Justice League #39 (Comics Review)

In recent months, Geoff Johns’ Justice League seems to have found a new lease on being awesome after all the unpleasantness of the Forever Evil crossover, and has become one of my most anticipated titles in any given month. The current story arc with the AMAZO virus is incredibly by all accounts, and it is really nice to see a comic that mixes in supervillains working alongside superheroes work out so well. Plus, who can really fault a comic where the Justice League has to depend on Lex Luthor to save the day and even work with him on it? Crazy, I tell you!

We have seen in the previous issues that as far as the AMAZO virus is concerned, the fate of metahumans everywhere and even the world hangs in the balance. And all that stands between this supposedly sentient and ever-evolving virus and the world are Lex Luthor, Superman and Wonder Woman. Batman was a part of the action too, but unfortunately he too has “fallen” and is now part of the enemy host. What this issue does really well is show off the antagonism between Lex and Superman in a great way, while Wonder Woman gets some of the most amazing action sequences that a female superhero at DC has gotten in the last three and a half years.

A hero cannot be great without a villain to match him. And the same applies in reverse as well. This is something that has always defined the antagonism between Lex Luthor and Superman, no matter what circumstances the two have found themselves in over the last few decades. No matter what good Lex does, or what kind of amends he makes with Superman and the other heroes, his ego and his arrogance always bring him into conflict with his allies. That is a done fact and isn’t something that is mutable to any great degree.

The relationship between Lex and Superman is one of the more defining points of this issue, in addition to Wonder Woman being just this great badass, the kind she can be at her best with ease. Or something like that. Back in the first arc of the series, she was presented as a kind of a berserker character, but now she is a calm and controlled warrior who is well aware of who she is and what she has to do here. Her small arc in this issue works well with that of the other two characters, and it is nice to see that kind of synergy between all of them, especially in context of the latest Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #25 digital issue, where Wonder Woman breaks up one of Lex’s many corporate schemes.

The whole thing going on with Lex being responsible for the release of the AMAZO virus in the civilian population is also given a slightly different angle in this issue. All the arguments have been presented already, either for or against, and so this time we see the supergenius trying to come up with a cure for the virus. The key thing however is whether or not he can come up with a cure in time before the virus’ many hosts overwhelm Wonder Woman, Superman, Captain Cold and the soldiers that Steve Trevor has with him.

And the greatest thing here is that while this kind of started off as a superhero versus superhero fight yet again, Geoff Johns was able to nicely steer away from all of that and go for something more nuanced. And let’s be honest, something nuanced is definitely much needed after all the disappointment I had with Forever Evil last year.

As before, Jason Fabok is the artist here, with Brad Anderson on colours and Carlos M. Mangual on the letters. The art here is top-notch yet again. Jason Fabok is absolutely aces with his pencils and Brad’s no slouch either. All the super-action that Wonder Woman gets up to is great and very dynamic too. Plus there are all the scenes that contrast modern-day Metropolis to ancient Athens, and the juxtaposition of those panels is handled really well. Plus, the expressions on Lex’s face all throughout the comic, that’s just gold right there. Poor Lex. And Captain Cold rocked his panels, that suave charmer.

Super-good issue!

Rating: 9.5/10

More Justice League: #1-6, #7-12, #13-15, #22-23, #23.1, #23.2, #23.4, #24, #25, #26, #27, #28, #37, #38.

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