The Legion of Doom is coming to the DC Universe, and the cover for Justice League #5 debuts the new incarnation of the classic supervillain team in all their glory.
Illustrated by Doug Mahnke and Jaime Mendoza, the cover brings Lex Luthor, Cheetah, Black Manta, Gorilla Grodd and Sinestro together, along with the Joker, who is joining the team for the first time.
In an interview with CBR, Justice League writer Scott Snyder not only dove into why he's bringing the team (which debuted on the very first episode of the animated Challenge of the Super Friends in 1978) into comics, he also opened up on how the Joker will fit into the group's dynamic.
"[The Joker's] got a very dark role, but as the series goes on, he actually becomes more and more important to the Legion," Snyder said of the Batman villain's place on the team and in his larger story. "Luthor's reasons for picking him become more and more apparent. But! I didn't want to sort of put him out there and have him be doing everything and use him really quickly in a big way, because Joker is an extremely special character to me. If I'm gonna put him on a team, I need him to have a very specific role. "
Of course, the Joker's not going to play dutiful soldier, which is something Snyder is well aware of. And, apparently, so is Luthor. "Honestly, Luthor sees him as his partner on the team," the writer told CBR. "Luthor has this vision all of a sudden of what we're supposed to be as a species, what humans are supposed to be, what people are supposed to evolve to -- and he sees Joker as a great inspiration in the story. Joker is almost a touchstone for him to go back and say, 'Am I doing this right? Does this bring us closer to what we're supposed to be?' Joker gleefully plays that role."
DC's all-new series Justice League, by writer Scott Snyder and artists Jorge Jimenez, Jim Cheung and Mark Morales, debuts Wednesday, June 6.