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‘Justice League #19’ (review)

Written by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez
Illustrated by Jorge Jimenez
Published by DC Comics

 

“Ok, what’s the mischief?”

 

This issue of the mighty Justice League, is a solidly enjoyable read from start to finish, that launches the latest chapter of our unfolding multiversal saga.

And it looks like it’s going to be a doozie.

The League, faced with a crisis of staggering magnitude, retrench to unravel the only real remaining thread they have to pull on at this point in the caper: the map etched into the metal of Hawkgirl’s wings.

A map, they have concluded, that must be a key to reaching the 5th dimension.

And we all know what that means.

Now, as a quick aside, let me take a moment to wonder at how precisely this all came to be.

The transformation of Kendra’s wings, and the map that came with them, occurred at a moment when Hawkgirl was in a sort of communion with the Totality. It’s been suggested, now and then, that the pure potential of the Totality can be pointed either down, towards Doom, or upwards to Justice. And that, despite all appearances, there is a force behind all that wants us to make the better choice.

That’s what the Starman said. Before he unintentionally helped Braniac, and Luthor’s Legion of Doom, blow up the universe’s Source Wall.

At the same time, the Totality, from all we’ve seen, seems to exist primarily as a housing for the sleeping terrible beauty of Perpetua, whose sole agenda, from all we’ve heard, is pretty much intent wholly on the down side of that equation.

So where then, precisely, is Kendra’s map sourcing from exactly? What agenda – who’s agenda, exactly – is at play there?

According the Kendra’s not-quite better half, Shayera Hall of Thanagar Prime, it’s a map to the ‘higher realms’. Where all is pure and true.

We already know that, in fact, this must be the realm of DC’s newest, mysterious, 6th dimension. Because we learned of the existence of the 6th dimension just last issue. Just as we learned that, as with all else in the unfolding interlocking architecture of Scott Snyder’s master vision, no matter how ‘high and pure’ a realm the sixth dimension may itself be, there also lies within it the key to unlocking yet another of the dark, entropic energies of Perpetua.

And last we saw, Braniac and Luthor stood on its very threshold…

Cut to our current issue. And our heroes, with only the vaguest notion of what this higher realm is, have evidently made the conclusion that it can only be referring to the only higher dimension they know of.

The realm of imps and genie. The lands of pure imagination. The 5th dimension.

But they have no idea how to navigate there.

So, naturally, they elect to summon Mr. Mxylpltzk. And trap him in a cage. And ask him for his help.

What follows is an entirely predictable riot, of the utterly impossible. Which is great fun. Artist and co-plotter for our newly launched story arc, Jorge Jimenez, turns in some of his finest work here, despite settling on a distinctly… creepy… version of Mr. Myxylpltk. Mr. Snyder, as you might imagine, does not hold back.

But in the end, Myxy is not really a bad elf. And he’s in as much trouble, after all, as the rest of the multiverse. And so, before very long, our favorite 5th dimensional imp settles down, and brings the Justice League up to speed, and tells them a story about the existence of the 6th dimension.

To me, three things in particular stand out in what he tells them. The first, is a quick throw away reference to the existence of a certain other all-powerful Batman mischief imp, whose whereabouts I have been wondering about ever since I learned that the Wonder Twins were being brought into prime DC continuity. It’s a very nice bit of context. And something to look forward to. (Again.)

The second thing, is that nowhere does Myxy mention anything about the 6th dimension being high and pure. Simply that it is supremely inaccessible, and that it is something most like a multiversal control room. Indeed, of the beings known to be able to work within this sphere, few of them could be regarded as anything especially ‘good’.

So that’s notable.

The third thing Myxy makes clear is that he cannot see into the 6th dimension himself. So, while he knows of it, he really does not know what occurs within.

Which means that when the League insists that he muster himself to create a doorway to the 6th dimension, and Superman braves the unknown to scout the other side, no one, not even Myxy, can know what it is that truly happens to him there.

Imagine their relief when his return seems to herald a glorious new destiny of victory for the League. All of their fondest dreams realized, or so it seems. And in more ways than one.

All they need do is step over with him to the Other Side.

But then, if it was really that easy, what is the map on Kendra’s wings even for?

And why does Lex Luthor seem so confident that this is the end of an era for the mighty Justice League…?

Next Issue: Future Imperfect

 

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