Comic Picks By The Glick

Justice League vol. 4: The Sixth Dimension

January 10, 2020

This volume’s title is where the impossible happens, and it’s where the League has to go in order to stop Luthor from turning the multiverse towards Doom.  What do they find there? Why a perfect utopia where their future selves are more than happy to show them around and talk about how they pulled it off. Naturally it’s a trap and it’s disappointing that writer Scott Snyder (working with artist Jorge Jimenez as a co-plotter on this arc) would reduce the idea of the Sixth Dimension to such a familiar trope.  It doesn’t help matters either that the six-part title story also feeds into his worst impulse when writing events: Having the heroes work really hard to succeed and then having their hopes crushed in a single page.

 

With these things working against it, I was honestly surprised to find myself enjoying the story by it’s end.  We get some quality insight into Superman’s character -- as a father and a son -- as he fights against overwhelming odds in darkness.  His ultimate triumph is a sight to behold, mainly due to Jimenez’s incredible art as he truly sells the scale of the punch the Man of Steel lays on the antagonist.  It’s also fair to say that Jimenez’s art is truly stellar from beginning to end as it vividly displays the angelic heights and hellish lows of this world. Not to be outdone, Francis Manapul also delivers some mythic sights in the James Tynion IV-written “League of Doom” interlude issue.  An issue which advertises the origins of Perpetua, the Monitors, and the multiverse is certainly promising a lot, and it largely delivers.

 

The action drops off considerably for the volume’s final third as the majority of the League seeks out the other Monitors while J’onn J’onzz try to track down Luthor.  While the League’s storyline is necessary for the overall plot, the real drama occurs when J’onn and Luthor -- now “Apex Lex” -- finally meet. I’m not expecting the consequences of their meeting to result in permanent changes to either, but a surprisingly harsh fate awaits the Martian Manhunter here.  It’d probably be an even more impactful read if the scratchy art from Javier Fernandez (and the pitch-ins from Bruno Redondo and Daniel Sampere) were on the same level as Jimenez and Manapul. As things are, the final three issues wind up being just decent buildup for the “Justice/Doom War” in the next volume.

 

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