The Brave and The Bald: Justice League #17 Reviewed

by Oliver MacNamee

And I thought that last week’s Justice League Annual was a game-changer! But, no, Justice League #17 does not let you stop and take a breather, even for a minute. It’s one of my favourite issue of the whole run so far with it’s focus on a very strange partnership between J’onn J’onzz and Lex Luthor.

Time has clearly passed on from last week’s sensational issue, but it’s down to us to make some sense of the opening of this issue that drop us directly a journey J’onn has made to Mars, with the enemy and leader of the Legion of Doom. We learn more of J’onn’s earlier times on Earth as a boy and held captive by a more sinister set of scientists. But amongst these people is a young boy, a boy about J’onn’s age, and a boy on the side of the angels.

It’s a story that has more than some links to the present and J’onn’s insistence on bringing Luthor with him to Mars. Its also a story that, once told, could well be another game-changer too. It’s certainly a series that pulls the reader, emotionally, in many different directions and by the end of the book I was genuinely left with a feeling of hope. A hope that has been purposefully redundant from this comic in order to relay to readers the sheer scale of the universal disaster facing them, even without the Legion of Doom’s involvement.

Furthermore, regarding this amazing issue – written solely by by Scott Snyder – my wish of Jim Cheung drawing a complete issue has been granted, and it was well worth the wait. Told predominately in widescreen panels, we are given an issue that is more emotionally-driven than action-driven, which is fine by me. What we are witnessing will surely have repercussions not just down the line in this saga, but down the years too. This is a comic book relationship that changes a huge deal. And, certainly the way you’ll look at a particular character from now on in. Something of a speciality of Snyder’s, and great writers in general: taking the familiar and making us look at it to form a complete different perspective. Retconning to enhance the mythology rather than to shock or to paint oneself out of a hole left by a previous creator. Now, that’s a talent.

Justice League #17 is out now from DC Comics. What’s your excuse?

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