The cosmic stakes couldn’t be higher as the full force of Thanagar Prime bares down upon the Justice League, in the hopes of shielding its most valued secrets. But before we join the fight lets take a look at the covers.
For the regular cover, artist Jim Cheung has created a very action packed cover as Kendra Hall and John Stewart battle Empress Shayera while Starman’s image and emblem emblazon the background. The composition of Kendra and Shayera in a winged duel is perfect for this cover as it really incorporates the narrative featured in this very issue. I love the extreme detail of John’s construct engulfing his upper torso. The guns very much reminisce back to John’ time as a Marine. The appearance of a distressed Will Payton aka Starman in the background really adds a sense of foreboding and that this really is an event of cosmic proportions.
The variant cover is by Will Conrad and Alex Sinclair and sees the league reunited. T the faces of the Trinity engulf the background as Kendra, The Flash, Mera, John Stewart and The Martian Manhunter fly, dive and run straight towards us. This cover really feels to me like a movie poster and jumps straight off the shelf.
Justice League #15 opens up as The Trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman attempt to contain a highly unstable Will Payton from going super nova. This segment of the issue is illustrated by Jim Cheung and just looks epic. Its intense, and you really feel as though the stakes couldn’t be higher. The exchange between Superman and Batman from page one really hit the spot for me. Dry humor like this really suits the Batman that Scott Snyder has been cultivating within the pages of Justice League.
As the story unfolds the intensity and action continues as we find ourselves back on Thanagar Prime alongside Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter and John Stewart who are facing seemingly insurmountable odds as Empress Shayera and the Savage Hawkman look to protect Thanagar Prime’ secrets by any means necessary. This exchange really highlights how crucial J’onn J’onzz is to the Justice League, not just for his intelligence and leadership but for his extremely dense power set that tends to be overlooked or forgotten.
As The League earn a short reprieve, Martian Manhunter once again comes to the forefront as he devises a plan and informs the reader along with his allies just how deep Thanagar’s secrets run. From his time spent in hiding alongside the natives of Thanagar Prime, J’onn J’onzz speaks of the ‘vaults’ that lay beneath the surface that house the universe’ most valuable objects. Among them, weaponry from civilizations that span the galaxy, including the key to the answers they seek. This whole sequence really reminds me of a ‘heist’ movie as J’onn explains the details of the ‘targets’ routine and layout as they play out on the page. As the trio’s plan comes to fruition the action really kicks in and not just that, the reader learns just how Thanagar Prime and other universal empires view Earth and why Shayera is hording such weaponry. All this of course ties into the events of Dark Knights Metal, and the cosmic tapestry Scott Snyder has been weaving from ‘No Justice’ to the ‘Totality’ story arc from the pages of Justice League.
The action that takes place between The League and the wing-men of Thanagar Prime lead by Shayera herself and the Savage Hawkman is so dynamic. I love how interior artist Stephen Sergovia incorporates flight into the combat between the two warring parties. You really do feel the speed and velocity in which the combatants are hurtling themselves at each other. As the war wages on, Martian Manhunter continues his search for answers. J’onn finally discovers his target in the form of a prisoner held captive within the vault – The Martian Keep. The conversation between J’onn J’onzz and The Martian Keep reveals many secrets that impact not only Thanagar Prime and the lies weaved by its rulers, but secrets that have ramifications for the multiverse. This ties directly into the events that are occurring back on Earth between The Trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman and a lasso bound Will Payton. This is once more illustrated by Jim Cheung. The words that both Will Payton and The Martian Keep mutter inform the reader of the coming of an entity that could very well destroy the universe itself.
This issue like its predecessors is very dialogue heavy, but highly informative, and answers a lot of questions that tie directly into Thanagar Prime and more specifically the re-emergence of the Savage Hawkman. In regards to secrets, this issue definitely reveals its fair share but also lays the ground work for its ultimate reveal which is promised by Starman himself for the next issue. I’m a huge fan of artist Jim Cheung and I really like how his art is used as a kind of book-end as he chronicles the story arc of The Trinity and Will Payton throughout the issue. Co-interior artist Stephen Segovia did such a great job on art duties. For me, he is already a master at drawing Shayera and Savage Hawkman. In this issue the couple look imperious and very intimidating, especially in flight.
The team of Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV once again have added a brand new thread to the cosmic tapestry that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo created in Dark Knights Metal. As a fan of both Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, I really believe these two share a vision as this issue along with previous issues these two writers have worked on together feel very cohesive and unified.
I did feel the appearance of the Green Lantern Corps in this issue was minute, but on the whole this issue is a strong build up to Justice League #16, which promises to answer questions that were planted back in Dark Knights Metal. I truly cannot wait to discover the answers promised to us in Justice League #16.