WRITER: Geoff Johns
ARTIST(s): Jason Fabok
LETTERER: Rob Leigh
COLORIST: Brad Anderson
COVER ARTIST(s): Jason Fabok
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE DATE: 06/3/2015
You know what they say. There are no breaks on the hype train.
Seriously, if this issue is reflective of the entire Darkseid War story, then we have a true classic in the making here. I would give a brief synopsis of the entire issue like I usually do, but there’s so much going on at once that it seems counterproductive. Instead, I’m going to give you an honest review, and then you can decide whether you want to go pick it up yourself or not.
Okay, this story is truly massive. With almost any other writer, I’d be wary of an arc that has so much happening and so many life-changing plotlines, but with Geoff Johns, who has shown he excels in reality-altering stories (Infinite Crisis, Blackest Night, Flashpoint), I’m nothing but pumped. Each of the League members gets their time in the spotlight, from Captain Cold (arguably the star of this book for me, though I’m biased because I love him so much)’s quippy one-liners about how sweet this gig is for him to Shazam reminding the reader, through a stone-faced comment about death, that he still is just a kid. Johns goes beyond that, however, by dedicating a reasonably-sized portion of the book’s content to Mister Miracle’s Earth-1 debut, which, as someone who’s never read any solo MM stories, is great at catching us up on his origin story and how he is who he is. Tying in each of the villains together, from Themyscira to Apokolips to Earth-3, it’s clear this arc has been building since the League first beat Darkseid in Justice League volume 1, way back in early 2012.
In case you’re thinking here, “Well Ced, I’m sure the art can’t match the writing then, right?” Wrong. Jason Fabok proves once again why he deserves to have gone from small up-and-comer on Batman Eternal to head artist on DC’s flagship title. With gorgeous cinematic shots and clear, pristine pencils, every page is a pleasure to gaze at. Brad Anderson backs him up with nice colors, that, although they don’t stray too much from what you’d expect, enhance the reading experience like they should.
The negatives are few and far between. At some points, especially towards the end, I can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed, being tossed so many different plots. Having basically everyone be working for Darkseid seems odd, and the fact that his daughter could whoop the League so easily is a bit frustrating, because it puts everything we’ve seen the League do that’s impressive on hold. I’m still not 100% on Power Ring joining the League, although the two other “villains” that have (Lex Luthor and Captain Cold) have really made it up to me.
All in all, this book is a must-pickup. The League is awesome, the story epic on so many proportions, and the art…well, yeesh, there’s a 2-pager in there that introduces the second major villain in the Darkseid War, the Anti-Monitor, and it’s truly a sight to behold. It gets overwhelming at times, and will have you dying for the continuation immediately, but it’s awesome on so many levels. My only wish is that we will get more Captain Cold in the issues to come, and that Clark & Lex will put their at-this-point-rather-petty feud behind them eventually.
Keep rockin’, Geoff & Jason. We (I) support you.