Justice League by Scott Snyder Book Three

Justice League by Scott Snyder Book Three
Justice League by Scott Snyder Book Three review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 978-1-7795-1493-6
  • Volume No.: 3
  • Release date: 2022
  • UPC: 9781779514936
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero
 Spoilers in review

Unlike the previous Deluxe Editions, which combined two previously issued paperbacks, Book Three is a hardcover presentation of Justice/Doom War, which ended a patchy run.

Snyder and frequent writing partner James Tynion IV have set up an inordinately complex series of events all connected with the possible return of a being called Perpetua who once controlled all universal forces. As nurtured by Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom she’s almost back to full strength, which will make her more than a match for the Justice League. So, desperate times indeed.

A group of superheroes in a hopeless battle they’re unlikely to win is a superhero standby, but the sheer amount of pages over two previous hardbacks that Snyder has devoted to building up the threat and foiling the Justice League’s attempts to prevent it lift this into another class. True, the road has been rocky, especially at the start, but this is a finale that counts. Well, with a caveat we’ll get to. Along the way there are trips to the past and to the future, the return of some DC favourites and the joy of seeing the Justice League alongside them, and the delight of a Justice League team comprising the most unlikely set of characters. At every point Snyder and Tynion offer hope, and then snatch it away inducing despair. Despite that, so many small items seeded over the previous graphic novels have their part to play, considered insignificant when introduced, but slotting into the master plan so effectively.

Almost every artist who’s contributed to the series to date draws at least part of a chapter, but it’s Jorge Jiménez who’s been the soul of the series, extrapolating Snyder’s visions and co-plotting some details himself. He starts and finishes the story, provides some stunning spreads featuring dozens of characters, and throws his heart and soul into the pages.

Beyond a thrilling story well drawn, there are plenty of Year of the Villain tie-ins, but pleasingly they have barely any relevance to the primary story, and despite its magnitude that story is contained within this material.

However, there is a major caveat regarding how good this is. A lot of people will hate the ending. It’s original, and it’s wacky, but is it satisfying? Perhaps having reached it, the mop-up was inevitable, so why go through the motions of several more chapters to show it, like that game of Risk where the winner is apparent an hour before the end. Ultimately, it’s lazy writing. Snyder has more than enough creativity to have conceived a rapid way of closing things down more attuned to a story that’s taken almost fifty chapters to tell (allowing for the prelude of No Justice and the diversion of Drowned Earth), and the audience deserved better. It doesn’t erase the thrills of everything else here, but it’s very damaging.