JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 is loads of fun from start to finish. It captures the essence of Silver Age DC books while also adding something fresh to the mix. Scott Snyder embraces the ridiculousness of superhero comics, to the book’s benefit. Jorge Jimenez backs this up with fantastically stylized art that fits the plot to a T.
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Big, Bombastic Fun

It seems like Scott Snyder is having the time of his life writing JUSTICE LEAGUE. So far, this series has been pure, comic-booky fun. JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 is no exception. At times, this issue is ridiculous, even goofy, and I love it. It exemplifies the spirit of DC’s Rebirth initiative: returning to a book’s comic book roots while also creating something new in the process.

Snyder’s telling a big, lofty story about the possible death of the Multiverse as we know it, and instead of feeling like a dreadful, depressing slog, it’s just a whole lot of Silver Age-like fun. Jorge Jimenez’ art fits the issue like a glove, with his somewhat cartoony style meshing well with the looser antics of the Justice League and the Legion of Doom. If you like your comics fun and slightly wacky, pick up JUSTICE LEAGUE #2.

Snyder Takes the Wheel in JUSTICE LEAGUE #1

Diabolical Schemes and Building Teams in JUSTICE LEAGUE #2

JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 opens with a flashback of Lex Luthor committing one of his most laughably vindictive acts in comic history. He attends the Legionnaires Club meeting that his neglectful alcoholic father used to go to instead of raising Lex and his sister. As payback for his father’s abusive ways, he gleefully tells the elderly veteran members that he planted explosives in the hall.

The bombs go off and they scurry out, seemingly unscathed, while Lex stands there in his bombproof suit. In the burning chaos, he discovers the enchanted doorknob he used to unite the Legion of Doom last issue. Back in the present, Batman contacts Green Lantern John Stewart to join the newly formed Justice League. John shows some hesitation and ponders the question.

Meanwhile, the League fights a horribly mutated version of Killer Croc. He turned this way after he entered a mysterious, gigantic head, which looks like it’s made out of sand, that crash-landed in Nevada. The head contains the Totality, “an energy source containing all the power of the source wall [a barrier which separated the DC Universe with their creator, ‘The Source’],” as Batman says.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

After defeating Croc, the League decides to take a trip into the head, but the only Leaguers who can withstand the transformative nature of the Totality are Superman and Martian Manhunter. In order to bring in backup, Batman and Hawkgirl are shrunk down using the Atom’s tech and are injected into Supes and J’onn, respectively. Little do they know, Lex Luthor may have plans to sabotage this journey…

Classic Comic Book Fun in JUSTICE LEAGUE #2

That opening Luthor scene is just wonderfully ridiculous. It’s so ludicrously evil and petty that it’s hilarious. I love how the scene is played for laughs too, instead of being some edgy display of Luthor’s ruthlessness. It almost felt like a parody of Lex’s egotistically evil ways. In that way, the scene would fit right at home in, say, the VENTURE BROS. I’m happy that this is the direction Snyder’s taking with the book. He isn’t apologizing for the inherent goofiness of comic book plotlines. Instead, he fully embraces it and takes it to the next level.

The absurd antics continue throughout the issue. When Lex brings the Legion of Doom to an undersea base to give each member something they’ve been “searching for,” as he says, he gives Grodd his gift first. It turns out to be… a human baby. Granted, we learn later on the baby seems to have some sort of hidden power, but it’s still a ridiculous visual and an insane plot point.

An evil, super-powerful baby terrorizing the Justice League with Gorilla Grodd (which is what I’m hoping this leads to) is something right out of a Silver Age JUSTICE LEAGUE book. Plus, the whole plotline of having Justice League members shrink down and hitch a ride in their teammates’ bloodstreams is deliciously cartoony. I could see it being a plot point in some FANTASTIC VOYAGE-inspired episode of SUPER FRIENDS.

Snyder is bringing the goofy back to DC books, and I say he made the right move. I had a huge grin on the whole time while reading JUSTICE LEAGUE #2.

Cartoony Art in JUSTICE LEAGUE #2

A ridiculous, fun book lends itself well to a cartoony artwork. That’s why Jimenez’ art fits right in with Snyder’s writing in JUSTICE LEAGUE #2. His artwork for the opening Luthor scene sets the tone for the entire issue. When Luthor is discussing his history with the Legionnaire’s Hall, he has this ridiculously fake grin on. The way his face contorts in the panels, I could imagine it fluidly moving in a piece of animation.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The action scenes throughout the issue highlight his stylized quality even more. There’s a double splash page that introduces the League and the mutated Killer Croc. In it, you could practically see each Leaguer’s fluid motion even though it’s a still page. It’s filled with so much energy, from the Flash bursting out of an explosion to Aquaman leaping down with his trident, ready to stab Croc. It fits the tone quite well.

Final Thoughts: JUSTICE LEAGUE #2

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JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 is just incredibly fun. It fits in well as the flagship book for a whole new era of DC’s Rebirth. The characterization is on point, especially with Luthor and his antics. The plot really intrigues me. The whole “the Source Wall is broken” seems like it’ll have a huge impact on the DC Universe. JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 is definitely worth picking up for basically any DC fan.

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