The Totality arc is nearing its end as the Justice League faces off against the Legion of Doom. The stakes – only the entire universe! Here is the Major Spoilers review of Justice League #7 from DC Comics.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jim Cheung
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 5, 2018
Previously in Justice League: Lex Luthor has weaseled his way up to the Totality where the power to control (or remake) the universe is at his grasp. He is confronted by Batman, as Kendra faces off with the Joker. Luthor blasts the heroes back to the Hall of Justice, where John Stewart arrives at the realization that they should accept and use the forces they’re dealing with, not merely fight them. This is also a metaphor for their being able to admit that they were wrong and apologizing to the world.
TYING UP LOOSE ENDS
Justice League #7 is the conclusion of The Totality arc, and a very tidy conclusion it is. This issue’s one-page mini-history is that of Vandal Savage, taking him from days of shepherding humans along the path of development, to his first seeing the Totality, unlocking its secret, ultimately changing into an enemy of humankind, and knowing that if anyone else knew what he knew, it would spell doom for us all. This is an important theme, by the way.
Back in the battle at hand, Hawkgirl was not transported with the others, and she remains to fight Luthor. Her wings are glowing, and the magical doorknob does not work on her. Plainly, perhaps due to all her past lives, she knows something Luthor does not. But this battle spans a good chunk of space as well, so looking back from John Stewart’s point of view, a change is taking place. Umbrax may be the central Ultraviolet power battery, but Earth has now become a White Lantern. The first part of the League’s desperate plan is having an effect, and now it is up to the Flash to reach the Still Force and allow the universe to start expanding again.
Sinestro strikes, tormenting John Stewart with memories of his failure, and telling him he has doomed the earth. The planets Umbrax has gathered all focus their energies on earth. (Reminder to self – this is a comic book; do not listen to your understanding of physics for a few minutes.) As Flash gets closer to his goal, Cheetah, Manta and Grodd attack the underwater base. Our heroes are tested to their utmost, holding on as best they can, as Flash concentrates and finally closes the cosmic membrane.
At the same time, Kendra and Luthor both reach out to the Totality, and this time it is Luthor who is teleported back to his lair. As the rest of the villains also teleport away, we check in with the heroes and are rewarded with Superman doing his Batman imitation (a delightful call-back to the first chapter).
One threat is resolved, but we still have unanswered questions. We know there is a legion that believes we are inherently evil, and the Justice League will be standing against them. Kendra’s wings healed overnight, and odd things have been happening to her, and she was the one who could reach the Totality. We still don’t completely understand what the Totality is. J’onn J’onzz wants to go back to Thanagar Prime to look for answers. Wonder Woman and Aquaman both have questions about the underwater base which had both Atlantean and Amazonian tech. We get some idea of where future stories may be headed. And then the Hall of Justice is breached by Starman, who has come from the past, and who claims he has answers, but three of them must die.
AMBITIOUS AND DYNAMIC
I’ve enjoyed the art in this series, and Justice League #7 does not disappoint. The opening battle between Hawkgirl and Lex Luthor is energetic and rich with background detail, such as the crystalline Totality. It’s also a double page spread and the layout is great. Throughout, our heroes are so spread out, doing so many different things, but each has a strong sense of place in the art, so while we are being whiplashed around the planet, we don’t get lost along the way. The facial expressions run toward “determined” in this issue, which fits.
About the only quibble I had with the art was when Aquaman (chasing the villains away from the underwater base) calls in some old giant sharks. They’re around a megalodon size, and are kind of wrinkly. Old sharks are not actually known to get wrinkly. But the multiple rows of teeth are depicted, and they certainly would be terrifying, even for supervillains. If I can forgive the physics, though, wrinkly sharks are not a deal-breaker.
A word about the lettering, especially in conjunction with the panels, is called for. If there is a theme in this arc, it is all about upcoming doom. We’ve seen it more and more throughout, and it really shows up a lot here. But not only in the script. There are sound effects (“FOOM,” for example) that bring it to mind as well. In the underwater attack, there is a set of panels shaped in the letters, “DOOM.” There are more such instances, which I leave for you to find. I think it’s a really cool way to remind us subconsciously of this doom.
BOTTOM LINE: A VERY SATISFYING ARC
Overall, I think this is a solid arc. The conclusion in Justice League #7 is satisfying. While it certainly points us to future issues and adventures, it feels as though we have reached an endpoint here. In retrospect, I do like the one-page starts with past history related to the story. If this story has any problem, it is that of having a huge cast of interesting characters, and not enough space to really dive deeply into all their stories. I felt like Aquaman and Wonder Woman, in particular, didn’t get a lot to do here, but at the end, there is a potential set up for them to go off and do something in the next arc. I also really like that at heart, it comes down to the classic question of whether we are innately good or evil at heart, a philosophical question through the ages.