Comic Book Review: Justice League #18
This run of Justice League has left little to imagination when it comes to what both heroes and villains are up to in order to claim what they believe is the proper state of the multiverse. The previous issue was another example of what can be accomplished when you take those small moments to create a story that could not exist under normal circumstances. Characters matter, and that was the strongest takeaway from a team book as ambitious as this one.
The approach to this issue did leave me with some mixed feelings from the start. On one hand there was the way that we transitioned from the revelation that Martian Manhunter and Lex Luthor have a shared past, then there’s the way that we have transitioned into the Legion of Doom’s next step in their plans. Just looking at the cover to this issue, you knew right away what kind of story this was turning into. Quick flashbacks to the Joker situations came flooding in when it was decided that this would be titled ‘Brainiac’s Revenge’. The only difference of course that the actions taken place here still very much connect to the larger picture. I mean, I will give this creative team credit for the fact that they are not trying to make this easy for either side. There’s no fun if the villains are finding success too conveniently, and it would be worse if the heroes weren’t facing enough obstacles on their end.
Where we were not let down is the way that this issue hyped up the discovery that Lex Luthor’s mysterious connection to this ancient secret society runs deeper than even his Legion of Doom comrades ever suspected. Just when you think the guy doesn’t have anymore tricks up his sleeve, another bomb is dropped right on your lap to say otherwise. The story he had to tell added so much depth to everything that has led to this mission for the Legion of Doom. For me, everything finally began to make sense about the way that this team has come to be and why it might take a team like this to both unleash the power of the Totality and release Perpetua.
Where this story took a clever twist was how it became more than just another twist where a member of the team couldn’t be trusted. Some stories are best enjoyed if you allow the story to unfold before questioning decisions. This was one of those times considering Luthor is at that stage where he can’t afford others getting in the way of themselves. I enjoyed the way he tackled this new situation since usually he would fall back to his old habits. Mainly those that would create more problems than solve. He has grown past being arrogant and in your face which makes it a lot easier to invest in his actions as a main character.
The interiors for this issue took on a much different style from what we are used to. Now some could be turned off a bit because the artists are forever changing, but credit where it is due that this is a book where you are guaranteed quality work no matter who they bring on board. So that includes the art team of Pasqual Ferry and Hi-Fi. Ferry’s pencils were great for the detail he was able to get out of a mix of sharp and rough lines. Better that he was able to create so much depth through shading of various intensities. I enjoyed what this team was able to bring to the table because of the dream like sequence they were able to bring to life within the mind of Lex Luthor. The way they stripped Lex down to a basic concept, made Brainiac look larger than life, and the way the background consistently held no form added to the obscurity of their situation.
Justice League #18 gives us another successful issue for the Legion of Doom story arc. Whoever told you you can’t focus on the villains like this and create a compelling story is surely mistaken.