Justice League (2018-) #18
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Pasqual Ferry
Alright, everyone, it’s time for another Legion of Doom issue of Justice League. I really enjoy these issues because we get to see what’s going on with Lex and the team. I think these stories are a nice change of pace in between story arcs.
So the premise of this issue is pretty simple. Lex Luthor and Brainiac plan to sync their minds to trade information. Lex knows about the Totality and Brainiac knows about the history of the universe. Why they have to go full Matrix instead of just having a conversation is beyond me. The issue follows Lex’s story about the Totality to Brainiac, and also why Brainiac shouldn’t just kill him (he’s a busy robot).
I really enjoy a lot of the new history in this issue. Snyder and Tynion do a great job at tying the DC Universe together in this book. Snyder brings Vandal Savage into the spotlight this issue. Considering he was killed off in issue #1, it’s nice to see he still has a part to play in this story. We get cameos from plenty of DC characters including Ras al Ghul, Ares, and plenty of others. I particularly liked the new backstory for Lex’s father. Instead of just being a deadbeat, Lex’s father used to work for Vandal before getting mind-wiped. This adds a new dimension to Luthor’s history that will be interesting to explore.
But there are also plenty of things that I didn’t like about this issue. First off, there is way too much dialogue. This entire issue is one big info-dump. Sure plenty of it interesting, but it really is a lot. This is a problem with Snyder and Tynion’s entire Justice League run. It would have been great to get some breaks from Luthor’s monologue throughout the issue.
Also, Luthor and Brainiac feel pretty out of character here. I’m still of the opinion that Snyder and Tynion’s Luthor is such a dry character. He just doesn’t feel like Lex. I thought his whole motivation in this story was to embrace humanity’s natural impulses. But in this issue, he’s talking about how we have to rise above and evolve. I thought that was the Justice League’s whole motivation? And Brainiac here surprisingly doesn’t listen to logic. He immediately attempts to betray Luthor (I know so original right?). I’m sick and tired of villains betraying each other. Can’t they just work together for once? Instead of listening to Lex’s information, Brainiac just quips about how he’s still going to kill him. And of course, the two get together in the end because of faith or something? Yeah, it didn’t really work for me.
On top of that, they might as well just start calling these issues Lex Luthor instead of Legion of Doom. Sinestro, Grodd, and Cheetah always feel like background characters in these stories. We never really get to see their perspectives. I mean, The Joker noped-out before he did anything interesting. And when someone like Black Manta does get the spotlight, they don’t really do anything with it either. As a big Sinestro fan, I feel like he’s being wasted on the Legion right now. It’s a shame these characters don’t get a bigger focus.
I don’t have too much to say about the art here, it gets the job done but doesn’t really impress.
Overall, I enjoyed the history within this issue. But at the same time, there are still plenty of problems with this book. Hopefully, Snyder and Tynion can make the Legion feel like a team again instead of just villains who betray each other or get relegated to the background.
Justice League #18