Writers Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV have been crafting a Multiversal epic, dating back to NO JUSTICE and DARK NIGHTS: METAL. So — in JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 — Snyder & Tynion tie up a lot of loose ends from those stories, and set up the next major arc for the heroes of the DCU!

Warning, potential spoilers for JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 are below!

Starman and Hawkgirl Save the Multiverse

JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 picks up with the end of last week’s JUSTICE LEAGUE #16. Will Payton has awoken and is harnessing the power of the Totality. Starman knows how to fix the Source Wall. So the Justice League coordinate with the Green Lantern Corps, New Gods, and Thanagarians to do so.

With the power of the Totality, Starman plans on using the Omega Titans (last seen in NO JUSTICE) to repair the Source Wall. The key is Hawkgirl. The Totality is meant to hold back Perpetua, and the forces of Doom. The Universe is guided by a hand of Justice, and it wants to hold the Source Wall together. The power in Payton, using the map in Kendra’s wings, will allow her to take the place of the Entropy Titan (killed in NO JUSTICE) and repair the wall.

Before ostensibly sacrificing herself to save the Multiverse, J’onn pulls Kendra into her mind. He recreates a world filled with the best parts of Kendra’s multiple lives. They share a tender moment, Kendra lamenting that they couldn’t have a romantic relationship. However, as they talk further about their feelings, disaster strikes!

Last Second Interception

JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1
JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 pages 2 & 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Superman pulls J’onn out of Hawkgirl’s mind with a sight he completely didn’t expect: Brainiac, alive! Lex has resurrected the Coluan to help him in his quest to free Perpetua, and unleash the power of Doom on the Multiverse. Brainiac, being a much higher intellect than Luthor, has figured out a few things Lex hasn’t.

Brainiac realizes that there are Seven Forces and counterforces in the Multiverse, and that the Titans and Hawkgirl only represent four of them. By simulating the missing three, Brainiac will have the energy to open the Source Wall and free Perpetua. The key is Starman himself. Brainiac takes temporary control of Payton, and uses him to mimic the energy, stripping him of the power of the Totality in the process.

Perpetua uses all of her considerable power to break open the Source Wall. The Omega Titans, desperate to seal the Wall, die in vain. The impact is felt throughout the Multiverse, while other heroes and powerful entities take notice. Brainiac manages to contain Perpetua, her power spent from freeing herself, and the Legion of Doom escapes.

The League’s allies all leave, embittered and angry at Earth’s heroes. Everyone heads home, to prepares for war.

Snyder and Tynion Continue to Batter the League in JUSTICE LEAGUE #1

Snyder and Tynion are showing no mercy on the League. The Legion of Doom has had the upper hand until very recently. It was only when the Legion lost members that they struggled (see DROWNED EARTH and JUSTICE LEAGUE #13 for more details). The short hope we had that the League could turn the tide and save the Multiverse was dashed rather harshly in JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1.

What’s clear after this issue is that Snyder and Tynion have very ambitious plans for this book, raising the stakes so high that the Multiversal House of Heroes and the Spectre will be involved. It’s a dark, but exciting, time for JUSTICE LEAGUE readers. JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 is definitely a heartbreaker, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but Snyder and Tynion have proven themselves, and surely the Justice League will get a tremendous comeback!

Sampere’s Art Shines in JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1

JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1
JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Daniel Sampere takes over art duties for JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1. Sampere’s style is beautiful, credit to the vibrant colors of Adriano Lucas for bringing out the dynamic pencils. The cosmic epic of JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 needs clean linework and bright colors, and the art team provides excellent examples of both.

With the large number of battle scenes and characters, it would be easy for Sampere to take a few shortcuts or gloss over details, but he doesn’t. DC has given JUSTICE LEAGUE a lot of great artists, including Stephen Segovia, Jim Cheung, and Jorge Jimenez. Add Sampere to that list of excellence!

Can the Heroes Catch a Break?

It’s clear that the Legion has the upper hand in this struggle for the very fate of existence. These are the greatest heroes in the DCU; they will surely overcome and save the Multiverse… won’t they? The uncertainty Snyder and Tynion are building is agonizing, but that makes the ultimate triumph that much sweeter! If you’re reading JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 is an important chapter. If you haven’t been reading JUSTICE LEAGUE, you can read JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 and get caught up! A great read!

JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Daniel Sampere, and Juan Albarran
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Summary
Snyder & Tynion continue to dig the League deeper into their hole in JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1. The villains are a few steps ahead, and the consequences are dire. Great dramatic storytelling from the writing duo, and excellent art by Daniel Sampere!
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