It’s starting to become ever more clearer Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez are sneaking a Batman/Superman story into Justice League. Yeah, the signs were all there, but with Superman seemingly opening and closing every issue the focus on the character is ever more apparent. This issue pushes the needle forward on Batman and his seemingly nefarious new direction. Cue dramatic drums of doom!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“The Sixth Dimension” chapter five! The League’s plan is in full swing, but one member of the team isn’t on board with their message and sides with the World Forger! Betrayed, there’s only one person who can turn the tide of this battle. Can Superman find the strength to escape his prison planet and save the Justice League, or is the League doomed to live out their days trapped in the Sixth Dimension?!
Why does this matter?
This series continues to be a ton of fun and Jorge Jimenez’s lines are proof of that. There isn’t one, but two cool ideas connected to Superman that are introduced here as well.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Snyder continues to draw us into the psychological battle Superman is going through in the opening pages. Similar to the last issue we get to see touching moments Superman has had with his son Jon. He’s in a prison, a hell of sorts, in the Fifth Dimension and he cannot escape the void. As Snyder aptly puts it in a caption it’s, “a realm where all of our hopes and fears live…” It’s haunting to see Superman think of these warm and fuzzy moments only to cut to his despair. Superman’s greatest power, however, is his ability to never give up, and that’s reflected well here. You get the sense Snyder and Jimenez are pushing Superman and seeing what he can take, further enlightening us on his willpower. Can he ever break? We might just find out in this series.
The remaining 16 pages are devoted to the Justice League in an exhilarating chase sequence. Leave it to Snyder to sneak in an interesting twist for our heroes and a teachable moment. I won’t spoil it, but what this team learns could pay off in a big way as Year of the Villain continues. The Legion of Doom, or a version of them, make their personalities heard quite loudly. It’s fun to see an Elseworlds take on the characters and there’s some banger dialogue for many of them. The one doing the chasing, Lois Lane, has an interesting weapon introduced here and you gotta love the one-liners from here and others.
You know the art is next level when a less splashy, but highly important close up is done to perfection like it is done here. Jimenez, with color artist Alejandro Sanchez, continues to dazzle. There’s a fantastic close up I referenced above using Sinestro that instantly connects you to that characters struggle at that moment and everything leading up to it. Superman has no lines in the opening void scene, but you get all you need from the detail of his eyes and body language. There is also plenty of cool ships, interior, and exterior, as well as another new costume introduced here. Great stuff across the board.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I’m still confused as far as Batman’s role in this story. Why a god-like character like World Forger needs a human such as Batman is beyond me. Yes, I know he has one of the greatest minds in the multiverse, but it’s not completely clear to me why he’d choose Batman or why he’d trust him. This part of the story hasn’t had the most attention on it keeping us in the dark and making us question if Batman is breaking bad, or not. It’s obvious the ambiguity of what Batman is thinking is on purpose, but it makes this part of the story seem underwritten.
Is it good?
Clever ideas, great one-liners, and intense chase sequences make this story arc feel like a blockbuster event. It’s like a bonus blockbuster event before DC Comics really lets loose with Year of the Villain. Snyder and Jimenez are reminding us comics are supposed to be fun.