Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Francis Manapul
Collects Justice League #45-50, Justice League: Darkseid War Special #1
Sure, there are many factors that make Darkseid War Part 2 special, but the one that may take the cake is that it serves as the conclusion to Geoff Johns’ five year run on Justice League. Even if this was not the endgame he originally envisioned, we would probably never know the difference because everything he established over the past half decade ties together so well, making it look like a meticulously plotted masterwork. I love how seeds planted as far back as Origin and others in stories such as Forever Evil sprout in the most brilliant of ways. There’s a reason why Johns is one of my favorite writers in the entire industry and this swan song perfectly illustrates why.
Throughout his legendary JL run, Johns has had the good fortune of collaborating with some of the greatest pencillers around and this volume is no different. Jason Fabok is responsible for most of the interiors – and cover – and really knows how to make someone who can draw only stick figures turn green with envy. I’m always quick to say he draws the best Batman in the industry today and his renditions of the rest of the League are no slouches either, especially Wonder Woman. You can also expect to see contributions from other heavyweights such as Francis Manapul and Ivan Reis, effectively making the visual side of your reading experience borderline orgasmic.
With Darkseid having bit the dust, Wonder Woman guides us through a multifaceted journey on the grandest of scales: Her caped comrades have attained godhood as Darkseid’s powers have dispersed and Grail, daughter of the former Lord of Apokolips, is not finished enacting her plans. Prepare for a superhero tour de force as Johns once again takes concepts that were right in front of our faces for years and charts bold new territory; from Mobius to Volthoom to the Anti-Life Equation, new and old fans alike will have much to geek out over.
I was also amazed as to how the book contained so much action, yet found a way to balance it with storytelling and absolutely nail the characterization of all included. Okay, some of our favorites are corrupted by divine power, but I’m sure you will see what I mean once you sit down with this bad boy. In addition to tying up years of threads, this book also gives way to Rebirth in several respects, some of which are obvious and others that we may not realize until down the line.
One such detail got many Batfans talking is something I remain highly indifferent regarding: The reveal that there are, in fact, three Jokers. This is something yet to be explored in the Rebirth era and I’m wondering which writer will be brave enough to step up to the plate. What are the origins of the separate Jokers? Was Harley Quinn in a polyamorous relationship with all three? Many questions will need to be answered and this could go either way. Again, the right scribe is needed.
Boasting enough twists and turns to make a Metal Gear Solid game blush (if discs could), Darkseid War Part 2 is a must read for any fan of DC’s premier super team. It’s not entirely necessary to have read Johns’ entire run to enjoy this, but for the most enriching experience, you should eventually. I do, however, think you should read Darkseid War Part 1 before cracking open this installment, but that’s a given. This critic smells a future animated movie to be adapted from this, so get in on the ground floor now.