“You and your friends on the Justice League broke the damn Universe.”
The Justice League have been in need of a reinvention. Not just on the big screen, but on the page as well. Rebirth innovated quite a few titles, but not Justice League. Unfortunately the title has been in a bit of a lull. Until now. Scott Snyder recently tore the DC Universe asunder in Dark Nights: Metal. Now, after he tore the universe apart DC’s greatest heroes and villains are putting it back together again. If this is the next stage of DC, can Justice League: No Justice #1 possibly live up to the hype?
An amazing creative team set out to make sure the answer is yes. Writers Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson, and James Tynion IV are joined by artist Francis Manapul. Together the team craft one of the most colorful comics of the year. A lush and vibrant Galaxy is explored by multitudes of heroes, and it looks great! The story is fairly straightforward. The Source Wall has been taken down, and four monstrous beings have been unleashed. Only the many metahumans of Earth can help solve the crisis. Divided carefully by Brainiac, these teams must fight each of the new Titanic creatures to save the Universe.
It’s a cool concept. Only a few problems arise when tackling such an ambitious premise. Juggling so many characters can be problematic when trying to establish drama or tension, and it is. There’s not much of a reason to fear these new beings. Even though the scale is incredibly grand, Justice League: No Justice feels like it’s been done before. Readers everywhere will already know how this story ends, but it should be a good time getting there.
“…But they have never faced anything like this.”
That’s not exactly true. The Source Wall has been breached, that much is true. But a Comic Universe suddenly being confronted by massive and powerful beings is not exactly new. Actually, you can watch it happen on the big screen right now. The Mad Titans that are lurking on the edges of space are the reason for the events of the book, but they don’t get much attention. Instead most of the effort is put into convincing the reader of the validity of the teams. Which is fine, this is supposed to sell readers on multiple Justice League’s, after all. But the main antagonists for this issue, these “gods”, don’t even really do anything in this first issue.
They’re supposedly consuming worlds, but it helps to be able to witness it. Instead, the heroes spend most of the issue fighting the person who put them all together. Making the events of Justice League: No Justice #1 just a wee bit confusing. But when it comes to chemistry, this writing team knows exactly what they’re doing. No surprise considering these are the folks behind All-Star Batman, Detective Comics and The Flash. The best parts of the issue are simple exchanges of dialogue between everyone’s favorite characters.
“I came for your heroes. For your League. Not for what it is…but as it can be.”
It doesn’t get much better than Francis Manapul. Iconic imagery and paneling? Check. Incredible colors and line-work? Check. Mind-blowing action? You better believe that’s a check. Every issue of Francis Manapul’s art is a treat no DC fan should miss, and Justice League: No Justice #1 is no exception. All of your favorite DC characters are looking better than ever including Superman in his classic trunks! Spanning millions and millions of lightyears, Manapul manages to make each page unique and lively.
No location or settings seem similar. Every single page looks as alien as it’s meant to. The designs for almost every hero or villain harken back to the original designs of the character. Especially good ole Brainiac. While the complexity of the character has changed over the years, the costume remains relatively the same. Manapul channels that antiquated design by making it his own. He infuses it with a sense of modernity with an inescapable classic touch. Clearly, the work of one of comic’s true masters.
The Justice League have been going through some hard times. They have plenty of adventures, but it’s been missing a kind of…spice. Well Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson, and James Tynion IV decided that spice was blowing up the boundaries of the known universe. The mysteries that lie beyond the Source Wall could be catastrophic. That’s why Earth’s best and worst need to team up to patch up that wall in Justice League: No Justice #1.
The story shines when focusing on the characters. Exchanges of blows and words are some of the most effective parts of the issue. But the “mystery” behind the entire story seems a little bland. The comic world has seen its fair share of godlike beings. Nothing in the pages of No Justice gives the impression that these Mad Titans are different from any others. But that doesn’t seem to be the point. The point is painting beautiful tapestries of different team-ups with DC’s many characters. Made even more beautiful by the incredible art of Francis Manapul.
While the teams are exciting and new, those are the only aspects of the comic that are. Justice League: No Justice may not innovate, but it promises a return to classic storytelling. Throwing together an overcrowded version of the world’s greatest superhero team may or may not fix the Source Wall, but it makes for a great read.
- Interstellar Action Featuring ALL of DC's Best
- Fantastic Set-Up for the future of DC's Heroes
- Francis Manapul Art Dazzles As Always
- A Little Unoriginal
- Needs More Tension