By Geoff Johns, Francis Manapul, & Brian Buccellato
Darkseid has fallen…Anti-Monitor used the dark god’s ace, the Black Racer, against him. As everyone wonders and contemplates what this means for the universe and what will be the repercussions, several members of the League deal with the changes they have undergone. The Flash is now the host for the avatar of death, Superman is affected by the flames of Apokolips, and Batman sits upon the Mobius chair. A few more events take place that will do doubt shatter the current status quo and lead into the “Darkseid War” one-shots.
After the staggering content of issue 44, Geoff Johns allows readers, and the story, to catch their breath and let the aftermath sink in. There’s even a different art team for this issue; Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato (The Flash) stand in for Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson to bring a different tone in the wake of the clash between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor. New gods arise from the ashes and that’s the focus of this book. Johns catches up with all the current players in the storyline and reveals what dangerous directions they’re heading towards. Of course, his eloquent writing makes the material have such gravitas that this arc continues to feel like a DC ‘Crisis’ event.
Manapul and Buccellato’s artwork is, without a doubt, vastly different from style and form of the previous artists and that’s the point. There was a serious and dramatic shift when Darkseid lost the battle and this artwork reflects that. The initial splash page is simplistic, but exemplifies this very sentiment…true dread. Manapul’s Black Racer Flash is truly menacing, especially with the choice of color used for the suit and aura. It almost makes one want to see a whole storyline revolving around his new design. These men bring a very unique look and feel to this title that it hasn’t had in its previous 44 issues. It is a bit jarring initially, but it is fascinating to see how they interpret the Justice League.
There’s definitely no reason why readers shouldn’t pick this up! The arc is in its fifth issue, so everyone should be fully invested, especially after last month’s massive cliffhanger. Also, people should be on the lookout for the six tie-ins that will delve deeper into the changes/battles members of the team are going through. “The Darkseid War” continues to be an impressive milestone for this brilliant series.