Justice League #19
Plot: Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jorge Jimenez
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Justice League has been jumping from major arc to major arc. It is clear that the set up is done with and now every story line feels like a major event. Going from the (I believe lackluster) Drowned Earth, to the adventures at Thanagar Prime, to the retcon and re-examination of Martian Manhunter, and now to the potential awakening of Perpetua (an all powerful old god). This new arc explores one of the mysteries that has revealed itself since The Source Wall broke, the sixth dimension.
The Justice League thinks the only way to find out how to stop Perpetua is through accessing the fifth dimension. So they summon long time foe of Superman, and fifth dimensional imp, Mr. Mxyzptlk. Chaos ensues as he uses his powers to attack Metropolis. Finally, the Justice League convinces Mr. Mxyzptlk that they are here for his guidance and not to attack him, and he helps the league. It is then they learn that it is not the fifth dimension they seek but the sixth. This dimension being the place where the most powerful beings reside that control and create the multiverse as a whole.
I have to admit something, I am a sucker for Mr. Mxyzptlk. Any story he is in is full of creatively and allows the creative team to literally throw anything they want on the comic page. Scott Snyder smartly treats the fifth dimension the way Grant Morrison explained it in his Batman run. The fifth dimension is imagination. You can tell that Snyder and Jimenez, both credited with plot, had a blast thinking up all the imaginative ways that Metropolis could come to life in this issue. The middle of this comic is full of sight gags, and sheer unbridled creativity, it is impossible not to smile while reading it. But if this issue was just “fun” it would not be as special to me. Wrapped up in this great book is meaningful expansion of the larger Justice League plot. The revelations of the sixth dimension (again pulling from Grant Morrison’s legacy with Mr. Mxyzptlk literally showing a page from Morrison’s Multiversity) are intriguing. It all leads into an interesting ending that makes the wait for issue #20 far more unbearable. In a comic that has been going from strength to strength lately, it is nice to see that trend continue. I have no idea how Snyder and his team are continuously able to surprise and top themselves arc after arc.
One of the only issues that has reared its ugly head from time to time on this title has been the inconsistent art. Thankfully, Jorge Jimenez comes back on the title and you can tell how well he works with Scott Snyder. This is his best issue yet. It may be because of his direct involvement in plotting, being able to work with Mr. Mxyzptlk, or both but regardless this comic is full of energy and love. This is an issue Jimenez can hold up against an already incredibly strong portfolio. He is able to blend styles together masterfully in the traditional “real world” and those from the fifth dimensional interference of “imagination.” The fifth dimension is imagination and Jorge Jimenez is as much of a master of that realm as Mr. Mxyzptlk.