Justice League #38, published by DC Comics, is written by Scott Snyder, penciled by Daniel Sampere (pages 1-5, 15-19) and Jorge Jimenez (pages 6-14, 20), inked by Jimenez and Juan Albarran, colored by Alejandro Sanchez, and lettered by Tom Napolitano. The penultimate chapter of the Justice/Doom War finds the League battling Lex Luthor, who easily overpowers them using the abilities of his fellow members of the Legion of Doom. Hawkgirl, in desperation, makes a last-ditch effort in order to turn the tide in the heroes’ favor.
Jimenez’s pages are action-packed in every sense of the word. Jimenez gets the chance to draw every member of the League battling Luthor and he goes all out with his efforts. One page shows Batman delivering a flurry of punishing blows to Luthor, electricity crackling off of the brass knuckles surrounding his fists. Another page features Wonder Woman cutting him in half; yet another features Superman delivering the mother of all haymakers that literally sends him flying through a building. With every assignment he tackles, Jimenez continues to prove that he is one of the best artists working in comics today.
Sanchez’s colors are vibrant, eye-grabbing, and lend a mythic weight to the artwork; Flash pulses with golden lightning, emerald energy swirls around Green Lantern’s ring, and every time Luthor drains the energy from one of his fellow Legion of Doom members, violet electricity courses through their bodies as they scream in agony. I love that this book grabs its readers’ attention and manages to stand out from other books on the shelves by leaning into its superheroic imagery.
Sampere also delivers solid artwork, especially in the opening pages. His standout moment features Green Lantern flying in and literally giving Luthor “the finger”; specifically, the finger with his ring tattoo. However, this issue highlights my biggest issue with this story arc; namely that there is a wild inconsistency in artists. Had one or two artists illustrated the entirety of the run, that would have been fine, but between Jimenez, Sampere, Francis Manapal, Bruno Redondo and Howard Porter there have been five artists for a single arc. It’s a bit disorienting if I’m being honest.
Snyder’s writing for the bulk of this issue mainly seems to be setting the table for the conclusion of this arc. The first half, despite its amazing artwork, falls into a singular pattern: one League member fights Luthor, Luthor counteracts using his Perpetua-enhanced abilities. The twist at the end of the issue is once again uplifting and proves to be the final element in the League’s victory. The fact that it features one of my favorite DC heroes is the icing on the cake.
Justice League #38 may be a place setting issue, but it features some stellar artwork and a wallop of an ending. With the finale to the Justice/Doom War, and subsequently the finale to Snyder’s run on this title, I hope that he closes it the same way he began: in grand style.
Justice League #38 is available wherever comics are sold.
Justice League #38
Justice League #38 may be a place setting issue, but it features some stellar artwork and a wallop of an ending.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.