Justice League #18
The next phase of the Legion of Doom’s plan for Perpetua continues. Luthor and Brainiac together seek to unlock the Sixth Energy by merging their minds. The process for Luthor, however, is not what he expected.
Brainiac reveals his intention to take over Luthor’s body, wiping out Luthor’s mind and using the Legion to awaken Perpetua before destroying the Legion so that he, and he alone, can control Perpetua. But Luthor bargains, using the only collateral he has…knowledge about Perpetua.
He tells the story to Brainiac of everything he’d learned, about how Vandal Savage discovered a piece of the Totality millennia ago. Through the ages, Savage slowly discovered the secrets held until finally, Savage enlisted the assistance of one last familiar face: Lionel Luthor. With Lionel’s help, Vandal uncovered the Still Force, the Invisible Spectrum, the Tear of Extinction, the Graveyard of the Gods, and the possibility of the Sixth Dimension.
However, whereas Lionel wanted to use the discoveries to advance mankind, Savage wanted to avoid the rest of the Totality completely. And so Savage turned on Lionel, erasing the man’s memories and leaving him a broken high school drop out, never to have left Kansas.
With that revelation, Luthor and Brainiac come to an agreement, their minds merged but separate. Brainiac is ready to work with Luthor, not replace him. The doorknob is ready to be used to awaken Perpetua.
It’s with this issue that I discovered just how much James Tynion has to do with Snyder’s vision. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it Snyder’s vision anymore. Snydion? Tynder? It’s truly a wonderful blend of the two of them.
Other than the enormous amount of reading that is required of this issue, the story is quite compelling. And when I say enormous, I really do mean that. It’s a lot, even for a comic book. And for some people, that might be a problem. In fact, it took me two full readings to really appreciate it. Because this entire issue is essentially an exposition which isn’t necessarily bad, but it is sorely lacking in action. The first time reading, I found myself skipping over sections of it and thus not really enjoying the book. So take your time, read everything. It really is important to the new history of the DC Universe (more importantly to both Lex Luthor’s personal history and the motivations behind everything Luthor has done in Justice League).
In addition to the wordy storytelling, this issue has one other minor problem.
I’m not saying it’s particularly bad, but I’ve just never been a fan of Pasqual Ferry. The illustrations don’t seem to have much depth and often the lines are too angular. Like I said. It’s not objectively bad. Just not my preference. But to be fair to Ferry, it’s really hard to make what is a giant explanation of why Luthor is doing what he’s doing seem exciting. Art wise, he doesn’t exactly have any exciting scenes and it’s to his credit that they work at all.
But the colors by Hi-Fi are amazing, standing out in every single scene, giving us a clear vision of what the mindscape is supposed to look like (a light shade of green and blue to mimic Brainiac’s own hue).
Still, all things considered, the art is only a negligent gripe. Tynion ties Luthor’s actions since Justice League #1 (maybe even through the start of No Justice) together perfectly (which, of course, is why I’m going to have to start referring to him and Snyder as a singular name…I’m really leaning forwards Tynder but for copyright reasons, I’ll go with Snydion). Tynion is proving to be just as good as Snyder at retelling origins.
Tynion once again takes us into the motivations surrounding the Legion of Doom and while there is very little action in this story, if you’ve been following Justice League since the start, this issue is quite mindblowing. And if you haven’t been reading Justice League since the start, go back to No Justice, catch up, and meet us back here!
Justice League #18: Luthor Revealed
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 5/105/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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