The end of Darkseid War is here! It took 10 parts, an oversized 50th issue, and plenty of godly intrigue to get here, but is it good?
Justice League #50 (DC Comics)
The official DC summary of this issue reads:
This is it!! The massive, 48-page conclusion to the critically-acclaimed “DARKSEID WAR” can hardly be contained between two covers! Don’t miss the final fates of the world’s greatest heroes and villains, along with world-changing revelations for Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. It doesn’t get bigger than this as DC’s monthly super hero event comic sets the stage for the next year and beyond!
Why does this book matter?
Fans of Batman and Superman will definitely need to pick this up in order to find out Joker’s true identity and to see Superman come to grips with his impending death (which is wrapping up in Tomasi’s mini event in Superman #52 this week!). Writer Geoff Johns is essentially setting up multiple storylines for DC to carry forward here which makes this a must read for anyone interested in Rebirth.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Once again Johns thoroughly reminds us what is going on with each character dynamic and plot twist which surprisingly makes this issue new reader friendly. At the same time, a lot goes on in this issue with very little decompression. Really the only bit of storyline that’s not fresh and interesting is how we close on Superman, but that’s because he’s been dying for 7 weeks straight in the eight part “The Final Days of Superman” storyline. This issue is fantastic in large part because it feels important, but also sets up so many stories for the future. Going into how or what is set up would spoil things for sure, but know that in this single issue every hero has a new direction to spin off into.
To keep this issue from being one long fight scene between a villain and a hero the villain changes up quite a bit too. There’s actually more than one, but I won’t say more as to not spoil it! It’d be easy for this shift to be clunky, but Johns pulls it off keeping the drama tight. Considering how many endings there are in this issue – because each hero has a new direction or threat to consider – it’s a wonder the epilogue works too. It’s going to be hard to not be excited by the end of this issue as there’s a lot of compelling stories kicked off.
The art by Fabok is quite good this issue too. I had trouble following the action in issue #49, but that’s not a problem at all here. There are tons of splash pages worth posterizing in this issue alone, the energy powers of characters looks fabulous and Steve Trevor is particularly awesome with his fire power might. Really any character associated with Wonder Woman or the Amazons looks great in this issue which is fitting since they ultimately drive this narrative.
Good recap for new readers!
Which is interesting because at the end of the day this is Wonder Woman’s story. Not only is the main villain an Amazon by birth, but with Trevor and a major new hero revealed too you can see Johns is most interested in this slice of DC. The main point is made that the Justice League aren’t gods – which is a strong statement given the recent Batman v Superman movie – and it’s a solid argument. Avoiding spoilers so I won’t say what the argument is, but it’s interesting this point is made considering Wonder Woman and her world is such a strong part of the narrative.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Given this is the finale and entitled Justice League I was a bit surprised there wasn’t more teamwork going on in this issue. There’s two or so double page splashes showing off the team all at once, but for the most part heroes fight by themselves or with one hero beside them. This might be a logistics thing for Fabok to not lose his mind, or maybe it’s because Johns wanted to make this more character driven, but besides one epic double page splash this doesn’t feel like a team book. It’s a minor gripe considering all that it does, but it does give this issue more of a multiple solo story arc jammed together sort of feel.
If only the comics could have Wonder Woman’s movie war drums!
Is It Good?
If anyone wanted to see how to kick off a summer event series this is it. Not only is this issue captivating, exciting and interesting, it’s very good at establishing a new direction for many different stories. That requires a good balance between stories and at its core strong character development.