The Justice League has seemingly found a perfect future — one where they defeated the Legion of Doom. No problem, right? Wrong. JUSTICE LEAGUE #21 shows us the truth behind this seemingly idyllic future, and what writer Scott Snyder has in store for the heroes. It’s not pretty, but Snyder has never been one to pull punches.

The Truth About the World

JUSTICE LEAGUE #21 starts with a confrontation between Superman and the future Superman. However, Superman is no match for his future counterpart. The counterpart reveals he’s not really Superman and tells the real Superman to enjoy exile, while he tries to get the Justice League to see the light, leaving Superman to fend for himself.

In the “future,” the League is brought together by J’onn and Kendra to hear the truth. Things are not what they seem. “Superman” shows up and reveals himself: he’s the World Forger — the firstborn of Perpetua, and the elder brother of the Monitor and Anti-Monitor. The World Forger has come up with a solution — to create a new, more idyllic Multiverse and relocate the denizens of the current Multiverse. There’s more to it than that, though.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #21 Page 1. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Starman, Jarro, and Mera fight against a rampaging Mxyzptlk. Mxy is unraveling reality around him, overwhelmed with a strange power. It’s possible that Mxy is part of World Forger’s plan, and with the majority of the League not on Earth, there’s not much to stop Mxy from wreaking havoc for the benefit of The World Forger.

The World Forger also wants to imprison anyone who will side with the Legion of Doom — literally trillions of people. The eventual war will slowly purge these people from the universe, but the World Forger has a way of preempting that long battle of attrition. The League all votes on whether or not to help the World Forger, and ultimately he doesn’t like their choice. JUSTICE LEAGUE #21 ends with the League of the World Forger’s version of Apokolips with a surprise warden. Check out JUSTICE LEAGUE #21 to find out who!

Scott Snyder Wants to Extinguish Hope in JUSTICE LEAGUE #21

JUSTICE LEAGUE #21 Page 6. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Writer Scott Snyder has consistently placed the League behind the 8-ball since DARK KNIGHTS: METAL. Snyder has been loading up the challenge for the League. Now, we have not only the mother of the Multiverse but her eldest child — a being capable of recreating universes on a whim. It’s hard to see how the Justice League will succeed given the odds with DC announcing the YEAR OF THE VILLAIN, perhaps they won’t.

Snyder has excelled at telling a darker story, primarily one that sees the Justice League not always win cleanly. While it’s a dark path to follow, Snyder is an expert storyteller, and the suspense of what’s going to happen next is the highlight of this book. Keeping it unpredictable, letting the villains have the upper hand, makes for more adventurous and bold storytelling. Snyder is taking a huge chance, and hopefully, he’ll deliver.

Snyder also gets the characters and their motivations. In the big debate scene, Snyder effectively lays out all of the motivations and thought processes of each member of the League that is present. After writing these characters for over a year, Snyder characterizes the League excellently. He knows the motivations of each character and allows them to demonstrate that on the pages of the book.

Jimenez Delivers on Art in JUSTICE LEAGUE #21

Artist Jorge Jimenez continues his run on JUSTICE LEAGUE, and his distinctive style works well for this series. The amount of detail Jimenez puts into the new universe is incredible. The “older versions” of the Justice League all look great in their new designs. Jimenez has a great eye for little details, and I liked the meta touch on the Mxyzptlk pages, where you can see Metropolis reverting to simple line art, and the tip of the pencil at the bottom of the page.

Jimenez was given a plotting credit for the book, and I wonder how much input he had on the story in JUSTICE LEAGUE #21. Was that pencil bit his idea? How much did he contribute to the main story? It seems like Snyder has a lot of this story plotted and planned. Jimenez is an artist to keep your eye on; his work is excellent, and if a writer of Snyder’s caliber is trusting Jimenez by plotting duties, he clearly has some talent as a storyteller.

How Will the JUSTICE LEAGUE Get Out of This?

The Justice League is in a lot of trouble, and it’s not clear how they’ll get out of it. They’re stuck in a prison, which is full of people who hate them. Superman, their biggest gun, is banished to an alternate dimension. With all of these odds stacked against the heroes, it’s hard to see a way out for them. Of course, watching the League dig themselves out of deep holes is why we enjoy their stories, and Scott Snyder is one of the best writers working today. Whatever he comes up with, it’s sure to be a fun read and a crazy adventure.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #21 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, and Alejandro Sanchez
Scott Snyder delivers a brutal story in JUSTICE LEAGUE #21! The League faces the reality that hope may not be enough to defeat the Legion of Doom. Snyder's darker story juxtaposes with Jorge Jimenez's bright pencils and colorful art.
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