Justice League #22
Even as Legion of Doom makes their move to make them seem like heroes with their own Imp, Perpetua is free, remembering (or reminiscing) of her history, her creation of her “children”: the World Forger (Alpheus), the Monitor (Mar Novu), and the Anti-Monitor (Mobius).
Through jumps in billions of years, we see the interaction between Perpetua and her sons. We see Alpheus create Barbatos (we remember him, don’t we, folks?) almost in passing. The three discover a problem within the prime universe, the center of the multiverse…Earth.
On investigation, Mar Novu discovers Perpetua creating an army. He realizes that Perpetua created this multiverse different from the rest of the omniverse. When he rejects her interference, she orders him gone from the prime earth.
Mar Novu enlists his brothers to contact the Judges of the Source, the omniversal beings whom Perpetua is preparing to battle. Perpetua interrupts them and chaos ensues until a giant…space…raptor (a phoenix bird) appears, trapping Perpetua in the totality and the totality within the source wall. The brothers part ways to their respective planets.
When I initially saw this was a “Legion of Doom” issue, I was cautious. The Doom one-shots have been hit or miss for me. Some great tales, some not so much. Granted, all have been interesting in the long run, but they sometimes even have the downside to interrupting the flow of the story. Last issue of Justice League left us on a cliffhanger. And yet here we are, being pulled out of the main story to learn more about the Legion of Doom.
Surprise, surprise. This barely features the Legion.
Instead we get a thrilling tale that serves to retcon the origin of DC’s Multiverse without actually changing anything the history that we already know. It just piles onto the mythos of the DC Universe by giving us the origins of the Monitor and Anti-Monitor (whom any longtime DC fan should know very well), the origin of their feud, the origin of their brother, the World Forger, and why this particular multiverse was even formed.
It’s an amazingly beautiful story and yet horrifying. It seems that Tynion has somehow given us every answer we had about Perpetua in a single book and yet it never once felt rushed.
As far as the art goes, I’ll admit, Francis Manapul completely surprised me. Here it was almost hauntingly beautiful with the colors, the perspective, the depth of these beings that are so far beyond humanity it’s virtually impossible to visualize them…and yet Manapul does a masterful job of it, creating such imagery that I got totally swept up in the story, lost in the wilderness that is the start of not just the universe, but the multiverse.
I honestly think there’s no artist in the business who could’ve done this issue justice as Manapul did.
Tynion and Manapul did what I thought would have been impossible…they have recreated the origins of the DC Multiverse with incredible detail, by giving us the most dysfunctional family to ever have existed…and I loved every panel of it. This will become a crucial story as the First Crisis!
Justice League #22: Back Before the Beginning
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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