If your greatest superteam is off fighting a single humanoid villain, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV would like to show you how you’re doing it wrong. Or, at the very least, how your stakes aren’t high enough. Justice League has proven good planning, big ideas, and even bigger villains is one way to prove how important and amazing your heroes can be. Case in point, Justice League #23 which continues to push our heroes to new heights but putting them through the wringer.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“The Sixth Dimension” chapter four! Our heroes have been banished to the prison planet of villains by the World Forger. Stuck with no way of escape, the team hatches a plan to defeat the World Forger and get back to their dimension with the help of a new ally, but where is Superman?!
Why does this matter?
After a brief hiatus with the Legion of Doom, Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez are back at it with their narrative in the Sixth Dimension. Can the heroes stop Lois Lane, will Superman be freed of his prison that is the void, and will Batman make the right decision? All these questions progressed nicely here!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue bookends quite nicely opening with Superman in the darkest, most hopeless place imaginable as he attempts to escape. It’s like he’s been placed in a location that is the opposite of what he represents. The ending all leads up with great scenes involving the main Justice League and then brief cut-aways to Batman using logic and thinking to get new information. Pacing wise Snyder and Jimenez continue to keep their foot on the pedal, but allow characters to add a bit of color and reflect on their surroundings. The Justice League face off against an alternate dimension Lois Lane and we learn a bit about a prison she seems to run, but you never feel like you’re out of the loop or want more from what you’re seeing. It’s just enough to pique your interest and carry things forward.
Snyder has done a good job splitting these characters up. It’s starting to feel like this is Batman’s story more than the other heroes, but also Superman’s. There’s an interesting connection made about these two characters, yin, and yang, that adds to the mythos of their relationship over the years. I have to hand it to Snyder for continuing to add beautiful bits of thought-provoking ideas into captions in this series. One that struck me in the opening pages reads, “He reminds himself we are simply a constellation drawn across the lights of memory. Eventually, the shape is set and every new star reinforces it.” Not to butcher the intention, but Snyder makes you think about life and a deeper meaning that helps add weight and depth to the story.
Jimenez draws yet another great issue. Can this man do no wrong?! Aided by Alejandro Sanchez on colors and Tom Napolitano on letters nearly every page is a work of art worth framing. There are interesting light effects in play to draw your eye, like a scene with the Justice League getting zapped, their black silhouettes splattered with blue negative looking image as if it were zapping them out of existence. Later, a banger double page layout curves a line of panels at the top and bottom enhancing the action at the center of the page which focuses on the heroes running from right to left. I’ve reviewed over 2,600 single issue comics over the last 7 years and I can say with certainty the best art utilizes kinetic energy to practically vibrate images off the page. Jimenez does this in spades.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The anticipation is starting to kill me. Superman is trapped, Batman seems to be under some kind of spell not making the best decisions, and the rest of the Justice League are navigating obstacles. I envy everyone who reads this for the first time in trade paperback!
Is it good?
Another great issue in a story arc that balances action, plot progression, and deeply thoughtful ideas.