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Justice League Vol. 7: Darkseid War Part 1 Hardcover – March 15, 2016
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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“...it’s hard to beat the breathless thrill of seeing all the best and brightest in the DC Universe fighting alongside one another in the pages of a single title.” – Nerdist
“…epic superhero action.” – IGN
“This is an event you won't want to miss.” – Newsarama
About the Author
Johns was born in Detroit and studied media arts, screenwriting and film at Michigan State University. After moving to Los Angeles, he became an assistant to Richard Donner, director of Superman: The Movie. He and his mentor Donner later co-wrote SUPERMAN: LAST SON featuring the return of General Zod.
Johns has written for various other media, including episodes of Smallville, Arrow and Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken, for which he and his co-writers were nominated for an Emmy. He is the Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment and resides in Los Angeles, California.
- Item Weight : 1.16 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 9781401259778
- Hardcover : 176 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401259778
- Product Dimensions : 6.9 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
- Publisher : DC Comics; First Edition (March 15, 2016)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1401259774
- Best Sellers Rank: #783,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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(1) This is a huge event kind of like Forever Evil on a cosmic scale. The bad versus badder, and the good guys caught in between. Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor are about as big as it gets in terms of villains, and the repercussions of them clashing is definitely interesting to watch play out.
(2) This is unexpectedly a stealth Mister Miracle story. Scott Free is definitely one of the more compelling New Gods characters, so it was a pleasant surprise to see how much time, attention, and backstory was given to him here.
(3) Similar to the above, this is in a lot of ways also a Wonder Woman story, though you wouldn't expect it going in. This is partly because her Amazonian background plays directly into one of the major villains in this story. But it's also because a major theme in this and the next volume is the struggle to retain humanity/compassion in the face of godhood. And while she's known gods and can withstand the influence of that power, she's very much a contrast to other members of the Justice League who are sometimes god-like or god-adjacent, but not quite in that realm. It's nice to put the focus a bit more on her, as she doesn't always get these kinds of arcs.
(1) This kind of has similar weaknesses to another JL arc, Trinity War, which was a bit of a miss for me. Like that arc, there is a lot of lead up and teasing of an ominous event/bad thing to come. There's a lot of twisting and turning to try to make it ambiguous as to who/what is the biggest threat, is it Darkseid? His daughter Grail? The Anti-Monitor? The Crime Syndicate? Metron? Sometimes complexity and complicated motivations between different parties can be good, but here, it's overly-complicated in a way that overstuffs the story.
(2) Even though watching the final clash between Darkseid and Anti-Monitor should be the main event of the event (and the lead up, events surrounding it, and repercussions are interesting). The actual clash is somewhat anti-climactic. In some ways, I think it's hard to really show titans of this nature fighting in a satisfying way, so no matter how they go about it, it would have been difficult to convey.
Ultimately, this first part of the Darkseid War is pretty solid, with great, escalating action.
The art is simply amazing. Justice League volume 6 (the previous installment) saw the sampling of several artists, with talent ranging from mediocre to outstanding. Fabok's work was the highlight of volume 6, even surpassing the surprisingly watered-down Ivan Reis work. Fabok handles all of the main story and the majority of the prologue. Having his expertise featured as the standard for this arc creates a metaphorical glow around his pages. Sure, some of his faces look overly stoic, but when the story centers around a cast of senior Justice League members, it fits. Jim Lee penciled the intro, a pleasant surprise, but his work didn't hold its usual luster with the next page featuring the cover of this book. If I haven't made it clear, Fabok is outstanding. The Justice League is no place for amateur hour in terms of art, and Fabok struts his stuff like almost no other.
The writing is, likewise, fitting of a title as important as Justice League. However, the story was a bit disappointing when looked at from a collected-issue format. The past volumes of Justice League can be read as a self-contained story, with the only exception being volume 5, which served as a sort of anthology for Forever Evil. Even volume 4, which ended on a major cliff-hanger, had a main arc tied up. That is not the case here. I'm glad Part 1 was included in the title, because this is not even remotely close to a full story. They tiny cliff hangers left in volume 6 are resolved almost too quickly. This entire collection feels like a set up for greater things to come.
However, the most disappointing aspect of the writing is the actual confrontation between the Anti-Monitor and Darkseid. Without going into detail, the Anti-Monitor arrives fairly early on in the story, with Darkseid not even meeting his enemy until the second-to-last page of the second-to-last chapter. The last issue features the fight between the two adversaries, but only briefly. Much of the issue shows what's happening elsewhere as Anti-Monitor and Darkseid are duking it out. There's a solid two pages of fighting between the two that is absolutely stunning, but it's only two pages. Yes, it's important to shine the spotlight on other characters in this title, but what could possibly be more important that Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor, two of DC's biggest villains, fighting for dominance? When Darkseid's forces were introduced way back in volume 1, his armies were fought over the course of several issues. Here, their conflict lasts mere pages. The story-telling is fantastic, but the balancing feels off. The book is called Darkseid War, not Batman and Green Lantern's wild Mobius chair adventure. With the title, I thought we would get to see a titanic struggle between titans of evil in detail, not just the highlights.
Overall, this is one of the best arcs of the Justice League, don't let all my complaining fool you. I'm sure that once the arc can be read in its entirety, it will be more satisfying. It's similar to the last two Harry Potter movies, where the first part is almost all set-up, and the second act being all pay-offs. The art is outstanding, as is the writing, plain and simple. This has been a story that has been building for some time, and Jason Fabok and Geoff Johns are the right men for the job.