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‘Justice League #38’ (review)

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jorge Jimenez,
Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran
Published by DC Comics

 

“You have become an abomination Luthor.”

“Maybe by decree of the gods you worship. But me, I’m allied with a different god… And She likes me just fine the way I am.”

 

Yeah, ok, but look at her Lex.

For that matter look at yourself.

But all Lex Luthor is interested in is the chance to use his new-found cosmic powers to take on the League. Which he does, finally, with devastating effect.

It’s the battle we’ve been building up to for a year and a half – the forces of Perpetua, under the dark sigil of Doom, versus a Justice League determined to show the world just what it means to fight for Justice, even against all odds.

Intelligently, author Scott Snyder, narrows down the scope of that battle to an all-out pitched fight between the core team and Luthor himself. Lex has become the embodiment of the darkest fulfillment of voracious, callous self-interest, an Apex Predator powered up with all seven dark forces of Perpetua’s cosmic design – and the subjugated forms of his former allies in the Legion of Doom.

It’s a simple set up, and in the end, and elegant one. After all the effort that’s gone into getting here, it makes for a satisfying confrontation, one that distills all the major themes of this multi-faceted story arc in ways that brings everything into focus, and even allows for a few surprising – and rather excellent – moments.

Score one for the good guys, and score one for Scott Snyder and the team. This book triumphantly fulfills the promise that has been running throughout this series from the start. With some style, to boot.

And for all that I bemoan the tendency for his storytelling to get over-complicated, I have to give Snyder credit for the fact that this story is incredibly well-timed. It’s a little uncanny, though nothing unusual in comics, to feel the weight of the parallels between what is happening in these pages with what’s happening now in the world. That’s been there all along, not unintentionally, but it’s good to get the reminder that the arc of Justice is still there, working through everything we are, and everything we must confront in order to champion what is right… and to hold on to our humanity.

Mind you, a battle is not a war. And no matter how much appeal there is in watching Lex go toe-to-toe with Superman, only to be humbled by a power greater than any physical force, in the end Luthor remains Perpetua’s creature. And Perpetua is still the Mother of the Multiverse.

Even the welcome return and added strength of one of the League’s greatest heroes can only do so much against Perpetua’s nigh-omnipotence. And seeing as we just saw her flinging worlds around like baseballs in the last issue…

I’m still waiting for that counter-punch.

Next Issue: Mommy Dearest

 

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