Justice League #37
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters: Tom Napolitano
The Justice/Doom War is coming to an end, and the previous issue set up the inevitable. Lex Luthor is now essentially the entirety of The Legion of Doom, after absorbing all of his team’s powers (and Brainiac became a chair). However, Lex is not the only one with a new trick up his sleeve, as Batman mobilized the entire Hall of Justice. Hawkgirl and her son were still lost in space but John Stewart took The Flash’s car to go and rescue them. There are a lot of moving pieces here and they are all in fairly dire situations.
Unlike the previous issues, this one is more of a push and pull. Neither The Legion nor The Justice League are completely safe here. A good portion of the core of The League (plus Miss Martian) are attempting to drive back the “force” of Doom and tilt the powers that be towards “Justice” (they are abstract terms but have been given a physical nature in the series). John Stewart finds Hawkgirl, and her son, and confronts the Anti-Monitor. Perpetua even gets in the fight by throwing a version of Earth at the battle. The issue is filled with moments at their energetic heights and quickly moves onto another aspect of the arc. Describing too much would get into spoiler territory, but it is a quick read that ends with a clear direction for the big finale.
I have been down on this arc as a whole. It has felt stretched out and thin. Often it seems that Snyder is just writing towards splash pages and not really thinking about pacing. Thankfully, this issue has zero fat on the bones. It is a quick read and fairly exciting. There are no moments that are not earned. Perpetua hurling an “Earth” towards Hawkgirl in space was a cool moment. Her power has never been more evident. It harkens back to Crisis on Infinite Earths, but rather than the Anti-Monitor acting like a universe eating DC-version of Galactus, it is Perpetua smashing planets if they don’t agree to turn toward “Doom.” Snyder is effectively writing a Crisis event in the pages of The Justice League. I also think this is the first time he has made the forces of “Doom” and “Justice” effective. Before this the idea of binary opposing forces has been a bit hokey and contrived. But I feel that Snyder has made them mean something a bit more within the pages of this comic, and given it some more concrete value. I wish more issues were paced this way in the arc, as it would have been more enjoyable. As it stands this comic is a high point in a relatively flat arc.
I think the other reason this issue stands out is the return of Jorge Jimenez. It wasn’t until this issue that I realized that the new Lex Luthor design only looks good under Jimenez’s capable hands. Every other artist that has drawn him since he became a half-martian apex species has struggled to make the character look appealing. I stand by my theory that the team holds back the story waiting on Jimenez to be able to create the high points of the story. If you look at the arc as a whole every great issue has Jorge Jimenez’s name on it. It isn’t just the art that is superior but the writing as well. He can elevate the writing and take risks few others can. The art in this comic is reason enough for a purchase.