Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Jason Fabok & Brad Anderson
Collects Justice League #40-44, DC Sneak Peek: Justice League #1
If you have read any DC books within the last five years, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try. This book is the culmination of everything Geoff Johns has been building to within the pages of Justice League since 2011. Well, pretty much. There is a “Part 1” in the title.
Joining him is Jason Fabok, who was born with the proverbial golden pencil in his hand. His artwork in this volume is flawless and damn near untouchable. Be sure to not only take in those handsome interiors, but the frame worthy covers as well. Brad Anderson’s invaluable colors complete the goulash.
As the title implies, this book involves a war involving Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor, with the Justice League caught in the crossfire. Yes, it really is that HUGE.
The book opens with the birth/origin of Grail, who not only happens to be an Amazon, but also the daughter of Darkseid. As it so happens, she and Wonder Woman were born on the same night, and Grail serves as a strong antithesis to Diana.
Before Johns gets to the meat of the story, he wisely offers primers for the following characters and concepts: New Genesis and Apokolips; Orion and Mister Miracle (who plays a major role); Metron; and universe altering events. Not only that, there’s insight into the Anti-Monitor’s background and corners you never knew were in the DC Universe are opened up.
One thing I really liked about this book was that it placed significant focus on Wonder Woman. Much of the book is narrated by her and it makes sense given her intimate knowledge of godhood. There’s also the interesting dynamic between Superman and Lex Luthor as they must continue to function as part of a team. Their longstanding rivalry can’t help but rear its ugly head as they try to survive the treacherous landscape of Apokolips.
Something that garnered much attention when individual issues of this story were shipping was the fact that Batman ascended the Mobius Chair and attained absolute knowledge. Some fans may be indifferent to this development, but it worked within the context of the story. Although he’s learned Joker’s true identity, I wonder if this thread will ever be fully explored with “Rebirth” looming.
Other members of the Justice League – particularly Superman and The Flash – become affected in profound, sinister ways, although that will be mostly explored in the next volume. A major villain happens to bite the dust, but I’m not quite sure how permanent their death will prove or what it will ultimately mean for the DC Universe as a whole.
This tale of good versus evil on the grandest, most exquisite scale is a fantastic read and shouldn’t be missed by any DC fan. The best, however, is yet to come. Having read several of the issues that will eventually be collected into Darkseid War Part 2, I can say that with unwavering confidence.