With every single issue since the relaunch Scott Snyder has escalated the threats that the Justice League are coming up against. Now things will be going to a new level as the Justice League enter the Sixth Dimension. With it comes the reappearance of Mr. Mxyzptlk and his brand of chaos. Mr. Mxyzptlk is one of those characters that is very 50-50 when he is involved with any storyline. How he will do in Snyder’s Justice League that has been hitting every corner of the DC multiverse is anyone’s guess. Let’s find out now with Justice League #19.
Plot Writer: Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez
Script Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: While bored at work Clark Kent gets a telepathic call from Batman, who says Martian Manhunter did the job.
Clark gets up but is immediately stopped by Perry White, who yells at Clark for not finishing his article. Clark sneezes, causing Perry to lose his balance, and quickly writes his “Drowned Earth” article before leaving.
While flying to the meeting spot Batman and Superman mentally argue about what they are doing with the crisis they are fighting and how they are trying to stop the Legion of Doom. Superman reminds Batman that they as symbols people recognize for standing for something.
Superman lands in the meeting spot as it starts snowing but doesn’t see any of the Leaguers. Wonder Woman turns off the spell she learned from Zatanna to reveal they are already there.
Wonder Woman says that Martian Manhunter sent the message across dimensions. Flash says that the weather is what was predicted in the 90th day and force “him” to return as predicted.
Mr. Mxyzptlk arrives inside the dimension cage. Mr. Mxyzptlk laughs that the cage will protect the city from him but it won’t protect the city from itself.
Suddenly the entire city of Metropolis starts to become warp with the Daily Planet turning into a monster and destroying the Wayne Enterprise building. The Justice League quickly try to save the city but Mr. Mxyzptlk uses his powers to alter their attacks.
Superman and Martian Manhunter plead Mr. Mxyzptlk to stop his attack as they just want to talk. Mr. Mxyzptlk stops his brand of mischief and turns the city back to normal.
With things calm down Superman reveals that Martian Manhunter is now telepathically forcing Mr. Mxyzptlk to repeat his name backwards subconsciously in order to neutralize his powers.
Mr. Mxyzptlk wonders why the Justice League would call him before the 90 days were up. Superman says they know how all-powerful and dangerous he is but he is not evil and they are up against something that is. Mr. Mxyzptlk says he knows they are up against the biggest mischief of all.
At the Hall of Doom Brainiac tells Lex Luthor that the Justice League are attempting something that could be dangerous for them if they succeed. Lex isn’t too worried since they only need two more dark energy sources to wake the mother of the multiverse: Perpetua. Brainiac is about to say something about Mr. Mxyzptlk but is stopped by Lex, who is confident this is the point that the heroes era ends.
At the Hall of Justice the League ask Mr. Mxyzptlk to help them figure out how they can use Hawkgirl’s wings to fix the multiverse that is a map to the Fifth Dimension. Mr. Mxyzptlk reveals that the Fifth Dimension is dying because the Source Wall is broken. He goes on to to talk about how their map isn’t pointing to the Fifth Dimension, it is pointing to the Sixth Dimension.
The Justice League doubts the existence of the Sixth Dimension. Mr. Mxyzptlk decides to show them that it is real.
Mr. Mxyzptlk shows the Justice League how all the dimensions work and how the Sixth Dimension is closed off to all but the most powerful beings. He goes on to state the Sixth Dimension acts as the multiverse’s control room with only Monitor, Anti-Monitor, World Forger and Perpetua, the latter of who is responsible for starting everything, existing there. He then reveals that whenever one of these four are destroyed they are reformed in the Sixth Dimension and is the only place they can get what they need to stop Perpetua.
Martian Manhunter asks if Mr. Mxyzptlk can open a portal to the Sixth Dimension. Mr. Mxyzptlk says he can but only Superman is able to enter without being driven insane. Superman wonders why that is. Mr. Mxyzptlk reveals he infused Superman with Fifth Dimension energy to protect him.
Superman tells Mr. Mxyzptlk to open the portal. Batman states this is crazy because they don’t know what they are dealing with the Sixth Dimension yet. Superman states they are out of time and this is what they have to do as the Justice League. Batman relents when Superman jokes when asking him to say “I’m Batman.”
Mr. Mxyzptlk opens a door to the Sixth Dimension. Superman gives the rest of the Justice League a smile to reassure them he will be safe and enters the portal.
Not long afterwards the door to the Sixth Dimension opens. An older Superman in a white and gold costume appears. Martian Manhunter confirms that is Superman. Superman reveals he spent several decades following billions of threads of possibilities and he finally found a way to save the universe. Superman asks them to follow him so he can show them that possibility.
Batman is worried that they can’t leave the universe alone while discovering this possibility. Mera and Starman volunteer to stay behind. With that the Justice League follow older Superman through the dimensional portal.
When they reach the other side the older Superman introduces the current Justice League with the future Justice League that already won and saved everyone.
In a dark area the real Superman falls in a hole and yells out “No” while firing a heat vision blast into the sky. Superman then gives up and starts crying as we see that he is surrounded by dead bodies. End of issue.
