Writer: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Artist: Howard Porter
Letters: Tom Napolitano
The Justice League/Doom War is in the middle of their time hopping adventure now. The team has been split between three factions, one teaming up with the JSA, one meeting Kamandi and a future league, and the other in the present day. Things have started to come together as The Legion of Doom and The League try and find pieces of The Totality. For example, in the past, The Legion of Doom is actively engaging and changing the events of WW2 on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack. In the future, Brainiac now is bottling and containing timelines scouring each piece of hypertime for a piece of The Totality. The previous issue ended with Aquaman’s return and a surprise twist of the Anti-Monitor joining up with him.
The three teams in this book each face a perspective opposing Legion of Doom. None of the stories wrap up in any way but the reader gets a sense of where the goalposts are moving. The JSA and the heroes in the past are stuck between fighting Gorilla Grodd, Sinestro, and Cheetah and helping out the soldiers in the crosshairs of WW2. They do find where the piece of Totality is hiding but the action ends abruptly on a cliffhanger waiting for the next issue to pick it up. The present-day focuses mostly on Luthor and how he is coordinating this attack. It seems, like The League, they are not just looking for The Totality but also the Anti-Monitor. In the future, The Justice League are taking on the Justice League A and Brainiac all at once. They also come across their piece of Totality but are stopped by a new threat.
In many ways, this issue feels like a stopgap. Snyder and Tynion IV do move things forward but in very small increments. I had to read the issue twice because I felt like I must have missed something. Because they are juggling three stories I understand each one only has so much time to breath. Without getting into spoilers the cliffhangers on the future and past both will lead to some really interesting places, but that is a promise of what is to come and not what is happening. There are so many characters and so many things going on yet it didn’t connect or feel that way to me. Previous issues have been able to develop far more in an equal amount of time. This is not a bad comic in any way it just doesn’t match the excitement and momentum of the previous two parts of the story (not to mention previous issues of this run).
The problem here may lie with the artist. Howard Porter is not the primary artist on this series and the absence of Jorge Jimenez is greatly felt. I have mentioned before that I have been a fan of Porter in the past but his current work does not match what came before. There is something off about the way his characters look and feel that I can only describe as everyone looks “doll-like.” Their eyes have a strange cartoony wideness to them without the added expression that style should bring. To go from the top of the line energetic and beautiful Jimenez work to Porter is a drop I was not ready to handle. It is just a theory but it is possible that the story was paused slightly to allow Jimenez time to create the real heavy-hitting moments. Even if this is not the case the stark contrast in talent is night and day from the previous issues.