Justice League, DC’s flagship team book that ran screaming out of the pages of Dark Nights: Metal and Justice League: No Justice, is on its 24th issue this week, and it’s been a run full of amazing things. New fundamental forces. A return to super villainy from Lex Luthor. Retcons galore. A telepathic starfish in a jar. But the most amazing thing about it is that after banging out 500 pages of comics, Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Cheung, Jorge Jimenez and the rest of the crew haven’t even thought about tapping the brakes for a second.
This book barely lets up for a page. And that’s especially true of this week’s issue, of which DC sent along a preview. Jorge Jimenez continues his run on “The Sixth Dimension” story, and he and Alejandro Sanchez just destroy the art on this issue. Two things from the preview jump right out at me: the light and the grime.
The grime is obvious enough: Superman is inside his own head, being tortured by his own despair as he floats in a sixth dimensional void. The crap is all over his face because he’s been imprisoned there (by Sixth Dimensional Superman, of course) for a while and has been struggling to get out. But it feels so real, the smudges and smears on his face. It doesn’t look like someone was drawing grime on him; it looks like he was rubbing it out of his eye or had his head in his hands.
The second is the lighting. In the panel with Clark leaving the house, he’s backlit taking a memory lantern outside for Jon, and it’s this perfect combination of melancholy and ominous. That’s probably on Sanchez a little more than Jimenez, but these two have been knocking it out of the park this entire story arc and it continues here.
Snyder is, of course, continuing to go wild on this book in a way he never really did before. Until All-Star Batman he felt restrained, like the atmosphere he was going for was noir detective and everything he wrote would be nudged under that umbrella. He doesn’t feel constrained to noir here, and instead he’s just letting his craziest ideas bounce around, relishing the absurdity, and leaning into the more ridiculous plot beats inherent in superhero comics.
Here’s what DC has to say about the issue:
JUSTICE LEAGUE #24 written by SCOTT SNYDER
art by JORGE JIMENEZ
variant cover by JEROME OPENA
“The Sixth Dimension” chapter five! The League’s plan is in full swing, but one member of the team isn’t on board with their message and sides with the World Forger! Betrayed, there’s only one person who can turn the tide of this battle. Can Superman find the strength to escape his prison planet and save the Justice League, or is the League doomed to live out their days trapped in the Sixth Dimension?!
One last thing: I’m not usually one to go on about variant covers. They’re nice, but they’re speculator incentives, and I stopped worrying about speculative value of comics when I found a copy of Ultimate X-Men #3 sitting next to the toilet one day. I buy these comics to read them, not because they’re going to be worth something someday. That said, if it gets me a regular run on Superman, the League, Wonder Woman, the New Gods, the Legion or whoever from Jerome Opeña, I will buy and slab a thousand copies of this comic myself. He is my favorite artist working.
Take a look at these preview pages, and congrats to Snyder and family on their new arrival!