With “Drowned Earth” behind us, JUSTICE LEAGUE #14 focuses on the League’s next set of challenges. The Legion of Doom has the Totality and the Trinity is dealing with the fallout of that theft, as well as the loss of Aquaman. The emphasis, however, is on the three Leaguers in space, as we follow Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, and Green Lantern (AKA John Stewart) to Thanagar Prime. Writer Scott Snyder returns to deliver a space-bound story, but not without threatening Earth as well!

Mystery Among the Stars

JUSTICE LEAGUE #14’s main story centers around the three Leaguers in space. Hawkgirl has been experiencing some strange phenomena since encountering the Totality. She heads off to the new homeworld of the Thanagarians. One of the last Martian elders that survived the destruction of Mars is a citizen of Thanagar Prime, which has long been a safe world. Thanagarian guards intercept and threaten the Leaguers. The leader of the Thanagarians shows up and calls off her soldiers. The plot thickens as the Empress of Thanagar is none other than Shayera Hol, one of Kendra Saunders’ former lives!

Shayera welcomes the heroes and explains that Thanagar Prime is basically a cosmic vault. It has been trusted with the secrets of the universe, and this was a logical choice as the Thanagarian homeworld after Thanagar’s destruction at the hands of Despero. Each of the Leaguers came looking for answers: J’onn from the Elder Martian, Kendra in regards to her wings, and John Stewart in regards to his tattoo ring. Shayera provides no answers but invites the heroes to a banquet. Kendra is suspicious.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #14 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #14: More Questions Than Answers

The heroes discuss their next move, as well as Kendra’s suspicion. At the party, Kendra and J’onn have a moment, and the Martian rebuffs his teammate’s request to dance. Shayera then shows up. She asks Kendra what’s going on and admits that the symbols on Hawkgirl’s wings were familiar to her. Shayera didn’t say anything because she was terrified of them and didn’t want to share the intimidating information. As Shayera tries to reason with Kendra, she touches Kendra on the shoulder, and Hawkgirl bolts.

Kendra shares what she saw with the other two: the fact that the Martian Elder is still alive and that Shayera is using the elder for some purpose. Before they can plan anything, Thanagarian guards assault and ground the heroes. Empress Shayera then appears and reveals a familiar ally. Who? Pick up JUSTICE LEAGUE #14 to find out!

The prelude and epilogue of this story are set on Earth, with Batman using Jarro to access the mind of the broken Starman. Starman’s mind has too much power for even the Batman. Superman comes in to stop the mind meld (and some more terrific dialogue from Jarro). Starman’s brain overloads, and starts to go into meltdown!

Snyder and Tynion Team Up for JUSTICE LEAGUE #14

JUSTICE LEAGUE #14 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Snyder’s one issue breather ended somewhat quickly, as he plotted this issue with James Tynion IV, and they bring us and the League back into the middle of the mystery of the Source Wall rupture and the Totality. Snyder is building more layers onto his story with this space epic, showing us the intergalactic impact of the Justice League’s actions. Shayera makes reference to the League saving the Universe. It also gives Snyder the opportunity to play with the Kendra and J’onn dynamic that he’s developing in this series. Throwing in the sci-fi mystery of John’s tattoo ring and Kendra’s wings, and we have some interesting genre storylines as well.

The sign of a good opening issue of a tale is ease of entry into the storyline, more questions than answers, and an enticing cliffhanger. Snyder and Tynion accomplish all of this here in this issue.

Cheung and Segovia Split Art Duties

Artist Jim Cheung returned to Justice League very briefly, handling the pages with the Trinity and Starman. Stephen Segovia handles the bulk of the work with the Thanagar pages.

There’s not much I can really comment on Cheung’s work; he had three pages to work with and he did a very good job. His style is always hyper-detailed and he has a great inker in Mark Morales. Jim puts a lot of effort into his pages, which means it takes him longer to finish issues — the division of labor in this book makes sense.

Stephen Segovia, as the heavy lifter on JUSTICE LEAGUE #14, was excellent. He had a lot to do this issue, both penciling and inking his pages. His figure work is very detailed. He puts in a good effort on backgrounds, considering how much he had to do.

Is the Earth Going to Make It?

A couple of issues ago, I made a big deal about how Superman totally rebuilt the moon. It was an incredible scene, but now Starman is going to blow up with enough energy to rip a hole through reality. I don’t think Superman can fix that. Will the Earthbound Leaguers figure out how to stop that explosion?

As for the Space-bound Leaguers, can they get down to the bottom of the mystery with the Martian Elder? What is Shayera Hol hiding? Is she really who she says she is?

A solid issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE overall, the team of Snyder and Tynion did some good work with this book.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #14 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Cheung, Stephen Segovia, and Mark Morales
Tynion and Snyder team up to tell an intriguing mystery on Thanagar Prime. Nothing is as it seems. Cheung's art is brief but great; Segovia does a very good job with the bulk of the art duties.
90 %
Space Mystery!
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