Justice League #33
Writer: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Artist: Bruno Redondo and Daniel Sampere
Inks: Redondo and Juan Albarran
Letters: Tom Napolitano
The Justice/Doom War enters its fourth part of the overall arc. Many things that are referenced in this comic have been the focus of the title since issue #1 (and even the No Justice mini-series before that). Throughout the series The Legion of Doom has been building its forces using weapons that have been released since The Source Wall shattered. At this point the Doom side of the War has access to five of the six forces and only needs the complete Totality to essentially “win.” This broken Totality has been scattered into two parts in the past and future. Brainiac is fighting one side of the League in the future, and the bulk of The Legion of Doom are taking on the JSA and the League in the past.
The book opens up with a plea from Martian Manhunter’s child (from a different timeline) looking for his father to return and his mother, Hawkgirl, to heed his advice. Hawkgirl is attempting to take on a powerful Lex Luthor (who gained his apex status from absorbing Martian Manhunter) along with The World Forger, The Monitor, and The Anti-Monitor. Starman helps with this fight and leads to a new twist with the Monitor’s powerset. Without spoiling things too much it gets very “Power Rangers,” for lack of a better term. The JSA and the League in the past are guided by Aquaman and looking for The Totality in Atlantis. While in the future, Brainiac 1,000,000 is still searching for The Totality in the multiple versions of hypertime he has captured. In general, things are about where they were in the last issue with a few new threats showing up.
I was really looking forward to this event and I feel like things are letting me down. Snyder and Tynion IV have a really cool concept but things seem to be moving slower than I want. This is a series packed with cool moments but none are given time to develop. It is almost like the pieces are just moving from twist to twist introducing fan favorite character after fan favorite character without letting any of it really matter. I get that there are three story lines to juggle, and it seems they are too much to handle. I can not count how many times things just end with a splash page and a character reveal throughout the entire arc so far (and in this issue alone). Like Drowned Earth if I sat and explained everything it would sound incredibly exciting, yet it doesn’t read that way. Thankfully, the material here is more interesting than Drowned Earth (even though even that plot line rears its ugly head again in this issue). This is a good comic, but disappointing at the same time. I really hope things start grabbing me more in the coming issues.
The art here takes an uptick from the last issue, however Jorge Jimenez is still sorely missed. Bruno Redondo and Daniel Sampere deliver some great work here and do not fall into the trap multiple penicillers typically face. Their styles mesh well, and because the story is fragmented across different timelines the differences in art make thematic sense. Sadly though, the art still can’t match the energy, creativity, and pace that Jimenez set with his high watermark in the earlier parts of the story. 0