By Dan Jurgens, Tom Grummett, Danny Miki and Gabe Eltaeb
Justice League #52 is one of those weird books that comes out after the major event that shakes the comic line has already been established. There isn’t really any explanation for why this book is coming out several weeks after Rebirth, but it’s here. This should wrap up the New 52 and pretty much connect right into Rebirth. So if you’re looking for any surprises from this issue, there is a good chance you won’t find any or you already know them all.
Dan Jurgens has honestly been a godsend for DC Comics. Any time a book needs to be brought back to life, they plug him in and he makes it happen. This issue focuses on Lex Luthor taking over the mantle of Superman. Jurgens writes Lex very well here. Lex’s internal monologue is effective as it gives us a peek into why he is taking over for Superman. While the motivations are different, this is similar to Jim Gordon taking over for Batman in a mech suit. Both characters are non-super powered human beings using stellar tech to fight crime. Jurgens makes Lex very human in this issue; we get a sense that, despite all their battles and arguing, he really respected Clark and what he did. This is seen right from the first couple of pages as he attempts to get a hold of Clark’s cape. The care for his sister this issue also gives readers a reason to sympathize with Luthor. Jurgens is letting everyone know right off the bat that this is going to be a different Man of Steel. As Luthor attempts to stop a robbery in progress, he makes it known to the robbers that it is not going to end well. Threatening to break someone’s neck is something you would never hear Superman say, but Super Lex is a different animal. Justice League #52 is a good read because Dan Jurgens gives us an interesting and fresh story.
The pencils this issue are handled by Tom Grummett with colors by Gabe Eltaeb and inks by Danny Miki, Mark Morales and Scott Hanna. The pencils this issue by Grummett are pretty good. If there is one gripe about them, it’s that Lex Luthor pretty much has the same facial expression the entire issue, but that is a nitpick. The first page sets the tone for this issue; it’s a full-page of Superman’s cape, and usually anytime something like that is your first page, you’re pumped to see what else the issue has to offer. One of the interesting things that Grummett does this issue revolves around an attempted robbery. As Lex goes to break it up and is talking to the perpetrator, Grummett gives us several different angles for Lex as he talks. He spices up the panels this way so things aren’t too static and boring. One panel will be a close shot, the other Lex will be off-center and we even get a close up of Lex’s eye, which is effective. The action scenes are handled well, who doesn’t love seeing Lex beat a guy with his own gun? The colors by Gabe Eltaeb are very good here. There is a panel here that is colored perfectly, where Lex responds to a burglary and we see his dark outline and the giant S on his chest glowing. A very cool panel that will stick out as you flip through this book. There are also several inkers on this issue, which is needed. All do a complementary job to the pencils and colors.
Justice League #52 won’t blow your mind or make you re-think how you read a superhero comic, but it is a nice end to a title run. Things get wrapped up and the possibilities of new adventures ahead seems promising. Dan Jurgens and company send this book out on a good note that should satisfy everyone who’s been reading it consistently.