Comic Review: Justice League #17 (DC Comics)

Deep within the Sh’Anne valley of Mars, Martian Manhunter investigates the remnants of his homework, in search of what the eldest Martian had informed him before her passing. As Manhunter […]

Deep within the Sh’Anne valley of Mars, Martian Manhunter investigates the remnants of his homework, in search of what the eldest Martian had informed him before her passing.

As Manhunter ventures further into the valley, Lex Luthor joins the fray. What is it that has brought these two opposing sides together? What is Manhunter looking for in the depths of Mars? Why is Lex Luthor working with Manhunter? What is it that Manhunter and Luthor seek? And can they escape from Mars long before uninvited guests appear?

It is interesting to see that after the events of the recent Justice League Annual, that Snyder would put the Manhunter and Luthor together for this issue. Given with what Manhunter discovered on Thanagar Prime, I would think that Manhunter would keep what he learned close to the chest. But then again, the story wouldn’t be as interesting, making Snyder’s decision to out two opposing characters together all the more fun.

The choices that Snyder makes in regards to why Manhunter and Luthor are both on Mars, why they are tied to the Totality etc, it shouldn’t have worked if we’re thinking about continuity.. yet Snyder and company found a good pocket that makes it all work for the sake of story. There was concerns that I had in the middle of the reading in regards to the story. But by the time I got to the end of the issue, not only did Snyder add a new angle that makes sense to the continuity of these characters but gives readers a different perception of these characters and their ties that is odd yet works simultaneously. By the time the issue ends, you’re left to wonder how much this issue influences what the future holds for the two characters of the opposing sides.

The artwork for this issue is done by the industry vet Jim Cheung, and man this is some of his best single issues to date! For a majority of his time on this series, he would do some pages, but not much of a whole issue. But I think that having Cheung be the initial artist on this specific issue actually helped to execute the narrative that Snyder was going for visually for this story. Mark Morales and Walden Wong’s inks are bold and crisp, adding another solid layer Cheung’s pencils, giving the artwork a striking feel that captures your attention through solid contrasts of light and shadow. Morey’s colors continue to make this book shine beautifully, and Napolitano’s letters also help to do the same.

This issue was a good single one-shot issue that holds just as much revelations as issue 16, and Annual #1 did as the second part of Snyder’s run begins. It’s interesting to see after a slow build up at the beginning of his run, how much everything snowballed into place for this title, making it a worthwhile journey to go on. Be sure to add it to your pull list for new comic book day folks!

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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