Batman, for instance. Dude caught some nasty hands from Lex back in issue six. The fight left him like Jell-O. Every bone in his body must’ve been broken. In situations like that, the space and time between issues might justify him being fully healed by now. But not with this book. For the past three issues, he’s been in a full body Bat-Cast, taking what feels like a reasonable amount of time to heal from his wounds. And, I don’t know, I just really appreciate it. Something like that is so easy to sweep under the rug. But to keep one of the biggest characters in existence out of physical commission for the sake of a consistent story really should tell you how dedicated Snyder and his team are. They’re putting into practice the major theme of this issue which is that you need to stay true to who you are at your core. No cheating. No shortcuts. You just power through, no matter the circumstances.
I’ve got one ding against this issue, and it’s that Cyborg is noticeably missing. But he’s leading his own team over in Justice League Odyssey. It would have been nice to see a glimpse into what his room looked like, though.
Justice League #9 shows us a day in the life of the team when the world isn’t in immediate danger. Some powerful and relatable themes are explored in a way that really brings these gods and aliens down to Earth. To say this was one of my favorite comics to come out this year would be an understatement.
10 Hall of Justice Tours out of 10
Reading Justice League? Find BNP’s other reviews here.
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