Justice League continues to be DC’s gold standard. Scott Snyder is delivering an epic tale dealing with DC’s Multiverse and the very foundation for DC’s mythology. I am confident that Justice League #20 will be another quality read. Let’s hit this review.
Plot: Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez
Script: Scott Snyder
Art: Jorge Jimenez
Colors: Alejandro Sánchez
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, John Stewart, and Kendra in the 6th Dimension. In the 6th Dimension, the Justice Leaguers are all older. Old Superman welcomes the Justice Leaguers to the House of Justice. It is an amazing place where their universe has been placed into perfect harmony with Justice.
The 6th Dimension Justice League has been able to right all of the wrongs that Luthor and his Legion of Doom caused by destroying the Source Wall and freeing Perpetua.
Old Superman says that our Justice Leaguers cannot stop Luthor and the Legion of Doom’s plans. That the Justice Leaguers should actually try to speed things up in order to then be able to defeat Luthor and Perpetua.
Old Superman explains how the Multiverse is inside a sphere and it is flying through the void. That Perpetua created the Multiverse and then turned it from Justice to Doom in order to use it as a weapon to attack the other celestial entities. That Perpetua had three sons: the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and the World Forger. Perpetua’s three sons warned the other celestial entities of Perpetua’s plans.
That the Justice Leaguers must wrest control of the Multiverse from Perpetua to help it achieve a higher form. Therefore, when it arrives at the Banks of Judgment it will be deemed worthy. Old Superman says that they can talk more about what to do to stop Perpetua tomorrow. That the Justice Leaguers should take the rest of today to explore this world.
We shift to Gotham with Batman chasing Deathstroke. Batman calls out for Robin to stop Deathstroke. We see Jarro in a Robin costume streaking out of nowhere. (YESSSS!!!!!) Jarro says, “On it, Dad!” Jarro then lands on Deathstroke’s face and takes over his mind. Batman then says that Jarro is his favorite Robin ever. (Mine, too.)
We cut back to the Hall of Justice and see that Jarro is simply dreaming. Mera wakes Jarro up. We see that Mr. Mxyzptlk is in a trance and contained in an energy cocoon. Starman says that Mxyzptlk’s energy readings are off the charts. Jarro then reads Mxyzptlk’s mind. Jarro says that there is something in Mxyzptlk’s head and it is telling him to do what they agreed on and to erase the line before it is too late.
We zip back to the 6th Dimension. Kendra and Martina Manhunter are watching their older selves who are married to each other and have a child named Shayne. The world appears to be a perfect place. The 6th Dimension Justice Leaguers have even managed to repopulate Mars. Old Martian Manhunter says that once the war with Perpetua is over in their Multiverse that it became a heaven of their own making.
We shift to Barry and John at STAR Labs with Old Barry and Old John. 6th Dimension John is a White Lantern. Old Barry and Old John unveil how they are re-creating the Multiple Earths that were destroyed in the war with Perpetua. Old John uses his architectural skills along with his white power ring to create the worlds and old Barry uses the Speed Force and the Still Force to collapse the hyper-time and situate the Multiple Earths in time and space. Old Barry says that they control the time stream now and they can travel through times without any problems.
We hop over to Old Wonder Woman showing Wonder Woman how Paradise Island is now a great place of learning. That they have created a new universal language. That Paradise Island is a beacon of light of education.
We then cut to Batman talking to Old Batman and Old Superman. They are in Gotham City. Everything is bright, sunny, and modern. There is no misery or crime. Old Superman says that Gotham is a testament to Bruce’s vision and work. The 6th Dimension Batman takes off his cowl and we see it is Dick Grayson. Dick says that no one gave more than Bruce did during the war with Perpetua. Dick says that in the 6th Dimension that Batman is what Bruce always wanted: a symbol.
Old Superman says that Bruce was right about everything all those years ago. That the solution in the 6th Dimension would due to cold hard facts from Bruce. Batman says that he has a question. Batman asks where are all of the villains?
We hop back to Martian Manhunter and Kendra in amazement over the utopia that is the 6th Dimension. Kendra says that everything seems too perfect. J’onn agrees. Suddenly, Shayne enters the room and tells J’onn and Kendra that this place and these people are not what they think they are. Shayne tells the Justice Leaguers that they need to flee right now. Shayne says that he will show them. Shayne then projects his thoughts into J’onn and Kendra. J’onn and Kendra are horrified at what they see.
