Mild Mannered Reviews – Dark Crisis #1

Dark Crisis #1

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Dark Crisis #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 7, 2021
Cover date: August 2022

“Chapter One: The Justice League is Dead”

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Cover: Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sanchez
Variant Covers: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion & Dave McCaig, Jamal Campbell, Inhyuk Lee, Bruno Redondo, Dan Schoening, Steve Beach, Mahmud Asrar & Nathan Fairbairn, Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair

Reviewed by: Craig Boehmer

The Justice League is dead. Dick is narrating the memorial for the Justice League. The world mourns their passing, while Jon tries to come to terms with the death of his father. Jon and Wally are fighting the Kobra Cult and discuss the increased number of attacks by lower tier villain groups now that the Justice League members are dead. Hal arrives and is shocked to see Jon and Wally instead of Clark and Barry. They go to visit Black Adam who gives an account of the League’s deaths. Hal doesn’t trust Black Adam and decides to investigate, and Jon decides to gather a new Justice League. His first two recruits, Batman and Wonder Girl, turn him down. But he is successful in gathering a new League. On his way to tell Dick he is targeted, and an army lead by Deathstroke is seen attacking the Titan Tower. Plus Beast Boy is killed by Deathstroke.

3Story – 3: The way the Justice League died was lame. I’m sorry, the whole turning to ash or being erased worked in “Avengers: Infinity War,” but it did not carry any emotional significance in “Justice League #75”. So “Dark Crisis #1” had a lot of work to do to convince me that the Justice League death was the major event that I’ve been told it was. For the most part, this issue fails at that. But the issue was good for other reasons.

Hal Jordan’s return was a welcome sight, especially his optimism for the Justice League’s return. I also liked Jon’s efforts to gather a new Justice League. His failures and successes show that this younger team will be an interesting mix. I also appreciate that there are strong critics of his efforts, including those who point out that the Teen Titans should be replacing the Justice League. I’m also excited about the attack on Titans Tower. I think it is a shame that the Teen Titans are so underutilized in the current DC. I recently read some of the Wolfman/Perez stuff from the 80s, and wow was that entertaining stuff. I would love to see them play a bigger role in the DC Universe going forward, and hopefully this crisis plays a role in that. I do not like the propensity comic writers have now to try to minimize the villains. Jon’s exchange with Wally about which cult they are fighting is an attempt at humour that fell flat for me. Comic writers need to build up even these obscure villain groups, fleshing them out and making them feel more intimidating creates a larger roster of villains, then we don’t get the same stories about the same villains. I also felt like the big death of Beast Boy at the end of the issue was a waste of his character. It adds nothing to the story and has zero emotional impact. It is just a stupid creative decision, and this is how DC wants to usher in their next big crisis?

5Art – 5: Sampere does an amazing job on the art in this issue. We get two great splash pages very quickly. One showing the history of DC’s heroes across time, and another of the Justice League memorial. These two images set an important tone for the art of the comic. This may be the best I have seen this new generation of heroes look in a comic. The coloring is also fantastic. It is bright, but also has a great depth to the color.

5Cover Art – 5: The main cover for this looks amazing. It’s a great showcase for the old and new iterations of the characters. I don’t mind the wrap around; however, it looks like the top half is supposed to be a type of opposite of the front cover. The front has the Justice League on the top and the new generation underneath. On the back we have many of the villains involved in the Dark Army on the bottom, in very similar poses, but the bottom showcases more of the DC heroes. I like having all of these extra heroes, but it does look weird, and it is thematically jarring.

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