The Justice League has failed! The Sigil of Doom shines in the sky, and any hope for Justice has been dashed! Where do the heroes go from here? Find out in Justice League #35, as the Justice/Doom War rages on!

One big reaction

Justice League #35 begins with a string of reactions: first, the League reacts to its failure. Batman won’t say it, but it looks like everything is over, and it’s only a matter of time before Perpetua and the Legion of Doom mop up what heroes remain. Snyder and Manapul do a great job selling the cloud that has fallen over the League, and I find myself feeling almost as uncertain and dejected as they do.

Credit: Francis Manapul and Tom Napolitano

I appreciate the optimism of the Justice Society, too. This has been the Justice League’s fight for far longer, so it weighs on them more, but Wildcat and Lantern Scott refuse to let them wallow. Even though the Society was transported from their time, and are thus not technically older than their present-day counterparts, this feels like the steadfast former generation lending its confidence to the beleaguered Leaguers, and it makes me smile.

The warpath

There are plenty of others across the multiverse—hero and villain alike—watching the sky, but we rest on an unexpected one: Earth-19’s Gaslight Batman. As he and Inspector Gordon attempt to make sense of the symbol above, we see the unfolding of Perpetua’s plan begin. I won’t spoil it here, but it is indeed terrible. And knowing what DC has planned for the new year, I suspect we’re only at the tip of the iceberg, and that dearer worlds than this one will pay the price before it’s all said and done.

Credit: Francis Manapul, Hi-Fi, and Tom Napolitano

There’s quite a bit of dialogue from Perpetua in this sequence, but it’s well-written and, I think, timely. For most of this run, we’ve read what other characters have to say about her; and, while this isn’t the first time she’s been allowed to speak, it is the first time we’ve seen such a detailed explanation of her plans. It’s also the first time we’re really seeing her act, and that’s pretty fearsome in its own right.

Hope dies

The biggest ding in this issue’s otherwise polished finish is Hawkgirl. The final part shows us what’s become of she and Shayne. I said a review or two ago that I felt like her foolhardy approach to the battle with Lex was understandable, and I still feel that way. But her realization of that in this issue still makes me want to say “duh” and slap her silly with her own mace. I’m not even saying that Snyder and Tynion did something wrong. It just starts to feel like the bad battlefield decision-making was more necessary than natural in retrospect.

That aside, this is one of the best issues of this event. It’s a transition, sure, but the drama and emotion feel real, and the rumored future of the DC Universe makes me think the stakes are legitimate for the first time in a very long while. Time will tell, of course, and we’ve been here before; but right now, in this moment, it’s working for me.

Recommended if…

  • You want to see the fullness of Perpetua’s vision for the Multiverse
  • You like reading stories where the heroes’ backs are against the wall
  • You dig Gotham by Gaslight

Overall

Justice League #35 is the link between two large chunks of Justice/Doom War, but it’s essential material. Snyder and Manapul draw us closer to our heroes as we see the emotional impact of their failure, and the road ahead only looks tougher. 35 issues in, and Justice League is still essential reading.

SCORE: 8.5/10