WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Justice League #27 by James Tynion IV, Javier Fernandez, Bruno Redondo, Hi-Fi and Tom Napolitano, on sale now.
Lex Luthor has put the Justice League through the wringer recently, using his Legion of Doom as a front for his scheme to become an Apex Predator and the instrument of destruction for Perpetua. However, as much as the League believes him dead, J'onn J'onnz knows he's faking it. So, the Martian Manhunter goes on the prowl, ending up at a secret Legionnaire's base with what appears to be Lionel Luthor.
However, what transpires is a meeting that shakes everything the Martian Manhunter believes when it comes to how conniving the Legion is. It's also a clash that introduces him to a secret member that may have changed the rivalry with the League drastically.
J'onn has a huge history with Lionel, as he captured and experimented on the alien, hoping to perfect a hybrid of man and martian. Lex managed to free him when they were both kids, but he was mind-wiped soon after and eventually turned into the villain we know today. Since then, their fates have been intertwined as J'onn has become the chairman of the League. But just when J'onn seeks answers, he realizes this isn't Lionel. It's actually a robot, which reveals the Legion's secret member: Professor Ivo.
Ivo has his signature Amazo robots attack J'onn and incapacitate him via his weakness to fire, all so Ivo could get what Lex promised him -- a chance to experiment on J'onn and perfect the hybrid his dad wanted to use as a personal army. Ivo's arrival here is quite a shock, and he admits he's been working with the Legion in secret for quite some time now.
So far, we've seen Lex, Sinestro, Grodd, Turtle, Black Manta and Cheetah, but Ivo's the one who brought Brainiac into the fray. We thought Lex was the one who fixed Brainiac after Amanda Waller put a bullet through the latter's skull, but it required a robotics genius, ergo Lex turned to Ivo. Now, he's collecting his prize, but things go awry when J'onn's romantic interest, Hawkgirl, intervenes.
She tracked the Martian Manhunter after he abandoned the League to find Lex. Together, they dismantle all the Amazo bots and Ivo, who's a robot as well. Now, this leaves them with another problem, as they'll have to hunt him down in the future since they don't know how far along he is with his research on the hybrids.
Most of all, it leaves the heroic duo wondering if Lex hired anyone else, especially as the other members of the Legion don't seem to know Ivo is among their ranks. It comes to a head when Lex sends a drone to make his offer, which is part of the Year of the Villain campaign, clearly teasing he'll give J'onn a spot in reshaping the DC Multiverse.
We know Kendra won't have any part of it, and it's unlikely J'onn will either, as both know Lex is Perpetua's tool. Also, they're still reeling from Ivo being an incognito member of the Legion. After all, he and Amazo have been thorns in the League's side for decades. Surprisingly, Ivo's been moving in the shadows, and it doesn't bode well for the League at all. His sinister genius being involved only foreshadows disastrous events, and it also means Lex might have other trump cards hidden up his sleeve.
Ultimately, Ivo has enough data collected to keep tinkering with his hybrids, so this might not be the last we've seen of him leading up to the League battling Perpetua. As J'onn knows, the Legion is much stronger than they assumed, and now they have to prepare for the possibility of even more weapons that will blindside the League.
Justice League #28 goes on sale July 17.