Lex Luthor sets out to change the world as the Year of the Villain begins.

Justice League 27
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Javier Fernandez and Bruce Redondo
Colors by Hi-Fi

Yet another big summer event kicked off here, as DC Comics is promoting the “Year of the Villain,” which has been building in the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE for a couple of months now. Lex Luthor is gunning to take down not only the Justice League, but the idea of justice itself, replacing it with the idea that doom always wins.

Luthor is making offers to bring people over to his team. Surprisingly, the person to whom he extends an olive branch is the Martian Manhunter. We’ve been learning about the previously-unknown connections between Luthor and J’onn J’onnz over the past few issues, how a young Lex was the first human to show J’onnz kindness when he was pulled here from Mars. Given that Luthor is a former member of the League, and someone who’s helped the League in the past, the Martian Manhunter believes he can save Lex. And Lex’s offer to J’onn plays off that belief.

I’m going to guess J’onn probably shouldn’t trust him.

With the Year of the Villain building toward a war between Justice and Doom, the more fascinating parts of the issue play off of the DC Universe’s multiversal history.

A contingent of Leaguers are off with the World Forger, attempting to bring his brothers along as they prepare to take on Perpetua, the goddess Lex is using to bring about his age of doom. The first stop takes them to the world of the Monitors, where they encounter Mar Novu. The issue gives us a brief history of the Crisis-level events they’ve survived, from 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths to Final Crisis and even Dark Nights: Metal. We even get another reference to Hypertime, the late-1990s Grant Morrison concept that didn’t really go anywhere.

Between this and the most recent issue of DOOMSDAY CLOCK, it seems as though DC Comics is making its history more fluid than it has been in the past. I’m still trying to decide if that makes continuity easier or harder to understand, but I am, at the very least, happy to be along for the ride.