Things haven't been going well for the Justice League ever since Lex Luthor achieved godhood and brought back Perpetua, but they've been resilient and resourceful throughout, finding whatever ways they can to stay in the fight and try and even the odds. They even managed to counteract Perpetua's signal, but once she comes out to take them on directly, the signal is once again distorted. Things look bleak, but that's when Hawkgirl and Shayne spring into action, and team up to take on Luthor in a place he can't touch them...his mind. The result is the return of a big-time hero, and he couldn't return at a better time. Spoilers incoming for Justice League #38, so if you haven't read the issue yet you've been warned.
Shayne tries to appeal to the good in Luthor but is smacked away, and then Luthor turns his attention towards Hawkgirl. He goes to choke her but she says something that throws him for a loop, saying "I forgive you. For everything. I said I forgive you Albie." At that moment Shayne says "Remember who you were Mr. Luthor!" and that's when we are transported into Luthor's mind.
Luthor tells Shayne he can't hold him for long, and Shayne knows that, but he just wanted to talk. That's when Albie shows up and hello, and Luthor assumes he is meant to talk to him to appeal to his good-natured side. Shayne shoots that down though, saying "I'm not here to speak with him. I'm here to speak with my Father."
We see a young Martian Manhunter in the cell that Alfie (Lex) first met him in all those years ago, and that's who Shayne is here to talk to. While Manhunter was killed by Lex after he manipulated his biology and absorbed him, allowing him to take his new form, this version of Manhunter is safe inside of Lex's memories and mind, and Shayne appeals directly to him.
Shayne tells him that things are bad out there and that humanity needs him. He also says he can trade places with him thanks to being a shapeshifter, and Manhunter brings up the point that then he'll be stuck here. Shayne says that's okay, as the world needs J'onn more and he is stronger, the strongest in fact.
When J'onn asks if he knows him, Shayne says "You will one day, I hope. Now go. Go save the world." Luthor tries to stop it but can't touch Shayne, and over in the physical world, Shayne starts to be absorbed into Lex. Hawkgirl tries to stop him, but Shayne says "He's the only one who can do it. Connect the world even with her here. Goodbye, mom, I love you".
And with that, Shayne is gone, but in his place emerges the Martian Manhunter, who says "I am the Martian Manhunter, and now is the time for Justice."
You can check out all the spoiler images above.
Justice League #38 is written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV and is drawn by Jorge Jimenez and Daniel Sampere. You can find the official description below.
"Justice/Doom War" finale! Lex Luthor is triumphant. Perpetua is back to full power and ready to take on the Multiverse, to bend and twist the whole of existence to suit Doom. Has the Justice League finally come up against a foe they can't defeat? Perpetua is the mother of their universe after all, the original creator. In war, there can only be one winner, and it just may be Doom's turn to collect the spoils. This issue leads directly into Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1!"
Justice League #38 is in comic stores now, and you can hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things comics!