Forever Evil has ended. Lex saved the day. Not much is back to normal. In this issue entitled Injustice League Chapter One: Kicking Down Doors, Geoff Johns takes a step back from all the over-the-top action and focuses on asking some intriguing questions about the Justice League and Lex Luthor.

The issue begins with the Secret Society having a round table discussion on how they can defeat the Justice League. The following two-page spread is a perfect opening hook for the rest of the issue. I suppose it is already known, but for safety’s sake if you haven’t read the issue, turn away now. There is no way of safely saying much more as the entire issue is based around that two-page spread.

Go on now.

Great. So we’re alone, just you and me to talk about how Lex Luthor wants to and becomes a member of the Justice League. The spread looks great. It’s funny (thanks Shazam), beautiful (thanks Reis and art team), and sets the stage for what’s to come. My first question: where’s Superman?

The story takes us back to four days prior to the arrest of the Secret Society. The world is in love with Lex Luthor. Everyone from the Daily Planet to Lucius Fox considers Lex the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a good thing too; for without it, the tension we feel by the League’s distrust wouldn’t be as high and the story would be less fulfilling.

During this time of four days ago, the Justice League cannot find Lex Luthor. Wonder Woman looks here. Clark looks there. No one can find him. One scene has Batman sitting in front of his giant computer talking with the Justice League. Johns doesn’t give much Bat-love here. I literally busted out laughing when I read Batman’s comment. When you read it, or even if you already have, try reading it with the most obnoxious Christian Bale imitation voice imaginable. It’s hilarious and at the same time sad because it doesn’t do Batman any justice.

Eventually Lex finds them and invites the Justice League up to his place: the new Watchtower. The dialogue between Superman and Lex oozes mistrust. Johns, however, finds a tone with Lex that lets him talk without sounding like a bad guy who is trying to pull one over on the good guys. Luthor’s points are solid to both the League and the reader. To make his case even better, Luthor suggests using Wonder Woman’s lasso so they (and the reader) know he is telling the truth. It’s one of those things where as you’re reading it you’re thinking, “Yes! Do that!” Like when Batman is in a tight spot and we all know Superman could come and save the day but that wouldn’t make a good story so we ignore it, this was one of those moments where a super power was put to use to really further the story.

Luthor’s answers to the questions were spot on. It was the type of honesty you’d believe if it were not from such a devious person. Superman is not convinced and ends the whole thing. It’s here Luthor leaves peacefully and tells them, “If you need me, you know where to find me.” Funny.

The issue then picks up on the Power Ring storyline from Forever Evil. The ring has found someone, a female doomsday prepper, and this will create some trouble for humanity. As enticing as the two pages are that deal with the Power Ring, it pales in comparison to the last reveal. Written and drawn expertly, Batman fans are cringing, terrified, or at the very least curious as to how those two pages will play out in the following issues. The teaser tag on the final page reads, “Lex Luthor Versus Bruce Wayne.

The balance between Reis and Mahnke, as has been noted before, is smooth. Reis’s artwork never ceases to amaze me. He has a director’s eye that makes scene changes and action sequences easily followed. Sometimes the needlepoint eyes on Batman weird me out if I stare at it too long but that is simply just a matter or taste. I like the color palate of the book. It’s not as bright and in your face as some team-up comics tend to be. Everything has a stable tone to it, rising with the action, and keeps the visuals centered.

Recommended if:

  • You want to see why Lex Luthor is proudly on the cover of Justice League
  • You’ve read Forever Evil and want to see what’s next
  • You love mystery and humor

Overall:

Our heroes are faced with the threat… of a nice Lex Luthor. Johns does all but convince us of Luthor’s real intentions thanks to good use of the Lasso of Truth. This issue looks great. It’s a good continuation of what came before and it’s a good teaser for what is to come.

SCORE: 8.5/10