Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1
Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 31, 2022
Cover date: July 2022
Cover: Daniel Sampere
Variant Covers: Chris Burnham and Rafael Sarmento
Reviewed by: James Lantz
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Penciller: Dan Jurgens
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Jon Kent helps Nightwing defeat Brick. Nightwing, in return, helps the panicked new Superman not lose hope that the Justice League will return somehow. The pair follow in their paternal figures’ footsteps and team-up to take on Kid Amazo while Nightwing is convinced to pass his hopes on to those at a vigil for the Justice League.
Story – 4: As much as I love anthologies in comics, prose, television, film and audio, I just don’t think the format works for something like this book. The stories within would work better as separate one shots to allow for more character dynamics and storytelling. As a whole, this book really doesn’t use the full potential of what has been published in its pages. Does this mean these tales are bad. Not necessarily. DC just missed some opportunities releasing “Road to Dark Crisis” this way. That said, let’s look at the individual sagas.
This is my favorite story in this issue. However, it proves my point in the previous paragraph. There truly are not enough pages for a Jon Kent and Dick Grayson team-up. There are so many directions that a one-shot or mini-series featuring them could go. Still, it’s great we have this in spite of it being too short.
Art – 5: Dan Jurgens has always been one of my favorite comics creators. To see his art in any book again is a joy.
“Life of Purpose”
Writer: Jeremy Adams
Artist: Rosi Kampe
With the Justice League, including Barry Allen presumed dead, Wally West and Ace must make sure every villain trying to make a name for themselves knows that the Flash and Kid Flash are there to make sure Central and Keystone Cities and the world are still protected by heroes. This is to give people and themselves hope.
Story – 4: Even if I haven’t read The Flash in a good long while, I really didn’t need to with this one. This all-too brief story summed up Wally and Ace’s adventures while giving us all an idea of what they felt about the events of “Justice League #75”. My qualms about the format are really the only reasons for the lack of a perfect score.
Art – 5: The art captures the atmosphere of this story perfectly. I don’t think any other style would work for it.
Writer: Chuck Brown
Artist: Fico Ossio
Jackson Hyde and Hal Jordan protect Atlantis from the alien Viro. Centrifuge separates it from parasites, allowing the being to be free and leave Atlantis and Sector 2814 in peace. Jackson takes his place as the seas’ protector while Hal investigates what happened to the Justice League.
Story – 4: This story is right up there with “Team-Up”. Yet, its length, or lack thereof, really makes it suffer.
Art – 5: This might not have worked as well in full color, but for this series, the art is stupendous.
Writer: Philip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Leila Del Luca
Pariah, not wanting to repeat his errors from “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” decides to suicide to save the multiverse. This does not work for him as he is face to face with the Great Darkness.
Story – 3: Sadly, this is the worst of the stories in this book. That’s not because it’s badly written. Its reliance on continuity bogs it down a bit too much. Again, had a full one-shot been used, more could have been done to help its flaws.
Art – 5: The style isn’t what I’d normally expect for the tone of the story. However, it is incredibly done.
“Because The Night”
Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Artist: Clayton Henry
Nocturna fights Batgirl at the Gotham Museum only to be interrupted by a call from Oracle. Nocturna then gets an offer from Firefly to join the latest version of the Secret Society of Super-Villains.
Story – 4: Yet again, we have story that is too short. So much could have been said and done with this and the rest of this issue’s contents. What were the powers that be thinking? The story is still very good. I just feel like some poor decisions were made on an editorial level.
Art – 4: Batman looks of in the flash back, but the rest of the story’s art is otherwise great.
Cover Art – 5: The image would not have been my first choice for a main cover. It is well drawn, but I’d have used another concept for it., That’s just me though.
Rafael Sarmento Variant Cover Art – 2: While not completely terrible, this variant looks either rushed or like Sarmento was given the assignment at the last minute.
Chris Burnham Variant Cover Art – 5: This one puts rare fun into variants.
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