Luthor prepares to deliver the killing blow! Who can stop the impending doom? Who, I ask? Find out, in Justice League #37!
In my review for Justice League #36, I noted that, while the plot advanced very little, I still enjoyed the story. There was emotional advancement, and it sustained my interest. Not much happened, but it felt like a lot happened.
After finishing Justice League #37, I felt like not much had happened again, but upon reflection, that isn’t actually true. John makes it to Kendra and Shayne, Perpetua’s original children are separated, Mommy hurls a planet at them, a battle kicks off, heroes pray for a symbol, but can’t quite get it up, other stuff, and yada yada yada. There’s quite a bit happening. So why do I feel like nothing happened?
I think it’s because we jump from event to event pretty quickly, so it almost feels like the 20 pages of this book are one moment stretched out. That’s probably true, at least in the temporal sense, at any rate.
The upside of this is that we get to see a crucial moment in the story from all angles. Several months ago, I complained that we rushed through the League and Legion fighting in the Battle of Pearl Harbor; and while this current skirmish isn’t as intriguing as DC heroes and villains on opposite sides of such a historic conflict, it’s nevertheless nice getting to see what’s happening on its many fronts.
The downside is that most of this issue’s threads are over almost as soon as we’re introduced to them. Alpheus hatches a plan to send Kendra, John, and Shayne back to Earth, and in a moment, it’s done. Lex delivers what he thinks is the killing blow, but there’s no time for it to sink in before he sees his failure. The only thread that runs the whole length of the book is probably the weakest one: Superman, Wonder Woman and others trying to send a “Justice Totality/Sigil/formation/dingus” up into the sky to counter the Doom dingus that’s been up there for the past few issues. I understand how the significance—they’re psychically connecting with humanity and turning the tide—but it’s still one of the most esoteric aspects of Snyder’s entire run, and it’s hard to get an emotional foothold when this is the focus.
Don’t get me wrong: I still enjoyed reading this. There were some great moments, not least because Jimenez and Sanchez have at last returned to the book. But this is definitely not the highest this book can reach—or even has reached, and I don’t have the sense of impact, excitement, and anticipating that I’ve had in those golden moments from issues past.
Justice League #37 is essential reading, but it isn’t the best this book can be. It’s an enjoyable advancement of the plot, with delicious artwork, but the best is behind—and, hopefully, in front.
DISCLAIMER: Batman News received an advance copy of this book for review.