Justice League, Vol. 1: The Totality

Justice League, Vol. 1: The Totality

Visionary author Scott Snyder makes his mark on DC's most legendary team in Justice League Vol. 1!Spinning out of the cataclysmic events of Dark Nights: Metal and the universe-defining No Justice, the core members of the Justice League--Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and more--are finally reunited!The cosmos suddenly opens up to new threats that the Jus...

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Title:Justice League, Vol. 1: The Totality
Author:Scott Snyder
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Edition Language:English

Justice League, Vol. 1: The Totality Reviews

  • Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    .

    It all began with the mind-altering universe expansion that took place in the aftermath of DC’s cosmic event Dark Nights: Metal. I have and will likely always believe Scott Snyder is a visionary storyteller who isn’t afraid to bring on risky and creative twists to what would otherwise be recognized as the status quo among some of DC’s greatest superheroes. Upon completing his and Greg Capullo’s Metal event, Scott Snyder’s announcement of hencefo

    .

    It all began with the mind-altering universe expansion that took place in the aftermath of DC’s cosmic event Dark Nights: Metal. I have and will likely always believe Scott Snyder is a visionary storyteller who isn’t afraid to bring on risky and creative twists to what would otherwise be recognized as the status quo among some of DC’s greatest superheroes. Upon completing his and Greg Capullo’s Metal event, Scott Snyder’s announcement of henceforth leading the creative team behind DC’s most legendary team, the Justice League, was first teased with a prelude story arc in Justice League: No Justice and promised fans that what he’s about to unveil to the world is far from having ever been conceived by the human mind, and even less possible to comprehend to the grand scope of it all. However, in the first volume of his Justice League run, collecting issues #1-7, The Totality, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV hands over a story arc that destroys all conventionality and brings forth their visionary outlook of DC’s future in explosive and psychedelic fashion.

    In Justice League: The Totality, the story follows an epic and iconic team of heroes including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, The Flash, Aquaman, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern. As they are in the midst of fighting off strangely advanced Neanderthal creatures while Martian Manhunter focuses on connecting them all telepathically through their strengths, a grand threat sores through the cosmos and is set on a course straight for Earth. Being the only person able to understand the high risk of this concentrated essence of the secret source of all things called the Totality, Martian Manhunter strives to figure out what options are left for the Justice League to save the universe from extinction. In a pursuit for answers, these heroes collide with some of their worse enemies as their leader Lex Luthor conjures a devastating plan that will change the course of time forever.

    The first thing that you notice with this story arc is how wordy it can get, yet I found myself enthralled by every panel, by every dialogue and every square of narration. As master storytellers, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV take the time to fully flesh out their characters throughout a story where hope is barely the size of a grain. A huge portion of the story also fixates on each villain’s perspective of their lives and their end goals, and the amount of characterization that comes out of it is staggering and beautiful. The third-person narration that further gives readers insight on the events unfolding is not a style of comic book story-telling that is easy to appreciate or adapt to. I however grew to enjoy its strangeness that especially gave the story a very dramatic and legendary overtone. Nevertheless, the complexity and outright supernatural and cosmic elements that are grafted to the Justice League’s lore is beyond ambitious yet incredibly riveting. This is not a saga that will seduce many, but it is one that plans on growing much bigger than what it already is.

    The artwork is where they sealed the deal, but before even mentioning its greatness, a word on the paper is necessary as this volume in particular steers away from the glossy paper that is commonly used nowadays for comic books and looks at the newspaper type of quality as the alternative, and it is a splendid one that brilliantly gives the artwork so much more gravitas and superiority. In fact, there’s no light reflection to disturb your appreciation, especially when you have Jorge Jimenez giving us some of the most beautiful panels ever. From splash pages to double-page spreads, his artwork alone is always a masterpiece. And to make everything even better, the other artists do an incredible job in keeping the quality consistent throughout the volume without suddenly changing the style. The explosions are huge, the emotions are strong, the action is intense. There’s simply no flaw in that department and simply enhances the story itself.

    Justice League: The Totality is a visionary expansion of the multiverse in the same vein as what Grant Morrison has achieved for DC Comics and doesn’t shy away from exploring heroes and villains in their most vulnerable and powerful states.

    Yours truly,

    Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer

    Official blog:

  • Dan

    I’ve been reading comics for a few years now. While I’ve read many eras of DC over the years, Rebirth was the first time I thought I’d follow series as they came out instead of trades as I usually had. I’ve mostly enjoyed the experience with the books I’ve picked, save the initial run of Justice League.

