In the aftermath of the battle with the Dark Multiverse and the piercing of the Source Wall, a new vision was created for the Earth and those who seek to protect it. A gathering of forces for good, those who would fight to their own end to save the world. United by a single symbol and bonds stronger than friendship, these heroes fight for truth, freedom, and good. They are, finally, the Justice League we all need.
The 1980s kid in me is ecstatic right now. Seeing the Hall of Justice, in all its glory, packed with the costumes of all the heroes who served its cause, and the clear joy packed into the first few pages just warms my heart. Yes, it’s nostalgia. Seeing the Hall of Doom dripping lava in the most supervillain-y of supervillain lairs is fantastic. It almost quiets that part of my brain that is mad about seeing the new Cheetah rather than the original Halloween discount-bin version and not seeing Solomon Grundy. Having the telepathically linked JL all share their Batman impressions (except Hawkgirl, who doesn’t have hers yet) ties the camaraderie of the League together in a quick and clean way, cementing their relationships in just a few strong action panels.
I believe this is all in service of setting up the massive, multiverse changing events to come. We have to see the teamwork on both sides to prepare for the time-jumping (?), world-altering energy that streams from the remains of the Source Wall, straight for Earth. I can get beyond Cyborg somehow scanning this unknowable power and then knowing everything about it. My difficulty comes in knowing that Earth just survived near annihilation from the Dark Multiverse and seems to be doing well enough for Senators to demand that Batman not answer their questioning his work with “Because I’m Batman,” rather than everyone gibbering in a PTSD-ridden, post-Barbatos coma. Oh, and then Vandal Savage does something that starts to pull the Earth’s crust apart and Batman’s secret moon bombs have to be exploded to stop it and we no longer have a moon. People should be fine with that, right?
Writer Scott Snyder has picked right up where his DC Metal epic left us, forming the new league with new purpose. The splash pages by artist Jim Cheung, in particular, illustrate the epic scale of this new undertaking in the DC Universe. The hope and joy that exude from the JL-centered pages — outlined clearly in bright white — are juxtaposed expertly with the blackness of J’onn in space and the fiery red of the Legion’s doom-iness.
One detail that really stands out to me in the episode is the Martian symbol on the doorknobs held in secret by the League and the Legion both. As a kid growing up in Philadelphia, we visited Independence Hall nearly every year. There’s a story passed down from James Madison about the chair that George Washington sat in after the Revolution. The crown of the chair has a carving of half of a sun. Benjamin Franklin told Madison that he never knew whether it was a rising sun or a setting sun until the end of the Revolution. Perspective is key. The Martian symbol for Justice, turned upside down, spells Doom. The force streaking towards Earth can be a blessing or destruction. Only time will tell.