Story: Scott Snyder
Art: Jorge Jimenez
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
What They Say:
John Stewart: Ultraviolet Lantern? Believe it! Under the influence of the Ultraviolet Spectrum, John Stewart engages in some ultraviolence against his teammates Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Meanwhile, the rest of the League investigates the scene of the fallen Source Wall fragment and encounters not only a horde of giant monsters but a pair of longtime archenemies using stolen Atom technology to literally get under their skin. Best to stock up on Cortizone for that sort of itch! All this and…the Turtle? Yep.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The further I get into this Justice League the series the more I’m reminded why I tend to avoid team books these days. The scale of events is simply too much, things feel rushed, and we get a lot of the familiar playing out. Scott Snyder moves through things well enough but even with two isues to set the stage it feels like not enough has so that things really make sense, especially if you’re light on other recent events. The plus is that Jorge Jimenez puts together some fantastic pages here with great character designs and action sequences, which Sanchez colors beautifully. The problem is that there’s both a lot going on and not a lot that everything feels a bit jumbled by it.
There’s a lot to like about what Superman and Martian Manhunter are up to having gone into the Totality with some ridealongs in their system. They’re dealing with some minor weird in what’s attacking them along the way and when they make it through to the next layer it’s like being exposed to a version of the Source Wall in smaller form. But that just opens J’onn up to something bigger as he realizes that the beings are alive and he’s desperate to communicate after all this time. That goes about as badly as one would think when it comes to an ancient unknowable race, but we also have the problem of what Lex is up to in how this is going according to plan from what he saw in Kansas – which gives the reveal of what looks to be the Joker riding along in Hawkgirl’s craft. It’s just… why? It doesn’t feel like it fits at all and is just an added layer of too much.
As to Earth, where things should be a lot more interesting, the bulk of the time is spent with hero v hero since John Stewart is under the control of the Ultraviolet Spectrum. There’s a good bit of reveals along the way in just how powerful his constructs are, enough that it unnerves someone like Arthur as he can sense them being alive, but they are finally able to stop John and get him back to normal for a bit. Getting the data download from him on everything just has the whole spectrum sounding as ridiculous as it is, especially the Still Force, but they play it straight and tie it back to Sinestro with Umbrax while also setting the stage to go after where there are clues on earth with a Legion of Doom-looking place under the ocean. It’s just a leap from one thing to the next, harder and harder forward, without anything to really make it work because it’s more of a ride than a story.
I’m not exactly keen on the remainder of this arc but I want to see what comes after it to see if the series is still worth following so I’m going to be all-in for a few more issues. This issue just didn’t work for me in more ways than I expected and it quickly became a chore to read. The scale of it has its moments but it never really connects right because it’s just got a sense of too much too quickly without enough grounding to tie it together. Snyder has some good bits with dialogue and I’m endlessly interested in things related to the Source Wall, but that can’t carry the issue. Jorge Jimenez brings a whole lot of life to the book and keeps it moving but it’s struggling to find the throughline from the story itself since it’s just action upon action upon action, even when they’re just sitting around it feels tense.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via DC Universe
Release Date: July 4th, 2018