    The first Rebirth issue was okay. It was a fun, although bizarre, introduction to the new era of the league. But something was off. Hitch’s storytelling felt disjointed and soulless, and ultimatel

    I’ve been reading comics for a few years now. While I’ve read many eras of DC over the years, Rebirth was the first time I thought I’d follow series as they came out instead of trades as I usually had. I’ve mostly enjoyed the experience with the books I’ve picked, save the initial run of Justice League.

    The first Rebirth issue was okay. It was a fun, although bizarre, introduction to the new era of the league. But something was off. Hitch’s storytelling felt disjointed and soulless, and ultimately fell flat for me (I hung in the first full storyline and then left). I’ve heard that even after I signed off the series, most found the rest of the run similar.

    Then Snyder comes along, fresh off of Metal, and throws complex Sanderson-esque rule based storytelling into justice league. I’ll admit while the issue-to issue read can be confusing at times with all of his rules, Snyder injects a lot of craziness and fun back into the title.

    And there is a lot to keep track of here: a totality (which may be a controlling mechanism to the multiverse) comes hurtling to earth, throug the broken Source Wall rippling time along its way (ala Metal). It’s power can be accessed (?) once seven forces of nature are unlocked. One of the time ripples of the totalities approach leads Luthor to find a magic doorknob in the past with a symbol on it representing these seven forces. Sinestro also found a book in the past about them too. Two forces are unlocked; the emotional spectrum and the slow force (in the form of a fourth reincarnated Flash villain, the Turtle). The emotional spectrum is tied to some purple other dimensional planet that sinestro wants to use to consume earth, and he enslaved earths inhabitants with the spectrum. All this while Superman and Martian Manhunter are trying to walk towards the Totality to inspect it with Batman and Hawkgirl shrunk riding inside their respective bodies for protection. Oh and lex and the Legion of Doom are also collecting these forces, and Lex and joker are hidden away waiting to attack Batman and hawkgirl in the respective bodies too.

    If that sounds like a lot, it is. If I got something wrong, apologies, but can you blame me?

    All in all this feels like a part one in an ongoing story leading to bigger things.

    After all, even after the resolution, there’s only two forces unlocked and a huge hole in Source Wall...and the moon was blown up (right?).

    It’s a lot of fun. But walk in prepared for insanity and rules galore. Recommended to read in one sitting.

  • Wing Kee

    So dense and challenges readers.

    World: The art is amazing, the splash pages, the characters with their personality, the colors, this book is very pleasing to the eyes. Of course, it gets to even more amazing when Jorge is drawing...gorgeous. The world building is probably the biggest and the most challenging thing of the book, it is awe inspiring. Snyder is the new Grant Morrison, he takes the past and gathers it together and adds his own and makes something grand. If you loved the world buildi

    So dense and challenges readers.

    World: The art is amazing, the splash pages, the characters with their personality, the colors, this book is very pleasing to the eyes. Of course, it gets to even more amazing when Jorge is drawing...gorgeous. The world building is probably the biggest and the most challenging thing of the book, it is awe inspiring. Snyder is the new Grant Morrison, he takes the past and gathers it together and adds his own and makes something grand. If you loved the world building that he did with Dark Nights Metal and Justice League No Justice, creating a larger and broading universe for the DC characters to play in than this Justice League book is for you. It not only takes the past such Kirby’s Source Wall and the ideas behind (yes Claremont first name it the Source) but along with the the other cosmic forces of the DC universe like the Speed Force, has created something more. At the same time honoring and taking pieces of the current run from other books and not leaving them out, such as the Still Force with Joshua Williamson and the Sage Force used in the past. Snyder is rolling a lot of these ideas all together into something amazing, much like what Morrison did with Multiversity and the Multiverse map created there. It’s ambitious, it’s all emcompassing and Snyder is not done. There is a sense of overwhelming at time with the sheer amount of information and Snyder does ask readers to think about the universe and understand and see all the moving pieces. This world challenges, it’s not a basic cardboard backdrop of “oh no aliens are coming to attack us and we must save the Earth” stage that so many team up books easily fall back on. This is Snyder’s first arc which sets the world in motion so that moving forward all the rest of the stories and all the other writers that follow him have something wonderous to play with both large scale or small.

