In only six issues, DC’s new Justice League series by Scott Snyder has packed a slew of new concepts into its Multiverse-spanning story.
From a mysterious doorknob to a powerful Totality to seven unknown forces of the universe, Justice League has been unraveling a variety of mysteries in a story involving most of DC’s best-known heroes and villains.
So just what is the doorknob?
Justice League #6 indicated it was forged in the past, but Snyder explains to Newsarama that it actually fell to the Earth during the same event seen in issue #1 (but traveled through time). And if Lex Luthor gets control of it, he’ll be able to re-shape the Multiverse.
Then what are the seven forces?
So far, readers have seen the Invisible Emotional Spectrum (a counterpart to the Emotional Spectrum) and the Still Force (the opposite of the Speed Force). Snyder explains to Newsarama that next up will be the flip side of Wonder Woman’s “Force of Divinity” and Aquaman’s “Force of Life and Evolution.”
In this week’s Justice League #7, Snyder and Jim Cheung continue the battle between the positive and negative forces, including the White Lantern Earth seen at the end of issue #6, ready to counteract the planet Umbrax.
Then issue #8 will examine the “Legion of Doom” in another issue by James Tynion IV and artist Mikel Janín, before Snyder joins Jorge Jimenez and Francis Manapul to take the series toward a crossover event with Aquaman titled “Drowned Earth.”
Newsarama talked to Snyder to find out more about all the concepts he’s introduced so far and what readers can expect next from Justice League.
Newsarama: Scott, you and I talked right after Justice League #1 about Lex Luthor’s doorknob. But we found out in issue #6 that there was a group who constructed the doorknob in the past from a piece of the Totality. Can you explain this idea of pieces of Totality falling to the Earth in the past?
Scott Snyder: The idea is essentially that the doorknob Lex has is a fragment of the Totality. So as the Totality races toward Earth at the very beginning of issue #1, it was phasing through time, because it was moving at an erratic and fast pattern that was beyond, like, the laws of physics.
And as it was about to hit Earth, because it was phasing through time, some fragments broke off and left clues of itself, or pieces of itself, throughout history.
So the idea is that Vandal Savage picked up the trail of one of these things, and then Lex picked it up from this mysterious Legionnaires Club that precedes the Legion of Doom.
And this thing is actually a part of the whole of the Totality itself. And so it has this connection to it where he can feel the power of the Totality itself and feel the connection and can harness some of it if he gets close enough to it.
All of those forces that he’s trying to capture are sort of reflected in this small piece of it.
Nrama: By the forces, you mean the seven forces that we’ve heard mentioned, including the Still Force and the Invisible Spectrum.
Snyder: Yeah, and these seven forces are kind of dark counterparts to some of the known ones that our heroes have been the shepherds of, the protectors of, in the Multiverse itself.
And as he unlocks them, he can feel it through this connection. The doorknob sort of lets him know when each new power is unlocked.
It’s like a skeleton key. It’s a piece of the mystery he’s trying to unlock, literally and figuratively.
Nrama: And every time he gets closer, a new line lights up on it?
Snyder: Yeah, so there’s seven lines. And each one corresponds to a power that one of the heroes on the Justice League has tapped into in one way or another.
So Flash: The Speed Force. The flip side of that, the counter, is the Still Force that goes toward stasis.
All of them are sort of dark and almost negative counterparts to the forces that the heroes use.
The Emotional Spectrum, the counterpart is the Invisible Emotional Spectrum which is all the emotions that aren’t visible, that aren’t expressed.
And then now, as we move into the next arc, we’re getting hints, at least — and I’ll spoil a little bit — in the “Legion of Doom” issue #8 by James Tynion and Mikel Janín, you’re going to get hints that the next two forces correspond to Aquaman and the “Force of Life and Evolution,” and Wonder Woman, “the Force of Divinity.”
We’re going to find the two dark counterparts to those.
Nrama: So one of the dangers is that Lex will get all seven of these lines to light up on the doorknob?
Snyder: Yeah, as Lex wins, or hopefully in his mind wins, stage by stage, he gets closer to the full power of this totem that he has, this doorknob, which will allow him, once he unlocks all seven powers, to discover the mystery of what lies inside the Totality and harness its power, kind of like an Infinity Gauntlet, and be able to reshape the Multiverse in whatever form he thinks is appropriate.
Nrama: At the end of Justice League #6, we’re all set for a battle between two planets, as Umbrax is a battery for the Invisible Spectrum and Earth appears to be powered with the whole Emotional Spectrum, like a White Lantern. So as Lex is trying to utilize these negative forces, the challenge is to sort of counteract them with the positive ones?
Snyder: Yeah, we wanted this arc, “The Totality,” the first arc, to really give the scope of the whole story.
Things slow down in #8 and #9. Issue #9 is an issue about repairing the moon. Jorge Jimenez is drawing it. It’s pretty quiet. It’s about what the heroes have discovered in their relationships.
But we wanted to start to be kind of explosively new and bold and to sort of announce all of the sorts of ideas and new parts of the mythologies that we’re exploring in Justice League.
So the finale really does deal with the conflict between the underbelly forces and the positive forces.
So you’ll see the Still Force used, you’ll see the Speed Force used, you’ll see the Emotional Spectrum used, you’ll see the Invisible Emotional Spectrum used…
In one way, it’s this huge, climactic battle where the Earth and the whole galaxy and universe hang in the balance. But at the same time, it also gives you a sense of how big and dark and crazy things could get as the story moves forward, past this arc.
So I’m really excited. I’ve never had as much fun as I’ve had over the last year and a half between, once I started on Metal to this, it’s almost one giant story that we’re kind of weaving through and building and building and building.
Every piece, we get to add to it.
That we’ve been planning to add to it for awhile is really gratifying and kind of revelatory for us as a team - me and James and Josh [Williamson] and also the artists = because we’ve been talking about them for so long.
So here’s where we get the White Lantern Earth. I’ve been waiting to do that for a year plus!
And in issue #8, the Legion of Doom unlocks some secrets about Starman. And we’ve been waiting to do that for years.
So all of that stuff is really fun because it’s been planned for so long.