Justice League #15
Story By: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Words: Tynion IV
Pencils by: Jim Cheung and Stephen Segovia
Inks by: Mark Morales and Segovia
Colors: Tomeu Morey and Wil Quintana
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
The story continues on Thanager Prime, with Hawkgirl, John Stewart, and Martian Manhunter on their quest to find out more about The Totality. More than previous issues, this one really pulls from the greater mysteries that Snyder and Tynion have been building since Dark Knights Metal. The previous issue has brought Hawkman back into the fold, and the comic continues directly after that cliffhanger. Again there are bookends featuring the Justice League back on Earth dealing with Starman.
This book is essentially framed around a heist. The Justice League members on Thanagar Prime need to break into the universe’s most secure vault in order to find The Martian Keep. There is a lot of world building done, on how the planet functions, and everything seems to be connected to the source wall being broken wide open. The Starman portions of the story finally lead to some much-needed answers. While nothing is revealed yet, the reader gets a promise to learning more in the very near future.
This issue was a rollercoaster from start to finish. The way Tynion builds up the heist really makes everything feel alive. Without spoiling anything, he figures out his impossible puzzle in a very clever way. As I have stated earlier Thanagar and the continuity around Hawkman and Hawkgirl is confusing. Often I find myself skipping or not caring about issues surrounding these characters. Somehow the team here have used this all to their advantage and made a compelling tale. While this is a densely packed issue of world-building and exposition, nothing seems boring or out of place. In many ways this is the antithesis of Drowned Earth. All the moving parts here have a purpose, and everything is continuously moving forward. Even more important this arc is serving the series as a whole, connecting to the long form storytelling that has been built since issue #1. Starman opens and closes this issue, but the bookends become connected and validated. The way this issue ends has made the wait for the next one nearly unbearable.
Again many artists are working on this issue. Just like the last book each team is relegated to their own section of the book. All scenes with Thanagar Prime are drawn differently than those back on Earth. While multiple teams juggling one issue is never ideal, at least the switching is not jarring. The Thanagar Prime team is the one that shines this time around, as the planet really feels alive. The vault is expertly constructed, and the storytelling (along with the narration) really works well with the heist. There are some really fun scenes here and I can tell the team had a blast drawing this. I still wish this book had a unified vision, but this was put together about as well as any book with so many moving parts could be.