Justice League #22 // Review
James Tynion IV makes his return to the title for yet another Legion on Doom issue accompanied by master class artist, Francis Manapul. The small vignette paints a picture of the past, predating the DCU as a whole, and filled with retcons and callbacks aplenty. As this first Crisis sets the stage for what is to come in typical prequel fashion, it takes on new and inventive liberties to build upon the pre-established continuity. Tynion and Manapul produce yet another unforgettable chapter for the series and universe as a whole.
With the Justice League spread thin between Earth-0 and the Sixth Dimension, Perpetua allows the Legion of Doom to peer into her past as she recounts the origins of the universe. With her children by her side, The Monitor, Anti Monitor and World Forger, the four set out to create a universe as each son is delegated to different sectors of importance. As Perpetua begins to breed warriors for an inevitable battle, The Presence steps in. Casting the warriors in a new forged Source Wall, trapping Perpetua within and igniting the first Crisis to retcon the universe. Alliances are broken as the Anti Monitor vows revenge against his brother, painting the shadows for Crisis on Infinite Earths and setting the stage for Year of the Villain.
Francis Manapul wears an embarrassment of hats this time around, from penciling and inking to coloring, Manapul is firing on all cylinders. The more washed, almost watercolor vibrancy he brings to the page contrasts beautifully with the sharp contours of Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez on the previous issues. All of the magnificence and grandiose nature of the series continues to be, no pun intended, perpetrated with every new chapter. Manapul consistently drives his stake deeper into the DC Universe with every new work he produces.
James Tynion IV proves to be the perfect voice for these vignettes once again. His dialogue sensibilities always lend themselves tremendously well for these more prose-heavy issues. Focusing on the characters rather than the plot is par for the course with Tynion as he aims to build something more significant than just another massive action sequence.
With the villains taking center stage and Perpetua in the starring role, Tynion and Manapul deliver a momentous secret origin to this beloved Universe, painting a tapestry of wealth to build upon. As the world stands upon impending uncreation at the hands of Mxyzptlk, this small breather added much-needed clarity and backstory for this brand new cosmic entity before the final showdown of this arc.