Justice League #19
I appreciate that Justice League #19 takes some time to lighten up and have some playful moments, and I really enjoy those chapters of the story. This is one that could have gotten really kooky, but instead it let loose just enough to be fun and then drew it back to the big, serious plot.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and foes become allies. Is Superman going to forge an alliance with his most powerful enemy of all?
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 6, 2019
Previously in Justice League: The Legion of Doom has been tracking down the hidden energies of the universe with a plan for bringing back to life Perpetua, essentially rebooting the universe. But Lex Luthor believes that it will also make him and his Legion more powerful. There is also a link between humans and Martians, and J’onn goes to Mars, searching for more answers. These may be within him; as a child, he was brought to earth and experimented on by Luthor’s father. He tries to make a connection with Lex – revealing that they knew each other in childhood, a childhood that Lex has forgotten.
WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GO FOR…THE WEIRD?
Justice League #19 continues with the aftermath of the Totality and the discovery that everyone is essentially involved in a battle for the universe. But I love that it takes some time to ground us. There are touches of humor throughout, and we even begin with Clark Kent at work. He gets a call from Batman and prepares to leave – but Perry White is right there, ordering him to finish up the story about the alien sea-gods. A super-sneeze is all the distraction he needs to write his entire story and ease on out the door.
He heads across town to meet up with the rest of the League, where they’ve set their plan in motion and are just waiting the arrival of their guest, none other than Mr. Mxyzptlk! Not who I was expecting, but he is…an interesting choice. Their meeting starts out with basically utter chaos, such as the buildings in Metropolis coming to life and attacking. (And where else would you hear Batman say, “Your building just ATE my building, Superman.”) But before too long, things settle down, because the Justice League actually planned to bring him in, and they restrain Mr. Mxyzptlk so they can talk to him.
The fact of the matter is that breaking the Source Wall is affecting the Fifth Dimension as well. He can also read the map in Kendra’s wings, and says it pointing to the Sixth Dimension. And there’s something there that could potentially stop Perpetua. But hardly anyone could survive there except, just perhaps, Superman. Mr. Mxyzptlk opens a portal for him.
And a few minutes later, Superman returns. Well, the costume is different. And he has gray hair. But as far as J’onn can tell, he’s the real deal. He says he’s been gone a decade, following all kinds of possibilities, but he thinks he’s found something, and he’s made it so they can come back with him. And suddenly they’re in a different place with alternate versions of themselves, and Superman says they won – and if they come on it, they’ll tell them all about it.
Well, that seems rather abrupt and surprisingly easy. I’ll just leave you with this, there are a couple more pages left, and there just might be a heck of a twist.
Big plots can be convoluted, and this one certainly is. I do like that the writing plays around with the level of tension. Yes, we know the fate of the universe is at stake, but it would be a grind if every issue focused on how dire this all was. Bringing in Mr. Mxyzptlk was unexpected for me; he brought with him some goofy moments, but there was also a legitimate reason for him to be there, which is rather satisfying.
FROM DRAMATIC TO GOOFY AND BACK AGAIN
I love Jimenez’ art in Justice League #19. It’s beautifully done, and I particularly like the little character gestures that are just so appropriate. The Clark Kent opening is delightful, and I love his little smile as he’s leaving the office, pushing his glasses back up his nose.
When Mr. Mxyzptlk arrives, there are a few pages of utter craziness. The transition from the city skyline (on a beautiful sunny day) to when the buildings come alive is imaginative. The Daily Planet building has a very toothy mouth when it bits into the Wayne Enterprises building with savage glee. We also see crazy things happen to John Stewart, and the traffic coming to life. And then, when Mr. M. realizes that all this isn’t real, his face just falls. It’s a perfect moment.
The design for the Superman from the future is pretty cool. His costume is pale blue, white and gold – and a sparkly gold at that. It incorporates the “S” on the chest, and the notches at the tops of the boots. He looks different with gray hair, not to mention some facial hair, but he’s got those blue eyes and a great smile. And the other future Justice League costumes are great too, different, but with similar touches so we can identify everyone. Oh, and Batman still wears black.
BOTTOM LINE: IT’S NICE TO TAKE A BREATHER NOW AND THEN
As I said, I appreciate that Justice League #19 takes some time to lighten up and have some playful moments, and I really enjoy those chapters of the story. This is one that could have gotten really kooky, but instead it let loose just enough to be fun and then drew it back to the big, serious plot.