Spoilers ahead for this week's Justice League #30.
The Justice Society of America has officially shown up again in DC continuity, as Barry Allen/Flash and John Stewart/Green Lantern encountered a version of the JSA at the end of Justice League #30, the first issue of the anticipated “Justice Doom War” storyline.
At the same time those two heroes traveled to the past, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman have traveled to the future of the DCU, allowing DC to also re-introduce Kamandi, DC’s beloved last boy on Earth, back into DC continuity.
Of course, there’s a twist, because these characters exist in altered timelines, where the powers of “Doom” have already taken over their era before the heroes of “Justice” could arrive.
It’s all part of the plot line started by writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV when they launched the new Justice League title just over a year ago.
Along with the introduction of fan-favorite characters, Justice League #30 also tweaked the history of the Cosmic Rod utilized by the various Starman characters. Previously, the rod was “invented” by former Starman characters, but the current Will Payton Starman reveals in this week’s issue that the Cosmic Rod has a tiny shard of the story’s powerful “Totality” inside it.
Snyder’s story has also started to clarify the nature of the seventh force that Lex Luthor is trying to unlock. And with the Justice League story dealing with creation and judgment on an almost biblical scale, it is perhaps not surprising to learn the key to the seventh force.
How did faith, the JSA, shards of Totality and Kamandi all show up in one issue? Let’s take a look at spoilers to find out…
The issue begins with a glimpse at the future, where a super-powerful 'Apex Lex' Luthor has just killed Superman and most of the Justice League, defeating John Stewart with Ultraviolet Energy and turning Barry Allen into a baby with the Speed Force.
Perpetua is risen, and Lex Luthor’s army of Doom takes over the Earth.
It’s actually a vision that Starman is sharing with the rest of the Justice League. His abilities allowed him to “glimpse into the heart of Hypertime itself, the cosmic flow of timelines and histories that govern our reality.”
According to Starman, the defeat happens three days in the future.
The League shares this information with heroes from throughout the DCU, from Firestorm to Shazam, from Ted Kord/Blue Beetle to Kid Flash/Wally West.
Starman begins to share a plan he’s concocted, but first … he offers the gathered heroes a summary of the six (of seven) “harmonious energies” that the Justice League title has been exploring since its launch, including:
- The Speed Force, which gives the universe motion,
- The Emotional Spectrum, which gives the universe feeling,
- The Sphere of the Gods, which grants magic to the universe,
- The Life Force, which connects all living beings,
- The Collective Unconscious, which grants wisdom and knowledge,
- The Dimensional Superstructure of the Multiverse, which governs all things imaginable and unimaginable and is wielded by those put in place to monitor all of creation.
Starman also outlines the actions of the Legion of Doom thus far, from the Luthor’s use of his Totality fragment to recreate Perpetua’s previous Multiverse, to his transformation into into an 'Apex Predator,' to his “Year of the Villain” recruitment drive, to him unlocking six of the seven opposing “hidden energies of creation.”
Gotta Have Faith
Soon, Starman says, Lex will unlock the seventh and final force.
“It is believed to be tied to faith, and faith in Doom is spreading.”
Starman warns that in a few days time, the “Sigil of Doom” will light the sky, and Perpetua will rise to remake reality.
But he reveals that Lex Luthor’s piece of the Totality isn’t the only one that can be utilized in this battle. His Cosmic Rod has a tiny shard of the Totality inside it.
“And because the Totality is connected, I can use the Cosmic Rod to sense any other pieces out there,” Starman says, revealing that he’s found two other pieces — one in the past and one in the future.
The Monitor and World Forger will open a portal at the Hall of Justice to send two teams into the past and future to retrieve the pieces — one team of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and the other of the Flash and Green Lantern.
The pieces of Totality can be joined into a weapon, and the World Forger claims that he and his brothers can also use it to seal Perpetua “away for good.”
The rest of the heroes will defend the Hall of Justice from Lex Luthor’s attack, at least long enough for the two teams to return. And Kendra and Mera will help the Monitor and World Forger convince the Anti-Monitor to join their side.
But someone has overheard the plan…a hooded figure. And after the Justice League members go through the portals, the figure appears, following them through the portal, causing an explosion and disrupting the communication between Starman and the time-traveling Leaguers.
Lex Knows All
Meanwhile, back at the Legion headquarters, Perpetua has just revealed some new information to Lex.
The symbols that Justice League introduced to represent Justice and Doom have even greater meaning. Perpetua says the Justice symbol asks you to reach past this ceiling into nowhere, into a nothing future.” But Perpetua says “true power lies in looking deep inside one’s self, embracing one’s real nature.”
She also warns Lex that because his new form as an Apex Predator is new, there are “vulnerabilities” that his enemies will try to exploit.
But Brainiac interrupts their discussion to inform them that the Doom’s Starro fragment (that is telepathically able to sense Jarro’s experiences) has learned about the Starman/Justice League plan.
So the battle will soon begin….
Back in Time
The five time-traveling heroes land in the past and the future, but when they get there, both teams realize that Doom has already taken over these timelines.
In the future, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman meet Kamandi, the last boy on Earth, a character who had a brief cameo in Justice League #1. As he appears to the Trinity, he is surrounded by the character’s familiar anthropomorphic friends. He tells the Justice Leaguers, “You’re about two weeks too late to save your future.”
In the past, the Flash and Green Lantern meet the Justice Society of America, including:
- Alan Scott / Green Lantern
- Jay Garrick / The Flash
- Wesley Dodds / Sandman
- Kent Nelson / Doctor Fate
- Rex Tyler / Hourman
- Al Pratt / Atom
- Ted Grant / Wildcat
- Ted Knight / Starman, whose appearance was briefly teased in Justice League #1
But this era has also been conquered by Doom.
“You’re about two weeks too late to save your past,” Jay Garrick says as the issue ends.
Snyder has revealed to Newsarama that the JSA plays a “really crucial role” in the story, and there are “relationships forged” between the Justice League and JSA as they work together to save the DCU.
Snyder has also told Newsarama that Ted Knight will be important to unlocking the powers of the Totality, as well as Starman One Million (with One Million characters also appearing all the way back in Justice League #1).
In the next few issues of Justice League, “The Justice Doom War” continues, with future issues promising more team-ups across time, a trip to ancient Atlantis, and a battle between justice and doom in multiple DC eras.