Justice League: Infinity #2 has landed, propelling us further into this canon continuation of the celebrated cartoon continuity. This issue sees Superman transported to an alternate Earth, while the JLU deal with reality incursions on the Earth we all know from the animated series.
The cover for this one by Jorge Corona and Mat Lopesis is pretty cool, giving us a grittier, more stylized rendering of the characters, with differing proportions that really set the characters apart.
Diving in, where last issue was narrated by Martian Manhunter, this issue is narrated by none other than our favorite Justice Leaguer, Superman! As nice as it is to get to hear Superman’s thoughts, the narration continues to rub me the wrong way. Having very rarely been a part of the shows, narration just doesn’t feel right in this universe, or with these iterations of these characters.
That being said, one of the best episodes from the entire continuity, “The Late Mr. Kent,” is in fact narrated, but Tim Daly made it work, and the writing captured Superman’s voice better than is done here in my opinion. Some of his dialogue comes off too poetic for me, not to mention at times, preachy, with some very thinly veiled references to modern social issues.
Don’t get me wrong, the things Superman is saying and thinking are good and right, and I’m all for some social commentary, but the show handled such commentary with nuance, subtlety, and tact, whereas this feels rushed, exaggerated, and perhaps a little forced. Maybe this is simply due to the breakneck speed of this comic series, needing to cram as much story in as possible with no breathing room for things like rising action and the like. If that’s the case, I desperately wish the story this creative team is trying to tell could play out over a longer allotted run, so we could get that more nuanced and natural build.
There are some great moments in this issue too however, like Lois getting to participate in some action for the first time since Superman: The Animated Series, J’onn Jonnz getting to flex his superhero muscles, and the appearances of a plethora of Superman villains, some of which, we’re seeing in this universe for the very first time! We also get some great nods and easter eggs harkening back to the amazing shows, some of which provide us some answers to questions we had from last issue!
We find out that the journey Amazo is embarking on is indeed after his appearances in JLU, some of which we get to see depicted in some flashback panels! We learn that the strange dimension in which he’s found himself is called “The Mirrored Room,” which does indeed seem to be connected somehow to alternate realities, as, in some of its mirrors we see the Justice Lord’s universe, as well as an unknown universe where apparently Lex Luthor is Superman.
We learn that the evil Superman we were left with at the end of the last issue is NOT the same Superman from the Superman: The Animated Series Episode “Brave New Metropolis,” but a variant of him from yet another universe named “Overman.” Lois does acknowledge that this doppelgänger looks identical to the one she met in that episode though. They even invented a dark and tragic backstory for this new character, which I’m sure if depicted on the actual show, would rank right up there with such DCAU greats as Justice Lord Superman, Harley Quinn, or Annie from the Batman episode, “Growing Pains.” (I’m not crying, you’re crying!)
We learn that our Superman and Overman have switched places, with our Superman ending up on an Earth which appears to be an alternate version of “The Savage Time” timeline, something which Superman himself comments on. In “The Savage Time” of course, Vandal Savage usurped Hitler’s throne and defeated the allied powers, winning World War II, and conquering the globe. Only on this Earth, Savage has a Superman at his beck and call, as well as an alternate version of Brainiac, and foot soldiers wearing actual swastikas, (since we’re not on Cartoon Network anymore!)
The Brainiac Superman fights features a design we’ve never seen before in the DCAU, but bears some resemblance to the design featured in the Legion of Superheroes animated series. Superman’s infant rocket also bears a different design. The interior art by Ethen Beavers continues to impress, and evokes the exact feelings we want for the DCAU. It’s incredibly well done, and I look forward to seeing more of Beavers take on this series and these characters.
In the end, Superman meets this Savage Earth’s resistance fighters, boasting members such as Metallo, Doomsday, and General Zod! Doomsday and Metallo are drastically altered from their traditional DCAU appearances, with Doomsday looking a bit like a Doomsday/Clayface hybrid, and Metallo being not only of African descent, but female!
Meanwhile, this is the first ever appearance of General Zod in the DCAU! Previously, Jax-Ur served as the DCAU Zod stand in, even boasting the famous goatee. However, it seems that in this story, Superman KNOWS who Zod is, implying they’ve faced off before in some long lost story in the DCAU we have yet to see! Zod is sporting his classic look from the silver age, and has no goatee. It’s not a bad look, and fits well with the art style, but it’s a drastically different aesthetic from the Kryptonian fashion which has already been established. I’ll let it slide since it’s an alternate Earth, but now I want to see what the main universe Zod looks like.
Justice League: Infinity #2 delivers more of that great DCAU continuity and action we’ve come to love, delivering on the aesthetic and nostalgia the fans of the animated shows have been craving!
Haven’t picked up Justice League: Infinity #2 yet? You can get the standard cover by Jorge Corona and Mat Lopesis here (US).
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