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Lex Luthor Joins THE JUSTICE LEAGUE In April, And He’s Bringing Friends

DC said there would be big changes coming out of the events of Forever Evil, and they weren’t kidding. In April, the Justice League gets a little bit darker when Lex Luthor joins the team, as does Flash villain Captain Cold. Both have been fighting the good fight against the Crime Syndicate of America, the evil counterparts to the Justice League from Earth-3 who have invaded the main DCU Earth and exiled the League, leaving the villains to save the day.

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The cover for Justice League #30 shows Lex front and center, backed by remaining Leaguers Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Shazam, and new member Captain Cold. Nowhere to be seen are Superman and the Flash, who probably want nothing to do with a team that harbors their two arch foes. Also missing is Green Lantern, who might just be showing some loyalty to his BFF the Flash.  “Is he (Luthor) going to lead the Justice League? It depends on whom you ask on the team. Certainly, he thinks he should,” according to series writer Geoff Johns, who said the Justice League will have to rebuild its reputation and its dynamic among the membership of the team. “The Justice League is going to go through a lot of changes, obviously, in the wake of Forever Evil. A lot of the blame can be put on their shoulders for what has happened: They were infiltrated and they fought each other and that led to the unleashing of the Crime Syndicate and the evil that took over the world.”

With anti-heroes being the in thing at the moment in pop culture, with things like Breaking Bad and Dexter being huge hits with audiences, it seems DC is taking a similar tack with these bad guys being put in the forefront (Green Lantern bad guy Sinestro is also getting an ongoing comic in April.) According to Johns, readers will see “the post-Forever Evil world with the lines being a little bit blurry between good and bad and seeing what kind of heroes it will take to not just protect the world, but defend the world. With fame and spotlight comes scrutiny and detractors; I think the most interesting thing is that Lex doesn’t realize what it’s like to be a super hero, what the life is like. You make enemies, they attack you on a personal level. And he’s just Lex Luthor. He has no codename, no mask. He has to deal with the ramifications of that.”

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Lex joining the JL isn’t the only League event in April; an all-new League team replaces the Justice League of America, a book which also ends as Forever Evil concludes. Originally announced as Justice League Canada, wiser heads prevailed and the book will now be called Justice League United (although the team itself will still be based out of Ontario. So all hope is not lost, Canadians, you now have another super team that isn’t Alpha Flight.) Jeff Lemire, who just ended his run on Animal Man, will bring that character along to JLU, where he will be joined by former JLA members Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, Stargirl, and Green Arrow, along with new recruit Supergirl, and, making his New 52 debut, Adam Strange. No word yet on what happens to former JLA members Vibe and Katana, but I imagine their fates will be explained in Forever Evil. 

According to writer Lemire, the team will split its time between Northern Ontario and more cosmic locations.”It keeps the book fresh when you have those two very different settings or landscapes to go between. It’s very much a swashbuckling, world-jumping space adventure. One thing I wanted to do with the book was really touch on every corner of the DC Universe in one team. Thus the United title.” Lemire said he doesn’t want to make the mistake that a lot of outer space based comics make in that they’re too disconnected from the main universe “or what’s happening on Earth, basically.” So United will act as a bridge between worlds — much of the first arc takes place on the planet Rann (second home for new member Adam Strange)  which acts in contrast to the heroes’ “very stark, rural Northern Ontario location.”

Lemire also plans on introducing an all-new character as a member of the team, a Cree teenager from the Canadian area where the team is setting up shop. ”I’ve gotta say I’ve put more work into this book than I have for anything I’ve ever done for DC. It’s been really fulfilling, and hopefully on top of all that it’s a big fun action-adventure superhero comic that people will enjoy.”

Justice League United #0 hits this April.

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