Ever since Scott Snyder took over the reigns on Justice League this title has become DC’s premier title. When it comes to mainstream super hero stories there is no comic on the market from any publisher better than Justice League. Justice League #15 is actually penned by James Tynion, IV. Historically, issues were Tynion fills in for Snyder are a bit slower and not quite as exciting. Having said that, I am sure that Justice League #15 will be another quality read. Let’s go ahead and hit this review.
Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion, IV
Script: James Tynion, IV
Pencils: Jim Cheung and Stephen Segovia
Inks: Mark Morales and Stephen Segovia
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin at the Hall of Justice. Starman is conscious and screaming out in pain. His energy levels are spiking and he is erupting with solar energy. Starman says that the universe is screaming and it needs to be healed. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman rush to take Starman down before his surging powers damages anything.
We shift to Thanagar Prime. We see Katar Hol holding an unconscious Kendra. Empress Shayera tells Katar to kill Kendra. Suddenly, it is revealed that Kendra is just an illusion and that Katar is holding a Wingman. Martian Manhunter’s illusion allowed for our heroes to make a quick escape.
Shayera tells Katar to assemble the Wingman and go to the Vault. That this is where the heroes will be heading next.
We shift to “miles away.” We see Martian Manhunter, Kendra, and John Stewart hiding in a small hideout where Martian Manhunter had been living while posing as a Wingman and learning as much as he could about Thanagar and the Vault.
J’onn explains how they need to go to the Vault. John states that they are operating outside of the law. That the Green Lantern Corps has a treaty with Thanagar and that Empress Shayera was within her rights to kill them since they are off-worlders meddling with domestic affairs.
J’onn explains that there is a Martian being kept in the vault and that they have to rescue her. J’onn says that this should give them the legal footing for John as a Green Lantern to get involved in Thanagar’s domestic affairs. John reluctantly agrees. J’onn off-worlders then says that he has a plan.
We cut to the Rheon Gallt which is the only entrance into the Vault system. Martian Manhunter says that Thanagar’s Vault is impossible to break into. That it is also highly exclusive. That the wait list to get an item stored in the Vault can take years. Then the Thanagarians travel to the planet requesting access to the Vault and inspect the item and the people to see if it is worthy of being stored at the Vault. Martian Manhunter says that most are denied the access to store something at the Vault.
We see two Dominators there with a large piece of Kryptonite to be stored in the Vault. They enter the Vault along with several Wingmen. Suddenly, the Green Kryptonite turns out to be a Green Lantern construct and John, J’onn, and Kendra come out of the construct. They quickly take down the Wingmen and the Dominators.
They then locate vault where the Martian is being held captive. Before our heroes can get into the vault, Empress Shayera, Katar, and several Wingmen arrive on the scene. Our heroes are about to attack when the Green Lantern Corps suddenly appear on the scene. Killowag tells the heroes that they are all under arrest.
Kendra then attacks Shayera while Martian Manhunter goes invisible and enters the vault. Inside is a white Martian. The Martian tells J’onn that with the break in the Source Wall that Nth Metal has become even more powerful. That Thanagar’s Absorbascon can make memories real. It only requires a mind capable of holding the breadth of Thanagar’s history and culture. This is why they kept the white Martian captive. The Martian says that Katar and Shayera are both lies. The city above them is a life. None of it is real.
J’onn asks what secret are the Thanagarian holding that is so important that it would bring them together with the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Dominators. The Martian says that the secret is that there was a Multiverse before this current one. And its creator is coming back.
We zip back to the Hall of Justice. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have Starman subdued in the Golden Lasso. Starman says that the lasso is grounding him. Starman says that the Totality connects him to every corner of the universe. That he can see the Source Wall and that he can see her. Starman says that the Justice Leaguers on Thanagar are learning a story that has not been told in billions of years. A story that could destroy the universe. The story of Perpetua.
