Continue below for The World's Finest review of the Justice League Infinity trade paperback release. The title collects the acclaimed 2021-2022 DC Comics mini-series of the same name based on the fan-favorite Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series.
JUSTICE LEAGUE INFINITY
Story by: J.M. DeMatteis and James Tucker
Art by: Ethen Beavers
Cover by: Francis Manapul
The Story: From Justice League Unlimited producer James Tucker and series writer J.M. DeMatteis comes an all-new season starring the World's Greatest Heroes! The doors to the Multiverse are cracked open, sending the Justice League hurtling to different Earths, where things aren't quite as they appear! Can the Justice League band together with heroes across multiple Earths and put a stop to an ancient evil, or will all of existence disappear once and for all? Collecting Justice League Infinity #1-7!
Trade Paperback Release Date: July 5, 2022
Trade Paperback Cover Price: $19.99
Justice League Infinity Cover Gallery
Justice League Infinity
Review by James Harvey
How about we retitle this book Justice League Incredible? An absolutely compelling read which breaks the DC Animated Universe wide open, Justice League Infinity is a gripping sequel series that finds the world's greatest super heroes facing a cataclysmic multiversal threat. Digging deep into the history of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, Justice League Infinity expands the universe in some fairly unexpected ways, all of it brought to life with pitch-perfect artwork. Whether a fan of the animated Justice League or not, Justice League Infinity is unquestionably a must-read for any fan of DC's premiere super-team.
In Justice League Infinity, the Justice League must band together with heroes from across multiple Earths to put a stop to an evil that could end all of existence! And at the center of it all? Amazo, who's out there turning the universe upside down! From Justice League Unlimited producer James Tucker and series writer J.M. DeMatteis, the doors to the Multiverse are flung open, sending the Justice League hurtling to different Earths, each as dangerous and as exciting as the next and each with secrets that'll shake the League to its core!
Given the pedigree behind this comic, it's no surprise that it absolutely nails the look and sound of the beloved Justice League/Justice League Unlimited animated series down to nearly the smallest detail. Writers Tucker and DeMatties and artist Ethan Beavers, all members of the animated Justice League creative team, not only replicate the aesthetic of the DC Animated Universe to near-perfection but also build upon it, all the while using great emotional beats and surprises to lock in readers. This isn't just a great comic based on some of the best cartoons ever made, but it's also just a great Justice League adventure, plain and simple.
Please note that this review may contain spoilers, but they will be kept to a minimum.
To fans' delight (and relief), everything here feels ...right. The story and the rhythm, the characters and their respective voices, the designs, all of it just fits. Naturally, the Justice League's "Big Seven" are here and front and center (for the most part), though a host of compatriots from the Unlimited era (and then some) join the ride. This means the likes of Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Fire, Ice, Vixen, Atom, Red Tornado, Elongated Man, Mr. Miracle, Big Barda all pop up, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Justice League Infinity's cast is absolutely packed, and a fair chunk of these appearances are legitimate surprises and/or are crucial to the comic's plot.
Unsurprisingly, the writing here by DeMatteis and Tucker is as sharp as it can possibly be. The talented duo have not only whipped up with a solid threat for the League to face, one who'll definitely be familiar-looking to long-time fans, but their grasp on these characters is arguably unparallelled. While the dialogue can be occasionally stilted - solely the result of some required exposition dumps here and there - everyone sounds on-point and actions ring true. Whether they're throwing a birthday party or trapped in the middle of a collapsing multiverse, these feel like the characters we all know and love from Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Their reactions, thoughts, decisions, all of it. Seriously, it's impossible not to "hear" these characters in every panel on every page.
It's worth adding that each of Justice League Infinity's seven issues has a different narrator, and Tucker and DeMatties nail the 'voice' each and every time. Plus, having Martian Manhunter be the narrator of the first issue is a stroke of genius and a clever way to get readers acquainted (or reacquainted) with the world while also moving that character's narrative forward at the same time. It also helps that, for many readers, these are the definitive versions of these characters and getting the chance to revisit this eclectic cast is a long overdue and warm, welcome return. This iteration of these iconic characters is beloved for a reason, and Tucker and DeMatteis handle it with the utmost of care.
