Justice League #25 Review

By
comic books:
Christian Bone

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On July 19, 2017
Last modified:July 19, 2017

Summary:

This expanded anniversary issue is a dense but intriguing read that leaves us with much to chew on thanks to its hints at the central DC Rebirth mystery.

Justice League #25 Review

This review contains minor spoilers. 

Bryan Hitch’s run on Justice League hasn’t been the most acclaimed of DC Rebirth, to say the least, but after a break away from the comic for a while, this is his chance to prove his dissenters wrong and turn things around. While there are still issues with this, er, issue, Justice League #25 does thankfully suggest things are going to get a lot more interesting from here on in.

The comic begins with an awesome opening of epic proportions, as we’re introduced to latest big bad Shirak. He’s a living virus that turns whole planets into his zombie armies and is so powerful it took the entire Green Lantern Corps to take him out in ancient times. We then spool forward to the present day, where Batman is being warned by Molly AKA The Keeper that “the Great Darkness” is coming. Meanwhile, Victor Stone and Simon Baz are escorting some school kids to a museum – which just so happens to be the location of Shirak’s resurrection…

First of all, this extended ‘anniversary’ issue doesn’t particularly have the strongest plot. Shirak is built up to be a massive threat in the impressive, lengthy prologue but within the narrative itself he just doesn’t make that much of an impression. The inclusion of Molly is also strangely handled, as Hitch doesn’t even remind us who she is (her name is literally never mentioned). Anyone hopping on for the first time this issue, or who has forgotten the details of Hitch’s prior story arcs, will be totally lost.

On the other hand, there’s a decent character arc for Simon across the issue. He begins the comic struggling with his faith and his choices, questioning whether he’s a good Muslim and a good man. Through his efforts against Shirak, though, he comes to terms with who he is. There isn’t too much room for introspection in such an action-packed issue, but it is welcome all the same. His partnership with Cyborg is also an interesting change of pace.

What will really get fans talking through is the Batman-Molly part of the narrative which hints at big powers at work in the DC universe.Things get very metaphysical as Molly claims that there are two opposing forces – a God and a Devil, if you like – that hold reality in check. With several namedrops of the term “Rebirth,” this is clearly tying in to the big plan that will be unfolding soon in Doomsday Clock. But is Molly referring to Doctor Manhattan here? Reverse-Flash also mentioned seeing God in “The Button”

Unfortunately, the artwork isn’t as thrilling as the writing this time around. While Tom Derenick is a fine artist, and the opening battle between Shirak and the Green Lanterns is excellent, his work throughout the rest of the issue is a bit hit and miss. There’s just something off-model about the faces of the characters here, from random bystanders to the League members themselves.

All in all, the actual plot of Justice League #25 is enjoyably grand and doom-laden, even if it is fairly inconsequential. What’s more gripping, though, are the themes and ideas the comic brings up of destiny vs. free will and the cycle of life and death, which seemingly tie into the enigma at the heart of DC Rebirth. If you’re someone who’s intrigued by the ongoing Manhattan mystery, you’ll want to check this issue out.

Justice League #25 Review
Great

This expanded anniversary issue is a dense but intriguing read that leaves us with much to chew on thanks to its hints at the central DC Rebirth mystery.