Justice League #8 // Review
Once again, James Tynion IV returns to script Justice League for this second villain-centric issue, while accompanied by Mike Janin on pencils and Jeromy Cox on colors. Following the final page cliffhanger of the previous issue, Lex Luthor has found himself at a loss for options, now confronting none other than the Batman Who Laughs to join forces with the Legion of Doom. Intertwined alongside the endeavors of Lex Luthor, Manta and Cheetah are out for the blood of a God, killing anyone who stands in their path. Proceeding with a slower pace with than the previous issues, this Legion of Doom-focused chapter masterfully juxtaposes the death of a god and a deal with the Devil, shining quite a different light onto this flagship title.
Making his return to the main Justice League title, Mikel Janin (Batman, Trinity War) brings his best recent work to this issue. At times, Janin’s use of 3D models can add a static unnatural body language to the action scenes, while the slower paced moments lend themselves more towards Janin’s artistic sensibilities. The conversation between Luthor and the Batman Who Laughs fit with Janin’s art perfectly, bringing the raw emotions of the characters to the panels. Aside from the great close-up moments, by far Janin’s best work is done of the framing scenes, highlighting the background setting and displaying the grandiose nature of the series in a much more subtle way. Colorist Jeromy Cox brings a vibrant palette to the pages, helping to alleviate most of the issues from Janin’s 3D model usage, although certain panels still come off more like a cel-shaded video game, rather than a comic book, specifically the establishing shot of the Justice League.
This issue largely follows the conversation between Lex Luthor and The Batman Who Laughs, as Luthor attempts to bring his desires into fruition, despite what it will cost in the long run. Tynion scripts a Lex Luthor that, in his own mind, believes he’s acting for the greater good, even when dealing with BWL, living in his own delusions and never seeing the reality of his mistakes as the world burns around him. The scenes with Cheetah and Manta serve as action fodder, as their endeavor’s greater meaning has yet to be revealed.
The psychology of Luthor comes under examination, as he makes a deal with the metaphorical Devil, The Batman Who Laughs, yet still sees himself as somehow above the other in his own delusional sense of righteousness. Tynion brings an altogether tighter script this time around, and, although picking up immediately after the previous Snyder-scripted issue, fits seamlessly and adds a unique sensation to the title. This issue can stand on its own as an individual read, while also carrying the narrative from the previous storyline forward. Tynion’s continual success on a variety of team books is displayed in full force yet again with these Legion of Doom issues.
Justice League stands uncontested as the flagship DC comics title, while remaining accessible to readers of all varieties. With the next arc leading into the upcoming Justice League/Aquaman “Drowned Earth” crossover mini-event, the series is pulling no stops as it races forward into the next epic adventure.