Thankfully, Tucker and DeMatteis don't just coast through the series, but instead very meticulously and carefully plot out all seven issues. Characterizations and dynamics are thoroughly explored (and then sometimes blown right up during key story beats), with decisions and reactions that feel real and visceral. Issue #4 features a surprising twist involving Wonder Woman that shouldn't work but, once the writers lay it all out, emotions and all, every bit of it feels in-step and in-character. This Justice League Infinity proudly wears its heart on its sleeves, and it's all the better for it. There are even more than a few moments where the book's subject matter clearly hits close to home for the creative team.
Another strong hook for Justice League Infinity is how everything that unfolds here feels like the next logical step after Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. The characters, some of the situations, even the comic's finale, it feels organic to and references decisions and events which unfurled on the small screen. Fans curious about the progression of some of the Leaguer's personal relationships - such as Batman/Wonder Woman and Green Lantern/Vixen/Hawkgirl - will also get some answers here. And every last bit of it works. DeMatteis and Tucker do make it easy for casual readers to follow along, yes, but this is a book that's really steeped in DCAU lore that fans will embrace and undoubtedly eat up.
Justice League Infinity Title Page Gallery
Also impressive is Ethan Beaver's artwork for Justice League Infinity, who here effortlessly grasps the DCAU's distinct visual aesthetic. Given that he's storyboarded episodes of Justice League Unlimited in the past and worked on other DC Comics animated titles, among other projects, it's no surprise he can nail the look and feel of the DCAU right down to the last detail. His ability to juggle this book's enormous, multiverse cast is also nothing short of awe-inspiring. Each panel could be a still from a Justice League episode thanks to Beavers' impeccable line-work. As with Justice League vs. The Fatal Five, getting to revisit this specific iteration of these characters, and to watch them undertake a new adventure, is both absolutely thrilling and comforting.
Beaver's even drops more than a few nods from some key moments across the DCUA. There's an especially great little homage to a particular Superman: The Animated Series episode (no spoilers) in the final issue of Justice League Infinity that actually adds a little more emotion to the whole scene.
The work by colorist Nick Filardi here also heavily contributes to the overall success of Justice League Infinity. He replicates the coloring approach used by the animated series almost to perfection, and even gets to have fun with it when the story heads into some pretty big-concept and thought-provoking directions.
Justice League Infinity also has consequences for the DC Animated Universe that, ideally, will stick for future visits to this fan-favorite realm. Characters make decisions here that would be hard to explain away in future appearances, especially when it comes to Batman, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern, among others. While the story here is indeed wrapped up by the final page, the entire team and universe is left in a place that begs for another stopover preferably sooner than later. And, with both Justice League Infinity and Batman: The Adventures Continue hitting critical and commercial success, perhaps that means there's hope for potential continuations of Superman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond (sorry folks, the DC Comics Batman Beyond comics starting with Batman Beyond: Hush Beyond are not in canon) in the future. Justice League Infinity shows there's still plenty of the DCAU left to explore, or at least give another look to.
A positively jam-packed comic, every issue of Justice League Infinity is just bursting with interesting ideas, great twists, and plenty of heart. This book also doesn't shy away from discussing some heavy themes, too. There are also definitely moments when the story feels immensely personal to Tucker and DeMatties, especially when it comes to both Martian Manhunter's and Superman's respective stories. No person or plot here feels short-changed or forced, but natural. Even the grander and grander scale this book takes on in the later installments never feels out of place or unwieldy.
Tucker, DeMatteis, Beavers and Filardi have truly put something special together with Justice League Infinity. The writing here is just so on-point and the artwork perfectly captures the incredible line work. It's not just a clear love letter to the Justice League and the DCAU, filled with one great payoff after another, but it's also the clever next step for the world's greatest super heroes and the DC Animated Universe. The creative team have done a superb job across the board here, paying tribute to these iconic characters while also letting them take the next step in their respective journeys. This is one comic not to miss. Justice League Infinity is a Must Read.
Justice League Infinity is available for purchase in both print and digital formats, available as seven single issues or as a collected edition, all from DC Comics.
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