Title: Justice League.
Writer(s): Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV.
Penciller(s): Jim Cheung, Stephen Segovia, Guillem March, Daniel Sampere, Pasqual Ferry, Mark Morales, Juan Albarran & Walden Wong.
Colourist(s): Tomeu Morey, Wil Quintana, Arif Prianto, Adriano Lucas & Hi-Fi.
Letterer(s): Tom Napolitano.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: July 23rd 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
Previously on Justice League:
Justice League: No Justice by Scott Snyder
Justice League (Vol. 1): The Totality by Scott Snyder
Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth by Scott Snyder
Justice League (Vol. 2): Graveyard of Gods by Scott Snyder
After a hectic and messy tie-in story centered around Aquaman, the ongoing Justice League series helmed by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV continues its exploration into the cosmic universes to uncover the truth behind their reality. At the heart of this latest story arc is a mystery that invites some heroes to dig deeper into the secrets of their world, whether it will appease or break them. From godly entities to ill-intentioned supervillains, the story doesn’t shy away from destroying the status quo and jumping over the frontiers of the multiverse to explain the mythology behind these heroes and their worlds. However, this approach will inevitably enlargen the scope of the DC universe and bring readers to have more questions than answers to what is foreshadowed for our heroes.
What is Justice League: Hawkworld about? Collecting Justice League #13-18 and Justice League Annual #1, the story kicks off with a psychedelic episode featuring the Legion of Doom where the Joker goes up against Lex Luthor to prove how insane Superman’s greatest rival is to work with the Batman Who Laughs. Showing not only resolve and composure in his lunacy, the Joker still unveils his fear by warning Luthor of his plans. The story then jumps on over to the Justice League, split into two different squads, looking for answers regarding the Source Wall. Mostly centered around Martian Manhunter, John Stewart and Hawkgirl—after all, they did avoid the “Drowned Earth” story arc—who are headed to Thanagar Prime looking for answers, this volume continues to feed the mystery surrounding the multiverse’s origin with the introduction of an entity far bigger than anyone they’ve faced before: Perpetua.
Ever since the epic events of Dark Nights: Metal and Justice League: No Justice, Scott Snyder has been shaking up the DC Universe with no mercy. His vision for the future of this world is still inexplicable and of epic proportion and there still remains a certain difficulty for any reader to follow him around without carrying around a gazillion questions needing answers. In this latest story arc, there are plenty of new story elements that are unveiled for fans to ruminate about but nothing is ever set in stone as characters rediscover themselves just as much as readers rediscover their heroes. The story arc set in Thanagar Prime is a perfect example of this exposition-heavy story-telling as it conveyed the volume’s overall purpose to set the table for things to come. Unfortunately, the reader is forced to do the heavy-lifting as Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV tell rather than show in order to set the new foundation to their epic scale story.
The creative decision to utilize the talents of multiple artists within the same story arc continues in this volume but it doesn’t contribute to the confusion or disgust of the reader. In fact, for most of the volume, the artists on this team utilize a similar visual style that captures the writers’ vision and the cosmic scope of the story. Where the volume suffers a bit more isn’t even in the character design or the panel configuration, since these are perfectly rendered to translate the gravity of situations and the intensity of the action. It’s in the facial expressions that the struggle begins as some artists pencil some of the oddest emotions on our dear heroes. Artist Guillem March, for example, draws his characters with stunned and terrified faces that instill fear and horror to the story. Further along, there is also a dissonance from one page to another where the colouring promotes a smoother tone before immediately jumping to grittier and rugged skin textures. This is why having multiple artists can sometimes work against the story but at least in this case, the artwork is more exquisite than not.
Justice League: Hawkworld is another cosmic journey towards uncovering dark secrets of the multiverse with stunning artwork to polish a convoluted story.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!