The Legion of Doom takeover this issue of Justice League, but before we head over to the Hall of Doom lets checkout the covers to Justice League #13.
Interior Artist Guillem March has created a cover that could almost be mistaken for an interior page, as the cover is adorned with word balloons as Lex Luthor and The Joker take centre stage. The use of word balloons on covers in this day and age are rare, but when used really bring about a sense of nostalgia for me, especially for the silver age as word balloons were common place during that period of time. I really like how the Justice League logo has been ‘vandalised’ and occupied with the ‘Legion of Doom’ logo, which is now emblazon across the cover. For me this really signifies the fact that the Legion of Doom are an entity all of their own that suffer the same highs and lows, the same camaraderie and discourse any team good or bad can suffer.
The variant cover for this issue is by the incomparable Jae Lee, who has created a very striking cover as the League come together with the DC Trinity at the heart. As a Superman fan, I love how Superman takes centre stage with a very powerful, almost omnipotent pose with the House of El emblem grabbing the eye of the reader straight away.
The crossover event known as Drowned Earth is over, as part 3 of the ‘Legion of Doom’ story arc is picked up here in this very issue of Justice League written by James Tynion IV and with art provided by Guillem March. This issue focuses entirely on the Joker and Lex Luthor as their uneasy alliance comes to a very abrupt end in very violent fashion. This issue is essentially a deathtrap created by The Joker with Lex Luthor as the begrudging participant. Justice League #13 really highlights how dangerous the Joker can be when given time and opportunity, highlighting perfectly what the Joker is capable of, and what’s mostly occupying his time when other villains are featured in the pages of Batman for any length of time.
A great man once said ‘Im a dog chasing cars, I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. You know what – I just do things’. Well, The Joker who appears within the pages of Justice League specifically this issue is very much a man with a plan, who’s actions are very premeditated. Very chaotic but very premeditated none the less. I’m not to sure how I feel about this, that’s not to say The Joker hasn’t been a schemer in the past who’s played the long game before – just look at Batman and Robin by Grant Morrison, but this kind of Joker is hard for me to get my head around. For me its hard to picture The Joker taking orders or swallowing the diatribes and machinations of characters like Sinestro, who are built around the ideals of structure and conformity. Or Lex Luthor who is essentially a man of science, fundamentals that are in direct conflict to that of chaos which just so happens to be what The Joker revels in. Lex Luthor however in this issue was very good. His self perceived omnipotence comes very much to the forefront as he converses with beings he believes to be beneath him. Arrogance is a trait I believe is a fundamental of Luthor’ character and even in the face of chaos at the hands of The Joker, Luthor never concedes and maintains that arrogance throughout it all.
Almost the entirity of this issue is based in the Hall of Doom and I must say the action that takes place feels intense and claustrophobic. It feels like there is limited options for Luthor as he runs The Joker’s ‘gauntlet’. This brings me onto the artwork produced by Guillem March, who captures a very chaotic tone as each page is crammed with characters and action featured in a plethora of panel configurations that just work perfectly. This really complements the chaotic theme that runs throughout the whole issue. The Joker drawn by Guillem March looks and feels like he would fit right into a heavy horror movie. I just loved that panel which appeared to homage the famous Brian Bolland ‘The Killing Joke’ image. James Tynion IV’ dialogue is very dense and character driven. However due to this story arcs’ first two chapters being released pre-Drowned Earth, there is a chance that the reader could feel slightly disorientated with this issue.
This issue was superb and felt like the end of an era for the Legion of Doom as a group. I can’t wait to see what the pages of Justice League has in store for us next.