Title: Justice League.
Story-Arc: The Totality.
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.
Release Date: November 27th 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★.
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.
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.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and DC Comics for sending me a copy for review!