There are a lot of comics out there, but some just stand out head and shoulders above the pack. With “Don’t Miss This” we want to spotlight those series we think need to be on your pull list. This week, we look at Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jorge Jiménez, and Jim Cheung’s “Justice League” run.
Who Is This By?
Scott Snyder, who writes most of the issues of the series, is particularly famous for his long, cross-series run on the Batman comics, including “Detective Comics: The Black Mirror” (for which he won the 2012 Stan Lee Award for Best Ongoing Series), “Batman: Gates of Gotham,” “Batman,” “All-Star Batman,” and even more beyond, stretching from 2011 through to 2017. He also is popular for his horror-centric creator-owned series, such as “American Vampire” at DC Vertigo (and subsequently DC Black Label) and “Wytches” at Image Comics.
James Tynion IV, who writes the “Legion of Doom” interlude issues in the series and co-writes some of the others with Scott Snyder, interestingly enough began his work in comics studying creative writing under Snyder in college. He has written all three “Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” crossovers between DC Comics and IDW Publishing, wrote a forty-seven issue run on “Detective Comics” from 2016 to 2018 concentrating on a collection of non-Batman Batfamily members, and was an integral part of the “Dark Nights: Metal” crossover event in 2018 at DC Comics alongside Snyder. Currently, outside of “Justice League,” he is also writing the “Justice League Dark” series.
Jorge Jiménez has illustrated a plethora of comics all around the DC Universe, from “Superman” to “Earth 2: Society” to “Super Sons.”
Meanwhile, Jim Cheung is most famous for his penciling at Marvel Comics, such as “Clone Conspiracy,” “Avengers: The Children’s Crusade,” “Maverick,” “New Avengers: Illuminati,” and “Marvel Comics Presents.”
Alejandro Sanchez has colored the first year of the “Injustice: Gods Among Us” weekly series, “Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse,” and “Super Sons.” He has also worked on both of the “Star Trek/Green Lantern” crossovers, “Strange Frontier” and “The Spectrum War.”
Tomeu Morey has worked on a multitude of projects primarily at DC Comics, including “Action Comics,” “Superman/Wonder Woman,” “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps,” “Gotham City Sirens,” “Detective Comics,” “Catwoman,” and many others.
Various other illustrators and colorists have issues to show their skills in this run, whether for a single issue or several. In terms of illustrators, we have Doug Mahnke (“JLA”), Mikel Janín (“Grayson”), Bruno Redondo (“Injustice”), Guillem March (“Talon”), Stephen Segovia (“Superwoman”), Pascal Ferry (“Adam Strange”), and Javi Fernandez (“Nightwing”). For colorists, there are Wil Quintana (“Green Lantern”), Jeromy Cox (“DMZ”), Sunny Gho (“Aquaman”), Arif Prianto (“Deathstroke”), and Hi-Fi Design (“Birds of Prey”). Francis Manapul (“Batwoman”) and Frazer Irving (“Xombi”) each provide both illustrations and colors.
What’s It All About?
At its core, the run on “Justice League” since 2018 has been about adventure. The DC Universe has been, quite literally, cracked wide open in the aftermath of both “Dark Nights: Metal” and “Justice League: No Justice,” and it is up to the premiere superheroes to help solve what they broke by way of figuring out their way through the multiverse. Faced with myriad troubles, from a planet’s worth of assailants to the fabric of the multiverse itself to gods and goddesses of long gone eras, there is a sense of something new around every corner just waiting to be discovered.
Facing off against the League is Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom, emerging into the primary continuity of the comics for the first time in history. While the Justice League wishes to protect and save life and show the essential goodness of many, Luthor’s Legion wishes to bend the very nature of the multiverse away from the heroic aims of justice, and toward an unchanging fate, or to be more accurate, “doom.” This conflict pits the greatest of heroes against the worst of villains for the very soul of the DC Universe itself, bringing in even the strongest of forces such as the first three Monitors as a war shakes the very origin of the DC Universe out into the open.Continued below
More than that, “Justice League” is about a group of friends. The League may be expanding, including more members as they settle themselves in a standing Hall of Justice that is, by and large, open to the public, but the core remains around a central team that, rather than being just coworkers, actually have fun together, spending downtime, making jokes, and overall feeling like a closer-knit team than has been seen in the Justice League for quite some time, making all of their struggles and triumphs all the more emotionally impactful for readers.
What Makes It So Great?
In short, “Justice League” is an absolutely wild ride. Jumping from a battle within and without certain members (quite literally) to an adventure on Thanagar-Prime to look deeply into the history of Martians and Thanagarians both, to a swashbuckling pirate story featuring gods of the sea and much more beyond, there is never a dull moment in the run, a roller coaster that simultaneously feels intimately familiar and amusing thanks to a stellar script that keeps everything extremely entertaining. For fans of the DC Animated Universe of the 1990s and 2000s (and more since), the cast of characters is familiar enough that the stories feel as though they slip right back into that nostalgic place very comfortably to the point of almost being able to hear the animated cast voicing their characters, while simultaneously bringing out something very new.
The artwork is gorgeous, with the cycling artists more or less keeping an overall look for the book as a whole, adding to the beauty of everything around the phenomenal story’s wild and at times wacky set pieces.
Also, there’s the ridiculous fun that is Jarro, the Starro grown in a jar, which might be reason enough on its own.
How Can You Read It?
“Justice League” is available wherever comic books are sold. The most recent issue, “Justice League” #29, is available today. The first three trade paperbacks, featuring issues 1-18 and the annual, are available, as is one hardcover collection for the “Drowned Earth” crossover event with “Aquaman.” The fourth trade paperback, ‘The Sixth Dimension,’ will be released November 19, 2019, with the hardcover of the first twelve issues of the main series, “Justice League by Scott Snyder Book One Deluxe Edition,” releasing on December 10, 2019.