The Good: Justice League #15 is another fun read! There is so much to praise about this issue. What continues to amaze me is the scope of this story. Snyder and Tynion have created such an legendary tale. This story pulls from all corners of the universe from Thanagar, to Dominion, to the Green Lantern Corps, to the Source Wall. This incredible grand scale of this story is part of what makes Justice League feel so epic.
Tynion makes Justice League #15 feel grand with the cosmic scale of this story. By dealing with grand cosmic concepts, Tynion makes Justice League #15 an issue where the reader believes that anything can happen with a turn of a page.
Justice League #15 is strongly plotted. It is obvious that Snyder and Tynion have poured so much time and effort into meticulously weaving detailed plot lines. There is so much depth and richness to the story. Tynion delivers a dense read that offers up plenty of substance for the reader. I appreciate Tynion’s incredible attention to the smallest details. Yes, it can become a bit of a problem at times, but it usually succeeds in making the story a more fulfilling and immersive read.
Tynion does a good job building upon each scene with increasing intensity and excitement. This leads to a furious end to this issue. Tynion begins this issue with having our heroes just having to face Shayera and Katar. Then Tynion adds the Dominators to the mix. Then the Green Lantern Corps is folded into the adventure. Each addition succeeds in cranking up the intensity of the story.
Justice League #15 ends with an excellent double hook ending. Tynion’s gives the reader the stunning reveal of the white Martian and that Shayera and Katar are not real and that much of Thanagar Prime is a lie. And then we get the surprise reveal from the white Martian and Starman that there was a Multiverse before the current one. And that Perpetua was the creator of that Multiverse and that she is returning and may lead to the end of the universe itself. That is how you end an issue with style and get the reader pumped up and excited for the next issue.
I have always adored the Multiverse. Any story that centers on the Multiverse is going to be an immediate favorite of mine. I am fascinated to see where Snyder and Tynion take this plot line involving a prior Multiverse and the cosmic goddess Perpetua.
The Multiverse was in Barry Allen met Jay Garrick back during the Silver Age. This led to a series of annual cross-over events between JLA and JSA. Then the Multiverse was compressed into a single universe with Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Multiverse was then expanded back from a single universe with the end of 52. Grant Morrison continued to flesh out the newly reformed Multiverse with Final Crisis.
Originally, it appeared that the N52 trashed the original DCU continuity. But, Rebirth revealed that the original DCU continuity and the Multiverse still existed. Doomsday Clock is heading toward the reveal that Dr. Manhattan tampered with the Multiverse in order to create the New 52.
Now, Snyder and Tynion are continuing to flesh out new aspects to the Multiverse with Perpetua and the concept of an earlier Multiverse before the current one. There is so much potential with the plot line. It will be fascinating how Snyder and Tynion add another layer onto the Multiverse with this story. I am also curious to see how Perpetua fits in with the Monitors.
The character work and dialogue were well done as always. Tynion has a good feel for the various Justice Leaguers in this issue. Each character has their own unique external voice. Tynion is also able to generate some good chemistry between the characters.
The artwork is solid. It is not quite to the level of what we have been getting on Justice League. But,Jim Cheung, Stephen Segovia, and Mark Morales delivering an artwork by committee issue. The panel layouts for this issue are creative and visually interesting. The splash shots are all properly dramatic.
The Bad: The only criticism of Justice League #15 is that the plot-line on Thanagar Prime got bogged down for a period of six pages. During these pages, Tynion has J’onn explain in painfully dry and dull detail the Vault on Thanagar and how it operates right down to the logistical operations side of things. Detailed storytelling is great when the details are actually interesting. However, these details were more like when George Lucas would get lost in the weeds going on and on about tariffs, trade disputes and parliamentary process in the Star Wars prequels.
This six page stretch in the issue seemed to lose focus and purpose. The story began to slow down and become a bit dull. It was an otherwise boring bridge between the exiting first part of this issue and the excellent ending.
Overall: Justice League #15 is another quality read. This title continues to be one of the best mainstream super hero titles on the market. Period. Snyder and Tynion are weaving an incredible tale that is sure to become a classic years from now. This is a comic that is worth your hard-earned money.