About as good as big time superhero comics get.
They may have called it Dark Nights: Metal, but it’s becoming infinitely clear Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez’s Justice League is about as face melting Metal as you can get. While reading this 6th issue I was reminded of Christopher Lee’s iconic quote,
I associate heavy metal with fantasy because of the tremendous power that the music delivers.
This is a fantasy that is incredibly fun and expansive. The ideas are huge, the stakes high, and the heroes have their backs to the wall. It’s exciting stuff and the scope is so big it deserves a team like the Justice League.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Did you read the write-up on issue #5? Do you really think anything’s gotten better for the Justice League in the past two weeks? Still Force? Still a thing! Ultraviolet Galaxy Lantern? Keeps attacking! Sinestro? Total garbage! Lex Luthor and Joker? Beating everyone to the Source Wall piece. If that happens? You don’t wanna know.
Why does this matter?
This series is entertaining, but it’s also jam-packed with content. Each issue seriously feels deep in content be it the visuals, character work, or plot progression. As far as superhero comics go this work continues to be highly rewarding.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with Joker and Snyder explores the mystery of the character very well. We get snapshots of what could be, but Snyder pushes all that aside from making a statement that the mystery of Joker is why he’s so damn tantalizing. This issue is the kind that defies your expectations, writing Batman in a way that’s comical and different, Superman as the one who needs help, and the heroes who pull the heroes out of the brink as the hard-working lot who won’t give up. This is the kind of comic that surprises because it has put our characters in a different sort of pickle. Lex Luthor is winning and the Legion of Doom is winning. The heroes are not on the winning end and the villains are reveling in that. It’s why the end, finishing with Joker, makes so much sense.
I can’t stop being surprised by how this story works on so many levels. Flash is dealing with a personal crisis, unable to move while Martian Manhunter (the most resolute hero) has an internal crisis going on while Joker controls his body. Then you have Batman battling Lex on an almost subatomic level. All the while a bigger picture is formulating with a doorknob of power being the deciding factor in everything shifting from good to evil. This is how superhero team books should be written.
One element that took me by surprise is how the narrative puts our heroes on their heels, but doesn’t waste time with them miserable and defeated. Snyder has them pivot and move to a solution. It’s a reminder this team is well oiled and willing to move to a solution even if the situation seems dire.
Jimenez continues to excel in layout design and detail. I’m not sure how the man has the time to render so many panels in such high detail, but I’m grateful for it. Being an action comic Jimenez uses streaks of energy and blur to his advantage, keeping you on your toes while characters rush to save the day. The Joker opens the book and is haunting, a reminder of how evil this book is willing to go, and you get a sense of how much this all means to Lex via his facial expressions. Martian Manhunter is all kinds of creepy too, but I won’t get into that to avoid spoilers.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The only major negative I can think of is the fault of the reader who hasn’t read the first four issues of the series. I can imagine jumping into this issue and being lost and confused — but that’s your own fault. A minor negative is how little page time Wonder Woman and Aquaman get and they’re even on the cover.
Is it good?
This is Fast and the Furious meets Prometheus (there’s some weird alien/god stuff going on), meets Flash Gordon. I can’t get over how huge this book feels while also pinpointing the character drama within. This is as good as superhero comics can get on a big scale.