JUSTICE LEAGUE #5
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Wil Quintana and Tom Napolitano
Edited by Andrew Marino, Rebecca Taylor, and Marie Javins
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: August 1, 2018
The villains are all right inside Tynion’s first issue for Justice League, er…the Legion of Doom.
Every few issues of Justice League will star opposite, the Legion of Doom and in their opener, it’s all about Lex going on his own path to infamy and how the current events of Justice League have been orchestrated at every turn. Tynion keeps up the tempo that Snyder has set up with “The Totality” thus far with the grand scope of the DC Universe getting swept in the current of Lex Luthor’s machinations. Locations all over the world and beyond are being affected and Mahnke’s pencils are suited for the gritty and grimy of the DC Universe that takes notice of the changes per the continued narration that highlights just how huge Lex is playing for keeps this time around.
The Legion of Doom getting their own opening chapter acts similar to Justice League #1 with another look into the Headquarters in all of its glory. Mahnke, Mendoza, and Quintana are a well oiled art team with each person adding to the page. Mahnke’s pencils layout the location in full with Tynion describing each spot having more horror and acting as an inverse of the shiny and open Hall of Justice. Quintana’s colors remain tightly in the world of evil so the shadiness and inking from Mendoza follow suit with Quintana and the colors that are fitting for the DC Universe and the evilness of the issue. There’s an off-kilter, roughness to Mahnke’s pencils across the board as we travel from the Source Wall and back following Lex. He puts a lot of action and business into the pages as the recruiting begins on Luthor’s part.
Lex and Sinestro meet at the edge of the universe where Tynion makes another case for Luthor to be the best villain of the year. He’s calculating, witty, and analyzes his fellow cohorts with ease as he breaks down the situation to them and sales them on exactly what they want to help him in his own grand scheme. Mendoza’s inking is emboldened with upfront looks on characters, the inking takes a backseat for the larger and more splashy panels in favor of Quintana’s colors to grab you with their subtle show of fireworks and the way they bring the pages together on a panel by panel basis. Tynion plays with some of the setups that Snyder has teased when it comes to Luthor’s journey that he sets out on for the issue. Luthor’s crisis sets him on a path of discovery and realization with some surprising developments in store for his character that give him the push he needs to create his now present Legion of Doom.
There’s a sense of savagery to Mahnke as the next recruitment is Grodd’s turn and the scene is in line with the character and showcases just how brutal he can be. It’s a messy, page filled affair as Grodd boldly laments, as to why humanity is beneath him and Lex quickly sells his pitch to the telepathic villain with Napolitano lettering differentiating Lex and Grodd as they speak with Grodd coming across angrier and naturally more beast like. Tynion rounds out the issue with the continued narration that confidently builds up Lex’s creed of Doom and how it challenges our understanding of his motivations and what he’s willing to do in order to get it.
The Legion of Doom little by little gets a piece of their history explained with this Part One in the Justice League saga as it sets up three of the member’s histories and motivations as we’ve seen in the previous issues and serves its purposes to give the villains of the DC Universe a reason for legitimacy in their claim for Doom. Justice League #5 isn’t the greatest break in the main plot due to Lex’s motivations and filling out ground as to why some of the villains have joined the Legion of Doom, the art from Mahnke and inking from Mendoza isn’t the best as some pages are more detailed and refined than others but it’s still a serviceable issue of villainy that adds to the story but drags it’s feet as things reach the conclusion.
The Verdict: 7.5/10