Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Francis Manapul
Within the pages of this story we see the birth of our Multiverse in its earliest forms. We see the creation of our multiverse’s first beings. We learn more about Perpetua’s motivations of why she chose to build our universe for the purpose of doom. We see three sons betray their mother. We witness the first Crisis and also learn what fueled the Anti Monitor to start the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, and that’s all just the beginning of what happens here.
In Justice League #22 the writing team has switched up a bit going from Scott Snyder into the talented hands of James Tynion IV, and this issue is more focused around doom. We’ve seen this switch happen before as Snyder has been writing most of the Justice League sided issues, and Tynion has been penning the Legion of Doom stories with both writers focused on the same end goal but from different angles. I honestly love this back and forth between writers because you almost feel like they are both playing this big game of chess against each other. They’re raising the cosmic scale of the greater story with every issue in meaningful ways, and it’s almost like they are both trying to outdo each other, so we the readers are getting one hell of a treat to explore.
During the events of this issue, we hear the story of the very creation of our Multiverse by Perpetua’s hands created over twenty two billion years ago as we learn that she was tasked with birthing bold new systems of life throughout the greater Omniverse. We then see Perpetua’s next creation: the first three beings to exist in this newly formed realm, the brothers known as The World Forger, The Monitor and The Anti Monitor. Each brother was created for a purpose and each understood that purpose.
The World Forger was tasked with living in the Dark Matter realm where his mission would be to create new worlds within the new Multiverse and to populate those worlds. Eventually to help The World Forger decide which new creation is worthy of entering the Multiverse, he would create a dragon that would consume the unworthy and dying worlds. This dragon would be named Barbatos, who was the prime evil during the events of “Dark Nights Metal”. I loved this fun and playful image of Barbatos that we see in this issue as it serves as a small reference to the events that brought us to this story, plus tiny Barbatos is cute Barbatos.
The second brother known as The Monitor was tasked with preserving life and preventing future Crisis events from happening. This serves to be ironic as The Monitor’s actions have directly lead to several Crisis events including the First Crisis which is described in this issue. This retcon of DC Comics history does a lot to add small pieces to an epic story from decades past while also serving as the stepping stones for the future events to come within this current run of the series. I feel like Tynion did well not to alter the Monitors in any drastic way, and I thought it was interesting to learn what helped motivate the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The third brother that was created by Perpetua was The Anti Monitor. He would be deemed to be the opposite of his brother and was tasked with guarding the boundaries of creation keeping them free of life. The Anti Monitor is best known as the main villain behind the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, and it’s here in this story that we gain a better understanding of the motivations that fueled the Anti Monitor to strike down infinite earths. I found it to make sense in the confines of this story.
The artwork throughout this issue was top notch as artist Francis Manapul knocked it out the park while handling both the cover art and all the many beautifully drawn pages of this epic cosmic tale. I thought Manapul’s character interpretations were quite good, and I really enjoyed his current version of the New 52 Anti Monitor. As I said before, tiny Barbatos was super cute in a “I’m gonna threaten the Multiverse in such a way that results in the destruction of the Source Wall” kinda way.
Ultimately I thought the creative team did an excellent job at packing in so much story and content for both past and current events in only 17 meaningful pages. It’s truly an amazing feat that they were able to flesh out the motivations of Perpetua, add in new characters, reference a greater being to come, expand upon old legacy characters and major events while also telling the story of the First Crisis and pushing this current arc forward. Plus we get the Return of Batman’s number one fan.
I give Justice League #22 10 Bat-mite’s out of 10