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‘Justice League #26’ (review)

Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Javi Fernandez 
Published by DC Comics


“If the universe is to survive, I must find my brothers. To win we’re going to need the Monitors.”


James Tynion steps in this month to tell the tale that brings us back to earth to deal with the consequences of the League’s victory in the 6th Dimension, and the fallout from Luthor’s telepathic suicide appeal to the very source of villainy in us all.

The Mysterious Man in the Cloak. That is who Lex Luthor is now. A shadowy legend, visiting those who call on him from beyond the grave and bearing gifts, existing on the peripheral edges of mankind’s collective psyche, forever married to our darkest aspirations.

It’s a damn effective device, the whole killing oneself in martyrdom, only to return, reanimated in body and mind, if not soul, to become a dark, shadowy instrument of Doom in the minds and hearts of all those who walk the earth. Or beyond.

It’s very helpful to have that role become much more clearly defined with evil and villainy of mankind’s darkest impulses, as Tynion does straight out of the gates, for all that it remains clearly linked still to the rather commonly held concern with self-interest shared by all living beings.

Helpful because it evolves Luthor’s own villainy into something more simply sinister and dark, with the suggestion of far more power and influence to come. (Like maybe much, much more.)

Helpful because it gives the League, and us, something more defined against which to marshal themselves, and something also more substantial with which to assist them in pinpointing Luthor’s post-death activities.

Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl lead that charge by instinct as de-facto team co-leaders, though not without tension. J’onn trusts Kendra’s talents and best impulses, on the ground and in the thick of things, something she misses only because she doesn’t really want to role. Or, not alone anyway.

And it’s good to see the League come together after all the activity that has gotten us this far. And by League I don’t just mean the core team. The respite before the coming war is an excellent time to show the heroes of DC coming together to prepare for what is now a coming crisis.

As gratifying as it is to see that happening in the Hall of Justice, it’s even more enjoyable to bring our heroes to the House of Heroes at the center of the Multiverse, where a certain sit-rep is due the inhabitants and heroes of 52 worlds.

That’s great fun. But brief. Not enough time perhaps for the collected assemblage of heroes to bring the League to any sort of task for, you know, breaking everything. Or, maybe the severity of the threat is simply so evident that all that unhelpful energy is being put aside for now, to focus on solutions.

Suffice it to say however, everyone is all hands on deck, and even though heroes like Captain Carrot and President Superman may have too much of Luthor’s spreading darkness in their own universes to contend with to spend too much time fighting alongside our own League, nonetheless the greatest heroes of the Multiverse have all signed up for a central mission of their own, courtesy of the World Forger – who I have to say, does add an air of majesty to the team, speaking on their behalf and by their side.

So, we’ll be seeing the greatest heroes of the Multiverse again, and soon.

In the meantime, I think we have time for some deft characterization, and some developing intrigue, and a montage of storytelling that sets the scene and the foundation for coming battles, both cosmic and local-grown.

The League is girding for war, and chasing down every lead they have, to prevent it, or to buy them more time before the inevitable comes to pass.

Perpetua is coming. Perpetua is here. (Somewhere.) And Luthor never left.

And all hell’s about to break loose.

Next Issue: Origin Stories!


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