We slide back to the Hall of Justice on Earth. Mxyzptlk has morphed into this giant demonic creature and busts through the roof of the Hall of Justice. We cut to Luthor and Brainiac watching the events at the Hall fo Justice. Brainiac says that he knew Mxyzptlk power was incalculable and appears to have no limits. Luthor tells Brainiac to calm down. Luthor asks Brainiac to imagine what they could do with their own imp. Luthor then grabs a metal box with a black lighting bolt in the middle of a yellow oval.
We zip to Superman in a bleak and desolate location. Superman keeps trying to fly into the air to leave this place and then keeps falling back to the ground. A voice tells Superman that his friends all belong in their utopia. That is where their lives lead. However, Superman’s life from the rocket to now was one line. And that one line leads to right here.
We see Old Superman arrive on the scene. Old Superman tells Superman that they have to talk. End of issue.
The Good: Scott Snyder continues to nail it on the Justice League. Justice League #20 is another entertaining read. Justice League continues to be DC’s flagship title delivering an epic tale that spans across the entire DCU in a way that no other title does. I love that Snyder is delving into every corner of the DCU. There is nothing that is off-limits on the Justice League. Snyder is reveling in the depth and nuance of the DCU and DC’s continuity. The result is a title that has clearly separated itself from every other title that Marvel and DC are currently publishing.
Justice League #20 takes us to the 6th Dimension which offers the reader the usual future utopia where things simply seem way too good to be true. I dig the House of Justice as the 6th Dimension Justice League. Snyder does a fine job taking the core personalities of each Justice Leaguer and evolving them into the personalities for the 6th Dimension Justice Leaguers.
I love the 6th Dimension John Stewart. Snyder making John a White Lantern and having him use his powers to reconstruct the lost Multiple Earths is perfect. John’s past as an architect and his role in the destruction of Xanshi make this 6th Dimensions version a logical evolution. The idea that John would evolve into a White Lantern underscores his undying belief of hope. Having John reconstruct the destroyed Multiple Earths fits with his past as an architect, however, it also allows John to create worlds to atone for his perceived role in the destruction of Xanshi.
I like the 6th Dimension Barry Allen. Snyder shows us a Barry who has learned control over the Speed Force and the Still Force. This is the natural evolution of the quest that Barry has been on over in The Flash.
The 6th Dimension Batman is a wonderful surprise twist by Snyder. And it is also a nice call back to when Snyder wrote Batman with Dick Grayson in the role of the titular character. Snyder does a good job furthering the concept of the Batman as a mantle that is passed down from one generation to the next. The need for a Batman will always exist. That the Batman is a symbol of justice that never dies.
The 6th Dimension J’onn and Kendra were both well done. Yes, I find the pairing of J’onn and Kendra to be stomach turning. Hawkgirl goes with Hawkman. To not have them paired together is a violation of the basic laws of nature. Having said that, I dig how Snyder explains why these two characters are together and how they compliment each other. J’onn being the shepherd and Kendra being the messenger bird are roles that fit each character perfectly.
I liked the slightly sinister twist on J’onn’s role as shepherd being one that has him deciding how much to reveal to the world and what to conceal from the world. J’onn has always been the moral compass of the Justice League. J’onn has always been their heart. The idea of J’onn evolving into a controlling character that decides what exactly the world needs to know and what they do not need to know is a fascinating twist.
The 6th Dimension Wonder Woman is also well done. I love the concept of Paradise Island as a place of knowledge and learning. This fits into Wonder Woman’s core traits of love and a nurturing care.
Last is the Messianic Superman of the 6th Dimension. Snyder has the 6th Dimension Superman appearing both regal and godly with his white hair and his resplendent white and gold costume.
I also loved how Snyder used Mr. Mxyzptlk in Justice League #20. Mr. Mxyzptlk is such a fun Silver Age character. He brings such a different vibe to any story. Snyder morphing Mr. Mxyzptlk into a giant demonic creature is a cool twist. Mr. Mxyzptlk has lots of potential and I am curious to see what Snyder does with his character.
