Here’s a comic that ‘does what it says on the tin’. The Justice League get killed. Blasted to smithereens. Apparently. Because we all know they’re coming back… this issue is full of characters who have been killed and reborn. Heck, Wonder Woman has only been back from her death in the previous ‘Crisis to end all Crises’, Dark Knights: Metal, for about five minutes.
Justice League #75 is leading to the next DC Crisis ‘event’ – by this time, doubtful quote marks are necessary – so what does it bring to the table that’s fresh?
Zip. Nada. Nowt. There really is nothing any reader who’s been around for a couple of years hasn’t seen previously.
Members of the Earth 0 Justice League are summoned to a multiversal meeting of heroes. The latest semi-Crisis is recapped.
A misguided hero from the Crisis on Infinite Earths wants to restore things to the way they were. Superman of Earth 2 has tried it. Superboy of Earth Prime has tried it. This time it’s Pariah, backed by a band of baddies touched by the Great Darkness.
But the Leagues have a secret weapon!
But the Great Darkness has a secret weapon!
In a bid to stop Pariah pressing his Multiverse reboot button, Green Arrow takes a shot.
And Pariah is peeved. Guess what he does?
It’s funny, there’s so much cosmic power unleashed in this issue, yet the best page features one man and his bow and arrow. Oliver Queen does what he does best, cuts through the nonsense. It’s a shame he didn’t get his hands on this script, which doesn’t have a moment of originality. It’s just a load of sound and fury, diligently namechecking previous big battles. Crisis on Infinite Earths? Check. Dark Knights: Metal? Check. The Great Disaster? Check. Crisis on Earth C?
OK, that one isn’t there, which is a shame as it would’ve added a smattering of fun to a very dour deal.
Actually, there was a moment that had me laughing.
Call the Titans? Has he read Titans Academy?
I’ve enjoyed loads of Josh Williamson comics and I know he can do better than this Crises cocktail. It’s very efficient, but it’s just going through the motions to get us to the ‘event’ proper, Dark Crisis; yes, that might prove to be a stunning story, but the lead-in doesn’t have to be quite so perfunctory.
The nearest we have to a big surprise is John Stewart’s Super-Lantern moment, which Google tells me has something to do with the just-ended GL series; it would’ve been nice had Williamson given us a line or two explaining John’s deal.
Points, though, for Ollie’s big scene, and that earlier bit with GA telling Batman to get a grip. Williamson should consider writing an Ollie and Dinah strip.
Rafa Sandoval, having escaped Titans Academy, gets the big project he deserves. Sandoval’s storytelling is clear without being blind. Characters are on model while having an interesting softness to them… well, apart from the villains, who are big and bad and spiky. I particularly like his Pariah, who has more heft to him than usual. Penciller Sandoval is working with his usual inker, Jordi Tarragona (whose name is misspelled in the credits) and their familiarity makes for a good-looking book. The spread in which Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman are offed is especially great, evoking one of the most memorable Crisis on Infinite Earths deaths.
Matt Herms, a new name who’s been popping up a lot in the last few weeks, does a splendid job colouring the issue. Especially good are that Super-John page, and a multi-panel spread in which heroes take on villains one on one. Josh Reed letters for drama and deserves a lot of credit.
Daniel Sampere’s cover image, coloured by Alejandro Sanchez, is superb, and I love the Production Department’s peek-a-boo treatment of the print edition. Happily, digital buyers like myself get both versions of the front.
Anyone who’s never read a DC event intro will likely be pleased with this comic. As one of the longtime readers without whom DC’s publishing plans are toast, though, I’d like something new. The Death of the Justice League doesn’t have to be the death of surprises.