The Good: Justice League #19 was exactly what it needed to be: a opening chapter to the next big story in Scott Snyder’s run on this series. There were some big plot points brought up that will affect the rest of Snyder’s run in the future. At the same time, there was enough built in to keep readers attention to what will happen in this current Sixth Dimension story arc.
One of the most impressive things in Justice League #19 is how Snyder writes the dynamic with the members of the Justice League. There is a natural flow to the way each member of the Justice League talk with each other. Even if some of the members like Hawkgirl and Starman have not been part of the Justice League for long you can tell there is a trust between all of them. Especially with how Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash talk with each other Snyder puts over that they have all been working with each other for a long time. And because it is all done as part of the flow of the story this fact isn’t beaten into us.
This also helps in making the transition as to which Justice League member takes the spotlight in each issue. Up until this point Superman has been more of a supporting player. That is not to say he hasn’t been important. Moreso, he has stepped back in terms of being the one that gets all the development as Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl and Starman appropriately been key players to build up there status.
But with this issue Snyder is able to put over how Superman’s almost God-like status does put him over the other members of the Justice League. Little things like Mr. Mxyzptlk mentioning Superman as the only one that can handle the initial trip to the Sixth Dimension puts over how powerful he is. Given that we do learn only Monitor, Anti-Monitor, World Forger and Perpetua exist in the Sixth Dimension this shows that Superman is the only one that can properly fight these characters. Even if he is still outmatched he will be a key player in this crisis when everything comes together.
What was even more impressive about Snyder’s writing of Superman in Justice League #19 was how he humanizes him. Opening this issue up with Superman as Clark Kent at his day job is a reminder that he is normal guy when not wearing the cape. At the same time, because of the current situation going on with the multiverse Clark knows he needs to spend more time as Superman to save everyone. That weight he carries helps the reader understand why he was impatient about getting to work as Superman and quickly getting his work done when he gets caught by Perry.
Adding to this part of Superman’s character was how he interacted with the rest of the Justice League. All of his dialogue with his teammates show that he feels like he can be himself even when he is acting as Superman. Superman’s discussion with Batman in particular gets into how he views the Justice League members as symbols. At the same time, the jabs he throws at Batman later in Justice League #19 show there is a deep trust and friendship.
This is very different from how we see Lex Luthor talk with the Legion of Doom. As we see with how he blows off all of Brainiac’s warnings about the Justice League, Lex sees himself above everyone. With where they are now Lex believes his plans cannot be stopped. He is now at the point where his biggest enemy could be his own overconfidence. And with what we learn about the power level of Perpetua this does create greater intrigue into what will happen when the Legion of Doom bring her out.
In the middle of all this Snyder also wrote a great version of Mr. Mxyzptlk. Snyder was able to tap into the different way that Mr. Mxyzptlk talks with everyone. It feels different from all the other interactions we have seen between the Justice League and other characters. In the process we are reminded of the unique brand of chaos when he messes with the entire Justice League. It was an effective way to show how powerful he is without that dominating the entire issue.
Getting away from the mischief part of his character early was a smart move so Snyder can emphasize Mr. Mxyzptlk knowledge of all the dimensions. All the exposition Snyder throws at us through Mr. Mxyzptlk felt important to the overall narrative that is being created with the current Source Wall crisis. Bringing in the Sixth Dimension concept and how that ties into Monitor, Anti-Monitor, World Forger and Perpetua existence was riveting. It all emphasized how important it was for the Justice League to figure out how to resolve the current crisis with the Source Wall before it gets even more out of hand.
With all of these big things that take place it was good to see other Justice Leaguers get small moments in this issue as well. Things like Mera’s concern for Atlantis and Wonder Woman using a pell she has learned from Zatanna was a good way to bring in elements from Aquaman and Justice League Dark into this series. Having that connection with other comics shows there are more things going on, which helps build interest for readers who want to know more about these characters.
Jorge Jimenez having a hand in developing the story in Justice League #19 with Snyder showed through his artwork. Jimenez packed the issue with a great amount of detail. The double page spread of Monitor, Anti-Monitor, World Forger and Perpetua as Mr. Mxyzptlk explained the Sixth Dimension was beautiful. He also did a great job balancing the light hearted moments throughout Justice League #19 with the dark moment we concluded as Superman found himself surrounded by dead bodies in a dark area.
The Bad: The one spot where Justice League #19 slipped up was with the ending. With a look at what the real Superman is doing it puts across the idea that the older Justice League is just a fake. Having this idea established immediately in the first issue halts some the anticipation for what the big reveal will be with this future Justice League. It would have been better if Snyder and Jimenez held off on showing us where the real Superman is so that we could learn about this future Justice League without fully doubting their authenticity. This is something that could be quickly fix with the next issue but did hurt the ending of Justice League #19.
Overall: Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez packed Justice League #19 with important information about how the dimensions in the DC Universe work. While learning about the dimensions Snyder delivers a lot of great dialogue between the Justice League members, Mr. Mxyzptlk and Legion of Doom. Adding in the excellent artwork by Jimenez made this another must read chapter for Justice League fans.
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