Justice League #16 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on January 23, 2019

Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Art by Jim Cheung and Stephen Segovia
Inking by Jim Cheung, Mark Morales, and Stephen Segovia
Colouring by Tomeu Morey and Wil Quintana
Lettering by Tom Napolitano
This is a pretty important issue for the future of the series. A lot happens here, and a lot of it really satisfied me.
What I take issue with is the pacing and the artistic inconsistency. If you have two have two artists on a book because there's no other option, then I'm fine with it. Divide the comic into two, easily discernable sections in order to have an excuse for a different-looking second half. We're dealing with Jim Cheung here, he's notoriously slow but his work is very, very good. After a certain point Cheung simply takes over from Stephen Segovia and that left me shocked and kind of annoyed, mostly since I was reading Segovia's story when Cheung showed up.
Segovia's had a pretty great last few months, with his work on DETECTIVE COMICS and now JUSTICE LEAGUE putting him on the map for a lot of readers unfamiliar with his work. I really liked what he did with this arc. He manages to capture an epic, wide scope while being confined in a relatively contained location. His character acting and performances were also great. As for Jim Cheung, what else can be said? The man is a master, and his pencils combined with Mark Morales' amazing inkwork and Tomeu Morey's absolutely stunning colouring work, makes for the most gorgeous artwork this series has seen since… well, Cheung was on it last.
The Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV writing team is a confusing one. It's clear that they're partners in storytelling and Tynion normally handles the Legion of Doom issues that break up Snyder's arcs. With this arc he was responsible for the dialogue, and there is certainly a clunkiness in the writing, particular in the exposition. The scene between Martian Manhunter and the Martian Keep was, to be blunt, excruciating to read. There wasn't a flow to the words and the scene overall was monumentally sluggish, to the point where I had to leave and come back to the issue to really understand what they were talking about. It's clearly important information, and this information looks like it'll shape the direction of Martian Manhunter's character for a while to come, at least in this run. The dialogue isn't nearly as big of an issue as the exposition. In fact, after a certain point, namely when the expositions stops, I enjoyed the issue quite a bit. The final few scenes were really well-done, and Cheung's sudden appearance at the end might have been the best-written scene of the issue.
I enjoyed this issue as a whole. Despite loving the art, the transition between Segovia and Cheung was massive given the two have entirely different styles. There isn't even any effort to mask the transition and provide a seamless change, which is quite odd. Nonetheless, I liked the ending to this issue and I hope that the series can move at a pace like this from now on.

Our Score:


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