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‘Justice League #35’ (review)

Written by Scott Snyder
and James Tynion IV
Art by Francis Manapul
Published by DC Comics

 

“Don’t say it. Whatever that sign in the sky is, don’t tell me there’s nothing we can do, because I won’t accept.”

 

Well, uh, sorry about that Superman.

Because that’s all you’re going to hear in this issue. You, and the rest of us.

It’s possibly the most depressing comic book ever, because the entire issue is devoted to hitting us over the head with the fact that Perpetua and Luthor have finally won. Just like we were always told they would.

And despite all of Superman’s unwavering determination and optimism, there’s absolutely nothing here that suggests anything otherwise will happen anytime soon.

Indeed, if none of this was clear to you by now after over a year of every possible doomsday portent they could muster and a month of every DC comic on the shelves featuring the great sigil of Doom flaring to life in the sky, then storytellers Scott Snyder and James Tynion are here to ensure that you are left with no doubt that the multiverse has finally tipped in balance to the side of Doom – and that Perpetua is in no way kidding around about remaking the entirety of her creation in her image.

Not only are we reminded (as if we really needed it) that Starman’s original vision of total defeat has come to pass (though without the full review of what is certainly coming next), but we have both Miss Martian and the young human/martian child Shayne psychically confirming the full extent of the defeat, we have Batman moving from solution mode to grim damage control, the Guardians of Oa and the heroes of every multiverse in retreat, the darkest versions of reality thirsting for what is to come, and Perpetua herself flexing her muscles in decidedly horrifying  and terrifying fashion.

At least Francis Manapul is back, finally, with some fine work here, including some interesting narrative spreads that make things interesting, the dramatic return of a classic look for the Anti-Monitor, and a showcase of Dark Perpetua herself as she finally rises up to take center stage.

And that’s it. That’s all. I suppose a victory lap was only natural given everything it’s taken to get here, and all the effort put into setting up the League’s failure. And yet despite that, there’s nothing of Luthor’s Legion of Doom other than what we get on the cover. Too much is spent in preparation of that next, inevitable trouncing, devoted first to crushing the spirit of the League… and locking down the gameboard.

But worry not. While the rest of the Legion may be out of the picture for the moment, the creature that Lex Luthor has become, is still very much at Perpetua’s side. (Or kneeling before her, which seems very much unlike Lex Luthor.) A craven, power-crazed devil who shrugs at the annihilation of trillions, who delights in feeling their death in every cell, and longs to lead an eternal, invincible army of Apex Predators across the length and breadth of the Multiverse… all the way to the very judges of the Source if need be. (It is.)

First though, he gets to deal with the Justice League. It’s the part he’s been waiting for apparently.

Spoiler alert: He’s about to get his wish.

 

Next Issue: Uh, yeah.

 

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