It’s the final issue of the dimension-spanning mini-series and the threat of the Great Darkness is growing. The primal force that wants to wipe out the light of not just one, but two, multiverses is ever encroaching. Hope comes in an unlikely form.
As Darkseid struggles against agent of Darkness the Gentry, Justice League Incarnate members Flash, Superman, Dr Multiverse and Mary Marvel face their corrupted comrades Thunderer, Mary Marvel, Aquawoman, Dino Cop, Orion and pet dog Sturmer. Happily, Dr Multiverse comes up with a plan.
Everyone is soon fine again, but there’s still a doomsday device with which to deal. Deciding it’s simply too much for them, one hero suggests using their powers to just destroy the thing… and the world with it. But first, a rescue mission is mounted. Barry Allen, the Flash of Earth-0, recently vanished, but Avery – the Flash of that world’s China – can lead her team to him via their linked vibrations. Having spent so much time journeying between dying planets, the team members are not prepared for where they find Barry.
This series began with the recovery of Barry as the main mission, and finally he’s found. But he refuses to come home. The other big aim was to stop Darkseid and his horrible offspring, Grail and Kalibak, using a crack in reality to gain ‘unimaginable power’. As it turned out, Darkseid and co were pawns in a bigger game, so everyone winds up on the same side. ‘The enemy of my enemy’ and all that.
The series doesn’t conclude, sadly. It stops, with writers Joshua Williamson and Dennis Culver pointing us towards the continuation of the story in the upcoming Justice League #75, in which most of the current team comic-book-dies.
This issue is OK for what it is, but with Barry still in Ben-Day dot heaven at the end, it’s ultimately just a lot of vamping and so very frustrating. The supposedly incredibly powerful Justice League Incarnate team declares itself not up to the task of eliminating the Great Darkness, feeling that only the League of Earth 0 can stop them now. Such a move isn’t so unusual, teams are always joining forces to combat the biggest threats, but this is Justice League Incarnate’s first series, they really should get a big triumph.
As it is, we don’t even get to see all the members in action. While Thunderer finally gets something to do, Dino Cop, Aquawoman and Mary Marvel remain firmly on the sidelines. Admittedly, Aquawoman does get her biggest moment yet after Orion accepts a field promotion.
But it’s not much, is it?
As for Dino Cop, he has a few lines of dialogue, Mary Marvel too – but once again, writers fail to acknowledge she has the wisdom of Minerva and might actually have a few good ideas. The three heroes are just set dressing.
And we still don’t learn why the team is called JL Incarnate.
There were moments I really enjoyed. The look of Earth-Flash.1. Teamwork that’s reminiscent of the Silver Age JLA. There’s really nothing wrong with Williamson and Culver’s script other than it failing to wrap up the Barry business… but that fact makes things feel pretty darn flat.
We have two artists. Andrei Bressan is back for the bulk of the book and he delivers sinewy storytelling, with an imposing Darkseid and that spread of Dr Whatever You Need, Sport curing the brainwashed heroes being especially nice. Then there’s this cracking Captain Carrot moment.
When was the last time Rodney Rabbit got to act like an actual cartoon? The panel is likely described in the script, but Bressan nails it.
The scenes of suburban Flash are the work of Jesus Merino and they’re delightfully mundane until Pariah, the LVP of Crisis on Infinite Earths, shows up and gets very on the nose.
What a terrific shot, splendidly coloured – as is the whole issue – by the formidably talented Hi-Fi. While the colour dots of olde world comics were never quite as prominent as those here, there’s a lovely Pop Art charm (and I say that as a hater of Roy Lichtenstein). The other Hi-Fi highlight is the imprisonment of Darkseid in a world of blackness, as composed by Bressan.
The scene similarly spotlights Tom Napolitano’s letters; the variety and clarity of fonts used shows real creativity.
Gary Frank’s cover illustration, ably coloured by regular partner Brad Anderson, will surely grace the front of any collected edition. It’s a rather cool visual.
I’ve enjoyed this series. It doesn’t rate all the stars due to its incompleteness, but it’s entertained me. I do feel a little led on, though, like a Peggy or Janie in an old DC romance book. Benday dots and all.