Justice League: The Totality by Scott Snyder

details
Title: Justice League.
Story-Arc: The Totality.
Volume: 1.
Writer(s): Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV.
Illustrator(s)Jorge Jimenez, Jim Cheung & Doug Mahnke.
Colourist(s)Alejandro Sanchez, Tomeu Morey & Wil Quintana.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: November 27th 2018.
Pages: 176.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401284992.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★.

thoughts

It all began with the mind-altering universe expansion that took place in the aftermath of DC’s cosmic event Dark Nights: Metal. I have and will likely always believe Scott Snyder is a visionary storyteller who isn’t afraid to bring on risky and creative twists to what would otherwise be recognized as the status quo among some of DC’s greatest superheroes. Upon completing his and Greg Capullo’s Metal event, Scott Snyder’s announcement of henceforth leading the creative team behind DC’s most legendary team, the Justice League, was first teased with a prelude story arc in Justice League: No Justice and promised fans that what he’s about to unveil to the world is far from having ever been conceived by the human mind, and even less possible to comprehend to the grand scope of it all. However, in the first volume of his Justice League run, collecting issues #1-7, The Totality, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV hands over a story arc that destroys all conventionality and brings forth their visionary outlook of DC’s future in explosive and psychedelic fashion.

In Justice League: The Totality, the story follows an epic and iconic team of heroes including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, The Flash, Aquaman, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern. As they are in the midst of fighting off strangely advanced Neanderthal creatures while Martian Manhunter focuses on connecting them all telepathically through their strengths, a grand threat sores through the cosmos and is set on a course straight for Earth. Being the only person able to understand the high risk of this concentrated essence of the secret source of all things called the Totality, Martian Manhunter strives to figure out what options are left for the Justice League to save the universe from extinction. In a pursuit for answers, these heroes collide with some of their worse enemies as their leader Lex Luthor conjures a devastating plan that will change the course of time forever.

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The first thing that you notice with this story arc is how wordy it can get, yet I found myself enthralled by every panel, by every dialogue and every square of narration. As master storytellers, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV take the time to fully flesh out their characters throughout a story where hope is barely the size of a grain. A huge portion of the story also fixates on each villain’s perspective of their lives and their end goals, and the amount of characterization that comes out of it is staggering and beautiful. The third-person narration that further gives readers insight on the events unfolding is not a style of comic book story-telling that is easy to appreciate or adapt to. I however grew to enjoy its strangeness that especially gave the story a very dramatic and legendary overtone. Nevertheless, the complexity and outright supernatural and cosmic elements that are grafted to the Justice League’s lore is beyond ambitious yet incredibly riveting. This is not a saga that will seduce many, but it is one that plans on growing much bigger than what it already is.

The artwork is where they sealed the deal, but before even mentioning its greatness, a word on the paper is necessary as this volume in particular steers away from the glossy paper that is commonly used nowadays for comic books and looks at the newspaper type of quality as the alternative, and it is a splendid one that brilliantly gives the artwork so much more gravitas and superiority. In fact, there’s no light reflection to disturb your appreciation, especially when you have Jorge Jimenez giving us some of the most beautiful panels ever. From splash pages to double-page spreads, his artwork alone is always a masterpiece. And to make everything even better, the other artists do an incredible job in keeping the quality consistent throughout the volume without suddenly changing the style. The explosions are huge, the emotions are strong, the action is intense. There’s simply no flaw in that department and simply enhances the story itself.

Justice League: The Totality is a visionary expansion of the multiverse in the same vein as what Grant Morrison has achieved for DC Comics and doesn’t shy away from exploring heroes and villains in their most vulnerable and powerful states.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and DC Comics for sending me a copy for review!

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21 comments

  • At some point either DC is going to fragment into a ton of multi-verse options for each best seller of their character or there will be yet another Infinite Crisis type storyline. It’s almost like DC didn’t learn a thing from doing Infinite Crisis 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaahha I definitely don’t think you’d appreciate much of the craziness that Scott Snyder brings forth to DC. 😛 Dark Night: Metal was basically a Crisis event by the way. And right now this Justice League run looks at these heroes trying to overcome the repercussions felt from that event.

      Speaking of Infinite Crisis, the DC TV series just finished their 3-part crossover event (Arrow, Flash and Supergirl) for what they titled the “Elseworlds” crossover event hahahah They even announced that next year, the next crossover will be the famous “Crisis on Infinite Earths” or at least an adaptation of it. 😀 I don’t think you’ll try and catch up on all those shows for the sake of seeing this “Elseworlds” crossover event, but I thought I’d share it with you for giggles, considering how much you love that particular word and the logo that comes with it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Huh, I had no idea that Metal was that kind of storyline.

