After a long two months, DC Comics is back with their regular titles! I am personally excited to read a lot of them, but before I do, there’s one of the returning titles that deserves a bit of attention for what it is about to unleash: Justice League. It is time for Darkseid War Part 1! Is it good?
Justice League #41 (DC Comics)
Women named Myrina Black are dying across the country, killed by an assassin and Fury from Apokolips. Mister Miracle is searching Apokolips himself currently, looking for something important that could be what he needs to put an end to whatever Darkseid is cooking up. A new figure steps out of the shadow, ready to utterly devastate the entire Justice League. Earth is in danger once more and this time, it may not end well.
So after being gone for a while and as the official start to this new arc/event, Justice League returns this month in an issue that was good, but flawed. There are things that were pretty well handled and that the writing was great (not to mention, the artwork was on fire this issue), but there were also areas that were on the weak side and could have used more work in my humble opinion.
To start with, the story itself started off all well and good. It introduced the villains and the key players in the story, got a brief setup going before pushing the story way forward (almost feels like this could have been two issues with the amount going on), and dropped some interesting twists, one of which I honestly didn’t see coming. It also tied back to some previous issues and built off the concepts and ideas that were introduced in them, like the assassination attempt on Luthor from last arc or the current fates of the survivors from Earth 3. Where it flounders a bit is that the story moves a bit too fast at times. We still haven’t had much time to establish a status quo or get used to our new team lineup—there’s a lot happening in the issue itself, leaving little room to breathe at points. Some parts of the story feel rushed as well (like what is going on in the ending scene). The story is most definitely intriguing and should at least be able to get your attention, but maybe this would have been better split into two issues to give the story more room.
It’s the same story with the character work. There are plenty of small, enjoyable moments that are great for each character and really capture them well. Superman poking Luthor’s ego, Shazam’s response to the crime scene before him, and Flash and Batman going over the evidence they have are all things that’re really nice and give the team more personality. The villains are not particularly great at this point (though Darkseid does have some good and imposing moments and lines in his one scene); they’re either kind of generic evil or not showing that much in the way of personality. Though the true disappointment in the handling of the characters is what Geoff Johns does with the Lantern characters, Hal Jordan and Jessica Cruz. He brought back Hal in #39, but did absolutely nothing with the character this issue or even explored why he came back recently, just having him get curb-stomped by our new villain. Cruz is similar, but also feels more like a missed opportunity. She didn’t get used at all in the last arc due to being sick and we didn’t even see her interact with the League all that much, exploring what she could bring to the table power or personality-wise.
Moving onto the writing, I have pretty much the same feelings towards it as I do the story and characters. The pacing is very quick here, making the story constantly on the move and not slowing down at all. It’s a double-edged sword like implied earlier, since while the story gets underway very quickly and keeps everything engaging, there’s a bit too much going on here and not everything gets enough proper focus. There are no issues with the story structure or similar writing mechanics, providing a well-constructed comic. The dialogue is good as usual, though the narration can be overdone a tad in areas, like in Mister Miracle’s opening internal monologue that goes on too long. The comic provides a decent sense of dread as we slowly move throughout it, there is a very good team moment early on with everyone investigating the murder scene (you get to see why everyone would be important in this situation), and there are bits of humor that do get a chuckle out of me. Overall, it’s a genuinely entertaining ride with some weak spots.
The only area of the comic that I have no problems with whatsoever is Jason Fabok’s artwork. It looks amazing, showing some impressive and exciting superhero imagery and action. His characters are very well drawn and detailed, showing a decent range of expression and body language. His layouts are put together well and are easy to follow, especially when it comes to the intense looking action scenes. The detail with the action and the backgrounds are just as good, making a very visually appealing experience. Honestly, outside of whether or not you like Brad Anderson’s drabber looking colors for the book (which still look really beautiful), there are no real problems or faults to be had with this art.
Is It Good?
Justice League #41 was a very exciting start to this new story arc. It presented an interesting story and direction, tossed in some solid writing, and had some incredible artwork. It was flawed for sure, but really just minor letdowns rather than anything that’s truly awful or infuriating. I look forward to seeing how this story plays out and hopefully, the heroes and villains get more time to shine or at least develop.