    Story: The narrative is large, it’s grand and often overwhelming with the amount that’s happening and the forces and characters that are put in place as the story progresses. It’s not a linear story where all the pieces are immediately there for readers to pick at, the story is not simple, it’s not cliched and not mindless. As I said above, there is no simple “aliens are coming” story here, this is a world building story, this is about constructing the rules and the ideals of the characters and also the team. It asks big questions about the idea of Justice and what it means. It poses the idea of the Legion of Doom and what they represent? If Justice is to be more than ourselves than Doom is to be honest and truly be ourselves. It is two views colliding with each other, about seeing that man is by nature good, or self serving and questioning what ‘Evil’ is. The pacing is breakneck and there are often times when the art and the story don’t catch up to the scope and the intention of Snyder (this is one of the issues of this first arc). There are a lot of pieces and ideas and characters at play and sometimes there are too many broad strokes which confusing and overwhelm readers, this is a book that requires a reread. I won’t go into details with the story as I don’t want to spoil it but go into it expecting to be challenged, expecting to think about what you’ve read and what Snyder is trying to say with these characters and what they represent. This book feels like Westworld with it’s narrative style, and Jeff Vandermeer’s ‘Southern Reach Trilogy’ with it’s science and concepts, that is amazing. I finished the story overwhelmed, needing to breath, needing to think, need to put the pieces together, when I did I looked back and I saw something different, something that changed the DC Universe and for a team up book that’s fucking amazing.

    Characters: There are a lot of characters here so it’s natural there are not a lot of quiet moments. A lot of the characterizations rely on preexisting knowledge of these characters and their archetypes and it’s great cause Snyder plays on these and makes readers think. Most team books have lack of character buildling and it’s a problem with team books in general with the limited page count and the amount of characters so this is not new at all. What Snyder has done here is use our expectations of these characters and extend what they are to represent something bigger. Luthor is this, Clark is that, Manta represents this, Sinestro can mean that (I’m not getting into it so I don’t spoil it). Having these characters deal with the forces around them and also representing them makes sense cause it also makes readers understand why these characters are here in the first place. Then there’s Luthor, wow Snyder made him amazing. Much like ‘Legion’ the tv series and quite many different books and tv shows using him as narrator is great, not only does he tell us why the Legion of Doom exists but being seen from the point of view of the ‘villains’ the drive and the ideas behind this first arc take on something different, not quite shiny and bright but something real and raw. Not the deepest of characters but done so well.

    I really liked this first arc, it’s not perfect there are some pacing issues and sometimes the story is too big for the book itself but the scope and the ambition and what it does for the DC universe moving forward is pretty awe inspiring. I love book that challenge readers and asks them to read again and pay attention and connect the pieces and this is a prime example of that.

    Onward to the next book!

    *read individual issues*

  • Ryan Stewart

    The pros outweigh the cons in Snyder's Justice League debut.

    This story is very, very 'out there' and sometimes struggles to make a lot of sense. Plus the resolutions at the end... eh. But I like where this is going. I like the characterization. I love the emphasis on John Stewart and J'onn J'onzz. The villains are well written, and the art is solid across the board.

    A lot to like, but far from perfect.

  • James DeSantis

    Not bad. Better than no Justice.

    The thing with Justice League is that it's not always easy to write about a group of gods who are nearly unbeatable. So scott snyder decides to bring back the injustice squad. Doom squad. Evil versions to go head to head with the justice league. With Lex back to being evil will he be able to take down the justice league with his own league?

    Good: art is great. Some awesome fights in this one. The dialogue can be really well done. Especially from flash or superman

    Not bad. Better than no Justice.

    The thing with Justice League is that it's not always easy to write about a group of gods who are nearly unbeatable. So scott snyder decides to bring back the injustice squad. Doom squad. Evil versions to go head to head with the justice league. With Lex back to being evil will he be able to take down the justice league with his own league?

    Good: art is great. Some awesome fights in this one. The dialogue can be really well done. Especially from flash or superman. I also thought the storyline was solid.

    Bad: the pacing was sometimes bad. Usually when snyder went into big long exposition moments that weren't needed. Also the evil justice league been done alot.

    A 3 out of 5. A decent start. I hope continues to get better.

  • Malum

    The two step process for saving a floundering DC comic:

    1. Have Snyder or Johns take over writing duties

    2. Go "back to basics" and/or appeal to nostalgia

    So here we have the new Justice League book. First, the good:

    It is better than anything from the Rebirth run by far.

    We get a fun cameo or two (I love me some Swamp Thing), plus Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl are on the team again.

