Justice League #18 Review

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Pasqual Ferry
Colors: Hi-Fi
Letters: Tom Napolitano

Way Back in Justice League #1, Lex Luthor killed Vandal Savage. It kickstarted one of the most fascinating arcs in mainstream comic books today. The latest issue follows the Legion of Doom, which it does every once in a while, to great glee from me. Mostly everything in this issue takes place in a mental realm occupied by Lex and Brainiac. Not much happens. Everything in this issue is all in the name of preparation to Lex’s ultimate goal: to bring forth Perpetua.

As soon as Lex and Brainiac are together in their world, Brainiac reveals his ulterior motives. Brainiac plans to take control of Lex’s mind and body so that he can acquire all of Lex’s knowledge concerning Perpetua and the sixth energy. However, he wouldn’t be Lex Luthor if he didn’t have a way to show his worth. Lex then takes Brainiac on a tour to show him just what he fails to grasp about this energy.

What follows is a history of Vandal Savage bringing the power to the greatest minds throughout history. But I think the most fascinating panels in this issue are when Vandal meets with Lex’s father. It leads to one of the best exchanges I’ve seen in a comic book lately.

Vandal: “You see, this fire here… it says that Lionel Luthor was an average man, who never accomplished anything of note. That he dropped out of high school. Works in a factory. That he never left the state of Kansas.
Lionel: “No… no, just… kill me. Please.
Vandal: “No, Lionel. I am going to leave you a small, broken man, and send you back to your small, broken town. You won’t reach any cosmic potential. You will be nobody.”

It’s such a great piece of dialogue because it emphasizes the Luthors’ entire ethos. These men would rather die than fade away into obscurity. They are brilliant men, and the thing they fear most is to never see their potential. That is why Lex is doing all this. He wants to be remembered through the annals of history because if he doesn’t, he might as well have never existed at all.

Overall Score: 9/10

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Mike Bedard is a Los Angeles-based writer. He has written for Cracked, Robot Butt, and many other websites. You can keep up with everything Mike does by following him on Twitter @TheMikeBedard