Snyder writes from an immense love of comic books, he knows DC continuity the way a Jesuit knows scripture and that comes through in the intricate details of his work. It is a thing of great beauty to behold Snyder at his world building best here in the current issue of Justice League. He has perfected the voices of these characters as many and varied as they are, he nails each and every one of them with the precision and accuracy of a surgeon.
This issue begins the road to Drowned Earth, an Aquaman-centric crossover and as a prelude to an epic story this one couldn’t be any better.
As a writer with such a vast knowledge of the DCU and particularly the Justice League it stands to reason that Snyder would employ an expansive roster when forming his team of heroes, not just expansive but expanding. In this issue we see just how inclusive that roster is with the appearances of Adam Strange and Firestorm, characters that have otherwise gone underused, if not forgotten.
The issue begins with a young Arthur recalling a conversation he shared on the deck of a sail boat with his father. The young boy possesses an inquisitive nature which Snyder uses to perfectly juxtapose the events of long ago with a much more perilous present day. The narrative has the weight of Arthurian Myth as we see Aquaman and Wonder Woman examining one of Poseidon’s bottled ships. The deck of the miniature Viking boat is bustling with a full crew and full sails.
Since the team is somewhat fractured in this issue, the communication that links them all together is of paramount importance and Snyder does a fantastic job with the dialog. Batman’s role as strategist has become his sole responsibility on the team since being all but imprisoned in a full body cast. However, the Dark Knight Detective’s role is not a diminished one, in fact his voice has become more unifying than it has been in the past. In fact because of his restricted movement, Batman must focus on the team as a single entity to advice and direct each of the individual units. Snyder’s ability to immerse himself in each of these characters is really on display in this issue in large part because of the structure of the narrative and the distance between the individual league members. There is a subtle humor to this issue that Snyder is not afraid to play up when called for, the piece of Starro in a jar for example, very clever and soundly amusing.
Overall, this issue is just a tiny step on a universe spanning journey of cosmic proportions. Scott Snyder not only knows exactly where this is headed but, he has the course meticulously plotted out. For my money Justice League ,under the direction of Snyder, has been consistently the most engrossing, exciting and entertaining book on the racks and I’m going back to Metal. This is the way Justice League should always be handled, its big, epic tales of heroics with nothing less than the survival of the universe hanging in the balance. Justice League is our Arthurian Legend, our Greek and Roman Mythology and our Heroic Sagas. Its Homer and Shakespeare all rolled into one and that’s how Scott Snyder writes it. There is an urgencey to his Justice League that has been missing for too long and I for one am so grateful its back. Cheers Scott Snyder. 5/5