Subway Shorts – Justice League: No Justice 1

The heroes and villains of the DC Universe are collected by Brainiac to battle a cosmic threat against his home world in the first of four weekly issues setting up the future of the Justice League.

Justice League: No Justice 1
Written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson
Art by Francis Manapul 

Coming out of Scott Snyder’s DARK NIGHTS: METAL event, DC Comics is using the weekly NO JUSTICE miniseries to establish a new status quo for its premiere superteam. The first issue, as has become the norm in the era of decompressed storytelling, gives us the set-up for the event: Superman villain Brainiac’s homeworld of Colu is being attacked by four cosmic beings known as the Omega Titans – Entropy, Wonder, Wisdom and Mystery. The Omega Titans were unleashed on the universe when the heroes cracked open the Source Wall at the end of METAL, so the Justice League needs to clean up its mess and put an end to the threat – or else Earth will be the next planet the Omega Titans go after.

The Omega Titans sound a bit like the MILLENNIUM GIANTS that Superman fought 20 years ago. It’s too bad Superman isn’t in his electro-powers mode, it may make it easier to defeat the threat…

Brainiac, though, doesn’t believe the Justice League in its current incarnation is strong enough to defeat the Omega Titans, so he gathers other heroes – and villains – and reconfigures his gathered costumed characters into four new teams, each with a team name corresponding to the Titan they are tasked with taking down. If they follow his instructions to the letter, Brainiac tells them, victory is possible. And just as he’s set to give the four teams their marching orders…

… Brainiac’s head goes SPLKURK!

Did the Omega Titans have a preventative measure in play to keep these threats at bay, sensing what Brainiac was doing with these new teams? No, once again, Amanda Waller sticks her nose in where it doesn’t belong and makes things difficult on the heroes trying to save the world.

At the start of 2017, the first big event of the Rebirth era was JUSTICE LEAGUE vs. SUICIDE SQUAD, written by Williamson, which resulted in Waller forming a new Task Force XI to deal with different kinds of threats. When Brainiac attacks the Earth and gathers up the heroes to combat the Omega Titans, Waller decides to deploy Task Force XI – made up of individuals that can manipulate the minds of others – to hack Brainiac’s mind.

Waller wants every bit of information Brainiac has ever collected and she uses the powers of Maxwell Lord, Manchester Black (whose consciousness was last seen transferred into a COW), Hector Hammond and Jemm, Son of Saturn. I don’t know if there were other plans for Task Force XI that were never put into play, but this is a good enough payoff to the JLvSS miniseries, even if we had to wait almost a year and a half for it.

There was a lot to like in the first issue of NO JUSTICE, and it felt like the quirks of Scott Snyder that I’m not usually a fan of were tempered by Williamson and Tynion, both of whom have written books I’ve continuously enjoyed during the REBIRTH era (Williamson is on Flash, while Tynion writes Detective Comics). This should be another great series that will look great on a bookshelf as a collected edition.