Review: Justice League: No Justice #1

Justice League: No Justice #1 is the kick off to the four-issue miniseries spinning out of Dark Nights: Metal. After Brainiac systematically takes down all of Earth’s super-teams, the last thing the League expects is for him to ask for their help! Without their aid, his home planet and the universe are both doomed!

Dark Nights: Metal opened up a world(s) of possibility of the DC Universe not only introducing the “Dark Universe” but also cracking the Source Wall allowing even greater concepts to leak in to the DCU. It’s a shake up the DC Universe as it has mainly been known for its multiverse but now can also explore the unknowns beyond the Source Wall. Our first introduction to what awaits is four beings comprised of the universe’s major energies – Mystery, Wonder, Wisdom, and Entropy. They sustain their life force by devouring planets. Yes, this is Marvel’s Galactus meets Marvel’s Celestials and a further embrace of the concepts begun by the legendary Jack Kirby. And the issue feels very “Marvel” in that way, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We’ve seen from Dark Nights that DC can bridge multiple things (in that case the New 52 and Rebirth) and in this case the overall package is Marvel’s Kirby meets DC’s Kirby for something new.

Written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson the issue’s strength is the characters themselves and the pairings we’ll be seeing throughout the series. The heroes are forced to work with the villains and already there’s some moments that are entertaining and solid. A scene with Lex Luthor and Martian Manhunter particularly stands out as to what I hope to see more of as well as Starro being Starro. That aspect is all solid.

Where the issue overall lags is that much of it is write by numbers and a bit predictable. There’s the expected fights and then team ups, battle that didn’t need to happen, and just general clashes. Where the comic shines is the small details of interactions and where it deviates from expectations (and even then it’s a few particular details as opposed to the overall act. Brainiac’s fate is the example of that).

Artist Francis Manapul, with color by Hi-Fi, and lettering by AndWorld Design, create a visual treat. The art brings Manapul’s strengths and gives it all a cosmic twist. There’s some interesting designs and the flow of the comic is great, especially since so much is packed in. Each character looks solid, the page layouts are interesting, the comic is more visually engaging than it is storywise. The colors pop in a way using a day-glow like palette of purples, pinks, blues, and greens. Colorwise the comic is very unique. The lettering too helps add some emotional punch and at times helps deliver the punchline itself.

The comic isn’t bad in any way and very much reminds me of a summer popcorn blockbuster. There’s great concepts that just need a little something more to make them stand out as unique instead of riffs of something we’ve seen before. It’s the interaction of characters as well as the fantastic art that’s the driver here. The fact we know we’ll be getting new Justice League books and teams (and who is on what team) that also diminishes some of the storytelling. It feels like it has a job of getting us to the next chapter instead of getting us excited about the next chapter. Justice League: No Justice so far feels like the bridge from Dark Nights: Metal to a new era of the Justice League. Like the Source Wall itself, leaving what lies beyond to the imagination is some times the fun part.

Story: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson
Art: Francis Manapul Color: Hi-Fi Lettering: AndWorld Design
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.3 Overall: 7.35 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review