Review: Justice League # 30: The New Face of Justice

Lex Luthor is in and Superman is out as the Justice League fields a new lineup.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Because I enjoyed Forever Evil # 7 a lot more than I expected to, I picked up Justice League # 30 this week as well. This actually turned out to be a much stronger issue, both in terms of writing and art.
In the aftermath of Forever Evil, Lex Luthor is being hailed as Earth’s Greatest Hero. Geoff Johns takes the time to show not only Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne reacting to this sea change, but also the Daily Planet newsroom and a sense of how deep the public’s newfound love for Lex has become.
Let’s face it: Lex Luthor joining the Justice League is only going to be a temporary thing. I think it could be a lot of fun, but Lex will inevitably betray the heroes. It’s what he does. However, there’s something very appealing about the new Lex, who allows Wonder Woman to use her lasso on him while he reveals his very egocentric reasons for becoming a hero. Lex loves the adulation and he says that it’s everything that he’s always dreamed about. 
While the flash forward shows Lex among the leaders of the new Justice League, the League isn’t immediately accepting him with open arms and Superman gives Lex a very powerful rejection. To be sure, Lex has earned that response and his acceptance of that rejection seemed like a genuine moment of reflection. But it looks like Superman won’t be staying on the team that allows Lex to become one of their own.
Artist Ivan Reis displays his phenomenal talent on his pages within this issue. His clean lines and sequential storytelling skills make it very easy to enjoy his work. I’m less enthused about Doug Mahnke’s pages. Mahnke has a lot of talent as well, but there’s something oddly inhuman about his facial expressions. It doesn’t help that Johns saddles Mahnke with an extremely poor joke from Shazam that completely fails to connect. I really don’t like Johns’ take on Shazam in the New 52. He seemed to have a much better handle on the character in the previous continuity. 
Setting that moment aside, the rest of the issue is genuinely exciting. Lex makes use of his new information about Batman to confront a familiar face from Batman’s allies while two other supervillains appear to be coming to the League: Captain Cold and the new Power Ring. I haven’t been this interested in the Justice League since the New 52 began. I want to see where this goes before I recommit to anything from DC. But it’s got my attention.