IT’S. TIME. TO. RE. BUILD. THE. MOON. Fending off Darkseid? Sure, seems hard. Warring with the Legion of Doom? A certain challenge. But reconstructing the Earth’s moon from floating chunks? That takes a hero. See for yourself in Justice League #9.

This is what I was talking about

In my review for Justice League #8, I pretty much asked for exactly what Snyder, Jimenez and co. are giving us this week. After the intensity of “The Totality,” it’s nice to see the League in a few lighter moments—showing us what their humanity looks like when it isn’t being stretched by evil. There are a few dramatic moments here, too, but by and large, this is a one-and-done story driven by charm rather than intrigue. And it’s a lot of fun! I particularly enjoy how Snyder pokes and prods at Batman, either through the Dark Knight’s own words, or in the way his teammates refer to and interact with him. This Batman is at times a mild caricature of himself, and I love that.

There are strands of the larger story woven throughout, as well. Dramatic moments between Jon and Barry, Kendra and J’onn, Diana and Arthur—each of these remind us that everything is not actually alright. But the beauty of the bookends—owned by none other than Superman—is that they promise that everything will be. Snyder’s body of work at DC has largely been a story of stubborn hope, and now—removed from the deterministic darkness of Gotham—he presents a hope we can believe in.

Handsome Jorge is at it again

Jimenez and Sanchez have worked on all but a few issues in this run, and if the reasons why weren’t obvious before, they certainly are now. Jimenez draws more heroes this time around than he has yet, but he manages to make all of them look fantastic. I loved seeing him draw Swamp Thing again (if you haven’t read the first Superman annual in the post-Rebirth world, you need to track it down), and this fan of the Young Justice show yipped like an energetic little doggie when Miss Martian showed up.

The bulk of the issue takes place inside the Hall of Justice, and the backgrounds and scenery are just exquisite. Jimenez’s details help, but the real star of this part of the show is Sanchez. The colors are visually interesting, but without being overbearing, and the diversity of settings—all inside the hall—gives him tons of opportunities to circle the color wheel.

Recommended if…

  • You’re just jumping onto Justice League. This is a fun one-and-done before the next big arc starts.
  • You enjoy artwork that looks amazing. And by the way, if you don’t, what?
  • Superman punches xenomorphs midst the crumbs of the Moon!

Overall

Justice League #9 is a fantastic pause before the train begins rolling again in the next issue. The big story will chug on, but for now, it’s a pleasure seeing our heroes—all beautifully rendered—enjoying lower stress (well, some of them anyway) and more contemplative conversations. If you haven’t read it yet, go grab a copy and set about enjoying it.

SCORE: 8.5/10