Things on Earth are trending NASTY. Lex Luthor planted a seed of doom in the hearts of mankind, and it’s up to the Justice League—and a few faraway friends—to fight back. Will it be enough? The confrontation with Perpetua grows nearer, in Justice League #26.

It’s alright

Most of Justice League #26 feels disposable. That doesn’t necessarily make it bad, but it starts at a disadvantage, because the question “why am I reading this?” looms large. The disposable parts are bookended by something with greater substance—featuring Martian Manhunter briefly assuming his John Jones disguise—but the bulk is still of little consequence.

When things don’t matter (or don’t matter as much), then things should at least be entertaining. There are certainly moments like that here. There’s a congress of multiversal heroes, featuring some that you probably haven’t seen in a while. Seeing Alpheus challenge them to find his brothers—the Monitors—made me a bit giddy for what’s to come. Heck, I’m not even a huge fan of the original Crisis, but the very scope of these sorts of things is always enough to get me on board and give it a chance.

Credit: Javier Fernandez, Hi-Fi, and Tom Napolitano

But the book sags a bit when we transition to the Hall of Justice. Tynion focuses on a conversation between Mera and Hawkgirl, with the latter clearly peeved at J’onn J’onzz for not being there. Many of the stops along the way are excuses to show other heroes, which is fine, but there’s just too much dialogue, and the heart-to-heart between Mera and Kendra often feels unnatural. Granted, I see some improvement in Tynion’s work here, but he still gets caught in his own elaborate phrases at times, and it makes the book dip in quality.

It looks…a little funky at times

Fernandez does a decent job most of the time, but he’s inconsistent, and there are some panels that look downright funky. There’s a big double-page spread that’s supposed to showcase all of the assorted heroes from across the multiverse, but it looks pretty bland—which is a real shame, given the opportunity. To their credit, Hi-Fi’s colors are nice, and Napolitano handles the gobs of dialogue with his usual grace.

In the end, like I said above, it’s alright. Beyond the bookends, this never feels like essential reading, but the assortment of heroes and low-simmering conflict beneath everything will probably be enough to keep most of us fairly entertained for a read or two. I don’t love it, but I don’t always have to.

Recommended if…

  • You like “calm-before-the-storm” stories
  • A little Jarro covers a multitude of sins
  • John Jones!

Overall

In terms of excitement, Justice League #26 is definitely a valley compared to the peak of the last issue. This “breather” between big arcs is probably just what the book needs, though it feels like it didn’t need these 20 pages of it. Still, Tynion’s dialogue is somewhat improved, Fernandez is mostly on target, and Hi-Fi and Napolitano put a nice professional finish on top of everything else. Enjoy it once or twice, don’t expect too much, and Justice League #26 should leave you satisfied enough until the next one.

SCORE: 7/10