The latest version of the Justice League is dead and despair is everywhere.
The heroes who might take up the League’s mantle are having a wallow.
The heroes who want to take up the slack are being condemned by their self-appointed leader.
That’s Black Adam speaking. He reckons the good guys need to show the bad guys they mean business.
Faced with resistance to his wizard wheeze, Black Adam flounces off, leaving the proto-Justice League to… split up and protect their families? Well, that’s the plan, until the cavalry drop in. The first cavalry
The Justice Society of America. The greatest heroes of World War Two and their heirs.
In Deathstroke’s lair, the addled assassin’s daughter tells it like it is.
And in far-off outer space, three Green Lanterns confront the puppet master who wants Deathstroke to spark a full-on Crisis event, Pariah.
Three issues in and it still feels like we’re in the Land of Set-Up, but it seems we’re getting closer to the various threads knitting together into a focused storyline. It has to happen in the next issue of this seven-part series, what with DC having advertised that the title will be getting another three words added to it.
As for this issue’s events, I’m still irked by the idea that with the latest League (supposedly) dead, the people of Earth 0 are cowering in corners. I’m irritated that the many veteran heroes we’ve seen hang around the Hall of Justice for years haven’t immediately marshalled their forces – if ever a Justice League Unlimited was needed, this is the time. I’m hugely annoyed that Jon Kent, Supergirl and the other new Justice Leaguers are letting the scumbag Black Adam berate them. OK, he’s a hell of a lot older than them, but he’s hardly got a long record as a hero. Heck, recent Leaguer Naomi could likely outdo him on that front.
So thank goodness Jon stands up to Black Adam, before the new Wonder Girl physically prevents him from out and out murdering captured supervillain Count Vertigo.
Interesting as the rest of the issue is, once the Justice Society show up my interest in anything else goes out the window. We’ve waited so long for them to take centre stage in the DCU – they recently appeared in the Infinite Frontier prequel mini-series – that one glorious panel isn’t enough. Which isn’t to say the Rose Wilson and Green Lanterns business isn’t interesting, but I’d happily see those story strands in their own Dark Crisis books. If Infinite Crisis could have a series of lead-up titles, why not Dark Crisis REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED.
The scene with Hal and pals and Black Pariah (as no one but me is calling him) is interesting in that it’s the first time the villain of the piece has spelled out his plan in this book. Is writer Josh Williamson giving us a meta-wink here?
By which I mean, is he referring to the fact that Superman, Batman and co could, it not all spark a family of books, at leat serve as powerful story engines?
Frustrations aside, I was throughly engaged by this comic. Yes, the DC Crisis porn is never ending, but what can I say, I’m an easy mark. Williamson knows how to keep me turning pages, even if it’s only in the hope that the things that make no sense are explained – for example, is there an invisible Despair Kaiju attacking the planet, sapping people’s will to fight back, to trust in the surviving heroes?
Daniel Sampere’s art is a big – pardon the pun – draw for me. The storytelling is exemplary, the figure work attractive, the action hypnotic. Did anyone out there see his JSA splash and not hope he’ll draw a series featuring them? Vying for Best Page is a scene showing the arrival of the Green Lanterns into Pariah’s death zone, full of warped images made better by the clever colouring of Alejandro Sanchez and warped letters of Tom Napolitano.
Now that’s a nightmare realm.
The issue’s inks are the work of Daniel Henriques, Danny Miki and Sampere himself, and are uniformly strong.
Sampere and Sanchez provide another terrific cover, its scene of the Green Lantern Corp rallying against Pariah just screams ‘Crisis’.
So how was it for you?