The fight to save the multiverse continues! Most of the Justice League is off gathering reinforcements, but J’onn J’onzz is in the clutches of a villain so sinister, you won’t believe it—unless you DO believe it, in which case, you don’t not believe it—if you can believe that!

Credit where it’s due

I’ve been nothing but honest in my assessment of Tynion’s work on Justice League. He’s been okay on his best days, and a mark on an otherwise excellent run on his worst. His dialogue is often excessive and untested, and he has a penchant for force-fattening his metaphors like a goose destined for foie gras.

I hope you’ll believe me, then—and be encouraged—when i say that Justice League #27 is his best showing on this title so far, and even after several reads, I am still enjoying it. I wouldn’t say that it’s Snyder-level, but it is no longer a negative. Tynion lacks some of his mentor’s more impressive technique, but here, he does a much better job of working within his own limitations than I’ve seen him do previously. 

Yes, there are a few lines that feel unnatural—Alpheus saying he’ll “give this a shot,” for example—but by and large, we get believable dialogue, effective exposition, and a generally good time. James, if you’re reading this, great job, sir. As someone who has often been critical of your work, it’s my pleasure to praise you when you’re on, and today, you’re on. 

Decent visuals

Javier Fernandez and Bruno Redondo split the line work, though the credits do not tell us who does what. Regardless, I would say that the artwork is much more consistent than it was last time. There are still moments with some seriously strange facial work, but for the most part, the number of distracting panels were at a minimum. And there were some legitimately excellent panels here, too:

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

Beyond the aesthetics, I enjoyed the visual storytelling, too. It’s fairly simple, but very effective, like this sequence of panels in which the “camera” rotates around J’onn and an Ivobot:

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

Also, WHUNNCH:

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

Napolitano, Fernandez (pretty sure this is one of his panels) and Hi-Fi deserve an Eisner for that panel. Love, love, love Tom’s masking choices there, especially with the tray. 

But what the whunnch happened?

Of course, up to this point, I’ve barely said anything of the story. In short, I liked it! I got a chill when the Monitor told the greater League where they would have to head next, and while the Luthor-related stuff with J’onn and Kendra was hardly surprising, I still enjoyed returning to the topic of J’onn and Lex as kids—particularly the reminder that J’onn hopes to save the boy he once know as Albie. If Snyder and friends play their cards right, this could be one of the most significant points of tension and emotional weight in the series going forward, so here’s hoping they nail it. 

Recommended if…

  • You’ve been waiting to revisit J’onn and Lex’s relationship
  • You dig shape-shifting Manhunter scenes
  • You’re down with Professor Ivo

Overall

Justice League #27 sees writer James Tynion find sure footing for the first time in quite a while. The dialogue is believable, the plot engaging, and the drama unclouded by clunky metaphors. Fernandez, Redondo and Hi-Fi turn in quality pages overall, and there are a few standout moments, as well—including one with some deftly-detailed SFX work from Napolitano. I’ve long said that Justice League can’t maintain its quality without Snyder doing the writing, but I’m happy to say that, this week, Tynion and co. have proven me wrong. 

SCORE: 8/10