Snyder then teases that Lex Luthor has an answer to the Justice League having a 5th Dimension imp on their side. We Lex holding a metal box with a yellow oval and a black thunderbolt logo in the middle of it. We know that Mr. Mxyzptlk is from the 5th dimension. Who else could have Lex pulled from the 5th Dimension to counter Mr. Mxyzptlk. How about Thunderbolt? While Mr. Mxyzptlk is an imp from the 5th Dimension, Thunderbolt is a Jinn from the 5th Dimension.
Thunderbolt is an awesome Justice Society of America character that we have not seen since the New 52 reboot. I am hoping that this is the direction that Snyder takes. It would also play in nicely with the reappearance of the Justice Society of America over in Doomsday Clock.
Of course, out of all of the characters in Justice League #20, the star of the show continues to be none other than JARRO! I absolutely adore Snyder’s Jarro. This is such a fantastic character. Snyder has hit a home run with Jarro. This character provides the much-needed comic relief to Snyder’s story.
Seeing Jarro dreaming of not only being Robin but being Batman’s favorite Robin of all time was just brilliant! I adored this scene. The dynamic between Batman and Jarro has been the unexpected hit of Snyder’s Justice League. The father and son relationship between these two characters is wonderful. Seeing Batman being protective of his “son” Jarro in earlier issues of Justice League was an entertaining look at a side of Batman that is rarely seen. Now, in Justice League #20, Snyder gives the reader a look at Jarro’s affection for his “father” and his desire to do good in Batman’s eyes.
Snyder serves up his usual quality dialogue and character work in Justice League #20. Snyder continues to have an excellent sense for each of the character’s distinct personalities. All of the characters are well-developed. The characters have nicely defined external voices. The dialogue has a pleasant natural flow.
As always, Justice League #20 was another excellently plotted and paced issue. Snyder continues to juggle a large roster of characters with aplomb. Snyder is also able to handle multiple complex and detailed plot lines and massage and weave them together in a seamless fashion. It is impressive how much effort Snyder is placing into fleshing out the various plot lines in order to give this story wonderful depth and texture.
The story continues to move forward with a clear purpose in mind. Snyder employs excellent scene transitions which gives Justice League #20 a good flow. Snyder also knows exactly when to pick up the pace and then to ease off the gas when delivering this story.
Of course, Snyder delivers a fantastic hook ending with the reveal that each of these 6th Dimension Justice Leaguers are presenting a future specifically tailored to the dreams and wishes of each of our Justice Leaguers. What would J’onn want more than a loving wife and son to replace the ones he lost and to see Mars being repopulated with Martians. What else would Bruce Wayne want to see other than his dreams of a pristine and safe Gotham? What else would John Stewart want than to correct all of his perceived wrongs? What else would Barry want other than elusive control over both the Speed Force and the Still Force. What else would Wonder Woman want other than for Paradise Island to be a place of peace and learning?
As it is with utopias things are just too good to be true. I dig that the only character that immediately questions this seemingly too good to be true world is Batman. Snyder has Batman being highly skeptical and immediately asking where are all of the villains. As always, it is the Batman who should be the Justice Leaguer least likely to be misled and tricked.
Snyder then follows up on Batman’s skepticism with the surprise reveal by Shayne that things are not as they seem and that the Justice Leaguers should flee immediately. Snyder then ends Justice League #20 with the stark scene of Superman trapped in a bleak and barren location and unable to fly away. 6th Dimension Superman’s appearance with quite the evil smile indicates that nothing good is heading Superman’s way with the next issue. I am curious to learn why all the Justice Leaguers got their perfect utopia while Superman was given such a harsh prison. This ending definitely gets the reader excited to come back for the next issue.
Justice League #20 does not just deliver a great story. This issue also treats the reader to plenty of excellent artwork by Jorge Jimenez. I dig Jimenez’s style. It is a perfect match for a flagship mainstream super hero title. Jimenez does a great job with the characters’ facial expressions which helps to bring Snyder’s story to life. Jimenez also knows how to deliver dramatic shots that match the epic tone of Snyder’s story. There is plenty of dynamic energy to Jimenez’s artwork that makes Justice League #20 pleasing to the eye.
The Bad: I have no criticisms with this issue.
Overall: Justice League #20 is another strong issue. Snyder continues to make Justice League DC’s must read title. Jimenez is a nice addition to the stable of artists who have served on this title during Snyder’s run. If you like epic super hero adventures then you should definitely purchase a copy of Justice League #20. This title has been worth the price of admission each and every month.
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