    The page with the Joker creeping up behind a certain member of the League with a chainsaw is probably my favorite piec

    The two step process for saving a floundering DC comic:

    1. Have Snyder or Johns take over writing duties

    2. Go "back to basics" and/or appeal to nostalgia

    So here we have the new Justice League book. First, the good:

    It is better than anything from the Rebirth run by far.

    We get a fun cameo or two (I love me some Swamp Thing), plus Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl are on the team again.

    The page with the Joker creeping up behind a certain member of the League with a chainsaw is probably my favorite piece of comics art so far this year.

    Seeing the Hall of Justice and the Legion of Doom was actually a lot of fun.

    The not so good:

    I know that villains are supposed to be opposite versions of the heroes, but here it is just WAY too "on the nose". "Oh no, Flash has to go up against the Still Force and Green Lantern has to fight the Invisible Light Spectrum!". They are teasing that every member is going to have an "opposing force". So do you fight Batman with the Anti-Karate force?

    I loooooooove everything to do with all of the lanterns, but do we need yet another new corps (especially when the ones that we have are already so underused)? No. The answer is no.

    This story is DENSE. It took me two days to get through it and I still can't really explain everything that happened.

    Issue 5 is a flashback issue that kind of brings the story to a screeching halt.

    The "the villains could have won if only they had killed the hero when they had the chance rather than saying 'I'll kill you later' for no reason" trope.

    Did this book blow my hair back and send me into seizures of joy? Nope, but it's definitely a good start and I will definitely be checking out the next volume.

  • Chad

    When did Scott Snyder become so verbose? It's like he really wants to write a novel instead of comics. I hated his third person narration / exposition in this. There's some decent ideas presented here. The problem is there are too many concepts. Snyder has to learn to edit himself. He just added all those stupid metals in Dark Knights: Metal. Now he's also creating seven new energies? Enough's enough. There's enough energies existing in the DC universe to use them without creating a bunch of new

    When did Scott Snyder become so verbose? It's like he really wants to write a novel instead of comics. I hated his third person narration / exposition in this. There's some decent ideas presented here. The problem is there are too many concepts. Snyder has to learn to edit himself. He just added all those stupid metals in Dark Knights: Metal. Now he's also creating seven new energies? Enough's enough. There's enough energies existing in the DC universe to use them without creating a bunch of new nonsense readers have to wrap their heads around. Snyder's shown here and in No Justice that he is not very good at being Grant Morrison. Morrison does do a lot of high concept stuff. But he presents it in a way that's less dense and more understandable. Snyder is feeding us high concept stuff with a fire hose.

    I did like Snyder's treatment of Luthor. He's really the main character in this arc. The art is fantastic. I'm glad they brought the big guns out for what should be one of DC's top-tier titles.

  • Gray

    Hmm... If I'm being honest, I only finished reading this because of the gorgeous artwork. There is a LOT of dialogue and exposition in here, which demands your full attention. Scott Snyder seems to have approached this book thinking

    The story kind of lost me halfway through and I'm trying to remember what it was all about.

    Here are some random comments about what I remember from the story:

    Hmm... If I'm being honest, I only finished reading this because of the gorgeous artwork. There is a LOT of dialogue and exposition in here, which demands your full attention. Scott Snyder seems to have approached this book thinking

    The story kind of lost me halfway through and I'm trying to remember what it was all about.

    Here are some random comments about what I remember from the story:

    I won't be continuing with this series.

  • Artemy

    Nah, sorry, I don't have it in me to write a real review for this incomprehensible travesty. This took forever to read, and it's a steaming pile of convoluted, illegible garbage. I don't know how Scott Snyder went from being a legitimately skilful writer to this complete hack who absolutely can't write a good (or at least readable) story to save his life, but that's where he's at right now.

    The thing that annoys me to no end is that Snyder made himself into some sort of Grant Morrison wannabe, ev

    Nah, sorry, I don't have it in me to write a real review for this incomprehensible travesty. This took forever to read, and it's a steaming pile of convoluted, illegible garbage. I don't know how Scott Snyder went from being a legitimately skilful writer to this complete hack who absolutely can't write a good (or at least readable) story to save his life, but that's where he's at right now.

    The thing that annoys me to no end is that Snyder made himself into some sort of Grant Morrison wannabe, even a borderline vapid copycat, without even trying to understand what actually makes Morrison's stories so good, opting instead to just rip off his themes and character traits and cramming his comics with endless dialogue and narration boxes full of nonsensical gibberish. This comic gave me headaches on three separate days, and I can't take it any more! Fuck off, book. And I don't think I want to bother with any more comics by Snyder.

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