        Thanks for the heads up about the tv shows and Elseworld. However, me and network tv don’t get along any more. I watched the first season of Arrow, as I was missing Smallville and barely made it through. Flash I lasted 2 episodes and Supergirl never even made it on my radar.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yep, it was. Snyder and Capullo draws upon a lot of what they built it in their famous New 52 Batman run (and Justice League) to create this whole Metal event too.

          Oh, I wouldn’t recommend them either, unless you’ve got plenty of time in your hands and are willing to lower your expectations A LOT. 😁

          P.S. I recently saw a Brandon Sanderson news that made me think of you. Think it’s something you’d enjoy? 😁 It is free after all hahah https://brandonsanderson.com/a-christmas-present/

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks for the link. I just checked it out. At first I was sad that I had missed his AMA but then I realized that I have reddit blocked, so I couldn’t have seen it anyway 😀

            And funny you should tie in something to do with Magic the Gathering. I’ve got another post about the cards going up tomorrow 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • Hahahaah why am I not surprised 😀

              Sweet coincidence. When I heard the news Sanderson announced, I knew I had to share it with you. Hopefully it’s worth your time if you ever do read it. And, at least there’s a “FAQ” section in there if you actually did have questions about it all. 😀

              Liked by 1 person

  • Sounds like it’s worth trying out 🙂 Snyder has style, I’ll grant him that, and he has done some great things with Batman. I started reading the Metal event, and though I really enjoy the execution, I’m not sold yet on the fundamental idea behind it – it seems very contrived. I have an increasing feeling that DC’s completely lost in their own universe, and that their ideas on what to do with it are irreconcilable. Wonder if another Rebirth isn’t already looming on the horizon…

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you’ve liked what he’s accomplished so far, then it’s definitely worth exploring for sure. I just love how insane it can, while grounded in cosmic ideas to bring these heroes to face far larger threats while looking within themselves for answers. Snyder and Capullo did have that whole Metal event planned out for a couple of years before starting it though. I don’t personally feel like a reboot is pending and do hope they’ll continue to work on their stories for each heroes. This Justice League run resulting from the whole Metal event is definitely something I look forward to see where it’ll lead. The ending of this volume is actually pretty epic and things are bound to get even more hectic in the following volume! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  • Awesome thoughts my friend, glad to hear you loved this. Well, you know my feelings on Metal (I like the look of the new ‘Batman Who Laughs’ mini series though) and how it didn’t really work for me but I still remain open to Scott Snyder (I did after all love his Detective Comics stuff) and I have actually been pleasantly surprised by this Justice League run! It certainly does get a bit wordy but I find myself engaged by the story and it’s helped by some great visuals.

    I do like the way the series alternates between the main Justice League story and the Legion of Doom arc as it allows Snyder and Tynion to tell separate but connected storylines. It still doesn’t beat the Geoff John’s JL run but I am enjoying this.

    Also, I enjoyed your comments about the printing of the volume and the paper quality – I pretty much read everything digitally now but it’s always good for physical collectors to know little, but important, details like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Chris. Yep. Your feelings for Snyder and his stories are well known. I do miss Black Mirror now though. I’ll have to re-read it for 2019 or maybe even get my hands on that Absolute edition. 😀

      I like how ambitious it is in tone too, but Geoff John’s run was much more easier to indulge and just as epic too. Something about this run is just mesmerizing, and I do hope Snyder and Tynion have a game plan for the follow story arcs. Since I’m not reading these in issues, I look forward to the surprise and hopefully it won’t just get more hectic and actually takes the time to be grounded sometimes.

      Ohhh yes! It’s completely different from everything we get nowadays in terms of paper quality and I really liked the feel of it. It instantly gave it a classic “old-times” vibe. I don’t know if it’s something they’ll be doing for the future volumes or even if it’ll become something they’ll do in general for all their stories, but it was a nice surprise for this one.

      Like

      • Did you ever finish the Geoff Johns JL by the way? Dying to hear your thoughts on “Darkseid War”! I do tend to give Snyder a bit of a rough time but he has produce some stuff that I’ve really liked… Superman: Unchained (review coming in the new year!)) for the New 52 era is one of my favourite modern Superman stories and more than made up for the otherwise lacklustre N52 Superman stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I stopped right at the Darkseid War saga hahahah I have the beautiful omnibus still wrapped up too… Having a hard time wanting to unwrap it and discover the end of the saga. 😛 I might just do it and share a review for it without reviewing every one of the volumes from the saga too. Too many to do them all anyways hahaha Ohh and I also have Unchained to check out after you had recommended it to me way back then. I’ll look forward to your thoughts. It might push me to get my hands on a copy too. 😀

          Like

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