Let’s be direct for a minute. If you’re reading this review, then you’re probably already reading Justice League at the moment… So I doubt you’re here to see if this issue is worth picking up, and you’re actually here to just discuss the issue… But IF you’re not reading Justice League at the moment…
… then for the love of Samuel L. Jackson, just say you are. Say you’re reading it! Now! And say that it’s amazing! Do it!
Good! Now, if you really aren’t reading it, then go to your local comic shop (or Comixology), and catch up because this arc is phenomenal! Every issue of Darkseid War has been great, or better than great, and this issue doesn’t disappoint. In fact, $#!% gets real in this issue, because all hell breaks loose! The battle that’s been building for months now is finally upon us, and man is it epic!
In case you do need a quick refresher: A major villain is now dead. Most of the Justice League are now new gods. The Crime Syndicate is back in the picture. Two League members have been converted to the Crime Syndicate, further complicating the extent they can be trusted. Mobius is now the god of antimatter, and hordes of creatures are currently attacking the earth… Things are bad!
The issue begins with the League and the Syndicate coming to terms with the roles they play, and it doesn’t build any confidence that the two teams will be able to co-exist, even in a time like this. Once some lines are drawn, they seek out Mobius and start their attack. Practically this entire issue is action, but it’s damn good! You know how you typically read a super hero book, and you basically know that nothing bad is going to happen because all of your A-listers are in the fight? Well guess what, you don’t have that feeling here. It might be due to Rebirth lingering in the near future, or it could just be that Johns wrote a masterful script that Fabok knocks out of the park… either way, you get the feeling that anything can happen, and you will find yourself waiting with anticipation to see if there are any casualties. Are there? Take a peek if you really want to know.
Or… you know… we can not make Samuel L Jackson mad by spoiling things prematurely…
Even when you’re not concerned about the safety of your favorite characters, you can’t help but be in awe of the cinematic quality of this issue! Everything is big and grand, but in the way you want things to be big and grand! DC has a tendency to overhype their events, and the one-time they under-hype an event, is the time that they should be ringing all of the bells and blowing the whistles. Yes, Darkseid War is big, but not because DC is saying it’s big… It’s big because the story is extremely strong, noteworthy moments are actually occurring, and the consequences are in full effect! We’ve had months of build-up, and the payoff is well worth the wait!
But just when you start thinking, “OMG! This is the shiz!” it gets even bigger and better! The layers of the narrative, and the suspense that’s building due to the x-factors that are bouncing around just continue to grow as they dovetail one another. If you’re concerned that this book is too big for it’s on good, then don’t be. Even with all of the massive and intense action taking place, each character is still given a chance to stand out or shine. Go get Justice League: Darkseid War!
The Art: There are two words that come to mind when I think about describing Fabok’s art – one I’ve already used: epic; and the other is cinematic!
What Fabok manages to capture on these pages is master class artistry! If I were to say that Fabok was the best artist in comics today, I doubt I’d get much of a rebuttal. Yes, there would be a few, “What about ____?” but my point would still stand. Nobody would deny that the guy is in the top tier of the best artists around today, and even with that acknowledged, this issue feels as though he stepped up his game. These panels look like what we hope to see when we go see films like Batman V Superman, Justice League, or even films from that other company that star the dude pictured above… My point, is that as good as these super hero films have been the past few years, comic books continue to set the bar! Johns and Fabok have to be over the moon at the quality of work they’ve created, and you’re honestly doing yourself a disservice if you’re not reading it.
Breakdowns can be found in the spoiler tag.
The Good: The Battle. Literally 95% of this issue consists of the battle, so it’s kind of hard to avoid the subject. But honestly, it was really strong. Whether it was the heroes rescuing civilians, taking out the evil cannon fodder, or going toe-to-toe with Mobius, I enjoyed every page. And the fact that the creative team focused on individuals in the way that they did, only built to the climax, with Green Lantern & Power Ring teaming up…
Wonder Woman & Superwoman…
And Superman and Ultraman….
It really was epic!
The Crime Syndicate. The Syndicate and the League have a common enemy, and that’s about the only reason these two are working together. While it’s working for now, there’s bound to be an altercation between the two teams at some point, and I’m willing to bet that it’ll come at the worst possible time. After all, the Syndicate is out for revenge, but they didn’t necessarily say it was just AntiMonitor that they wanted revenge on…
Backup. If the fight wasn’t epic enough, pulling a page from Tom Taylor’s Injustice: Gods Among Us certainly didn’t hurt. The battle is in full force, and right as it looks as though the League and Syndicate are fighting a losing battle, the entire Lantern Corps join the fray!
This is a big moment, and if you read the Justice League: Darkseid War: Green Lantern one-shot, it’ll make it feel even more special. But the excitement doesn’t stop with the arrival of the Lantern Corps. It keeps building with the arrival of this guy:
…Along with his army of parademons. I find this exciting for a number of reasons. We haven’t seen much of Lex since he became a new god, so I’m curious to see the extent of his power. I also have to wonder where his loyalties are. I feel like it’s fair to say that it’s a toss-up whether or not he will support the League, or if he’ll follow the path of the Crime Syndicate and follow his own motivations.
Casualties. I previously referenced casualties in this issue, and there definitely are some. Mobius is powerful enough that he’ll have you saying, “Darkwho?” In one swift attempt, he kills a handful of Green Lanters… and he makes it look effortless!
I viewed this as a set-up for additional casualties, and I was right. Shortly after destroying some Lanterns, Mobius turned his sights on Ultraman, and… well…
I’m not shocked by this as I ultimately view the Crime Syndicate as disposable characters, but I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Mobius’ destruction, and I don’t think that the League is safe. If this did anything, it proved that no character is guaranteed to escape. Also, it’s worth commenting on Flash’s inability to stop death. I can’t help but feel this is foreshadowing to an event that will come into play in the upcoming issues… Speaking of upcoming issues, what does Grail have in store for Steve Trevor? And what is up with Rosemary’s baby!?!? I mean… Superwoman’s baby!
The Bad: I can confidently say that everything in this issue is “good” at the very least! I could’ve used some attention on Big Barda and Mister Miracle, but a lot was covered in this issue, and it was paced extremely well!
- You’ve wanted to read a DC event that felt like a legitimate event.
- You’ve been waiting for some knock-down, drag-out action.
- You like good comics.
Overall: Johns continues to deliver with Darkseid War, and considering it’s one of the best stories to come from the New 52, it makes me happy to see this title close on a high note! If you’re not reading this arc, I strongly encourage you to pick it up! I haven’t been let down yet. There’s fantastic storytelling, and some great character work!