By Geoff Johns & Francis Manapul
As this series enters into Act Two of “The Darkseid War”, the League is left in diverse situations with new powers…they are the New Gods. Members of the team who are not dealing with new-found transformations are left to fend off the remainder of Darkseid’s forces. Luckily, a new and powerful ally appears. Meanwhile, Grail and her mother stand over the Anti-Monitor waiting for something to occur that has the potential to shatter all life in the DC Universe…
The focus last issue was on the New Gods and what direction they will go in. The six one-shots went deeper into these stories and characters and all of them are worth checking out. In this one, Geoff Johns focuses on everyone else to have their story arcs up to speed. He does one of the things he’s best at, which is give the story room to breathe and focus on character development/relationships. Also, it continues to be very refreshing as characters from New Gods are being brought into the plot, it really enriches the tapestry of “The Darkseid War.” This is very much Diana’s story and having her thoughts and emotions explored on these crazy events is enlightening. Small seeds that Johns has planted earlier in this run are slowly coming to fruition – exciting stuff!
Francis Manapul handles art and coloring duties on this book as he continues to fill-in for Jason Fabok. There is no doubt that he has a unique visual style and it makes the material very interesting, but it just doesn’t convey the scope or grandeur of the events taking place. His two-page spread depicting the Justice League against Darkseid’s followers is beautiful, but lacks the impact it deserves. Also, the backgrounds in the panels are predominantly solid colors, so the detail and depth isn’t there. His coloring does bring vibrancy and agency at times. It captures one’s attention and draws the eye where it needs to be. There are readers out there who will love the artwork in this comic, unfortunately it just didn’t completely deliver on what this reviewer was hoping for.
Readers already invested in this title and/or this story arc have no reason to stop. It still continues to be a flawlessly written and well illustrated comic. This may have been a quieter issue in comparison to recent previous ones, but it doesn’t lose out because major plot points are laden throughout. Pick this up and stay in the war!