In Review: Justice League #41

A great start for The Darkseid War with excellent visuals. Oh, yeah. I'll be back for more.

The covers: The Main cover is by Jason Fabok providing art and Brad Anderson the colors. It’s a poster quality image of Darkseid in profile in the center of the illustration. Before him is Apokolips, with seven member of the Justice League flying up. Behind him is the gigantic face of the Anti-Monitor. Below are Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman looking ready for action. And just squeezing in at the bottom left with a knowing smile is Grail, Darkseid’s daughter. The art is good and the colors perfect. This is the cover I bought. There’s also a Joker 75th Anniversary cover by David Finch, Jonathan Glapion, and Anderson. A gigantic Clown Prince of Crime holds Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg in his left hand, and Aquaman, Flash, and Superman in his right, with Batman being the only character who looks like he’s escaping. For some reason it seems Superman is trying to pull him back into the giant’s hand. Nice image, but I’m suffering from Joker fatigue, so I’ll pass on this. Overall grades: Main A and Joker 75th Anniversary B

The story: Kanto and Lashina are in Myrina Black’s apartment waiting for her; he enjoys a glass of wine while sitting in a chair. When the woman arrives and wonders what the pair have done with her husband, the assassin kills her with a blade. Checking the body, Lashina discovers she’s not the one they’re looking for. Katno calls his Mother Box, the knife, and the pair disappear. The story then shifts to Scot Free trying to summon the Justice League, narrating his entire origin story in the process. The story then shifts to Wonder Woman’s narration as the JL analyzes the death of Mr. and Mrs. Black. This is all pretty rote introductory information and story setup by Geoff Johns, and things don’t improve until the focus moves to Superman and Lex Luthor, with one of them masterfully using words to motivate the other. The arrival of Darkseid and what he does to Mister Miracle is not frightening. I thought the way he was going to dispatch with Scot beneath him, no pun intended; unless he intended Scot to do what he does and warn the League. The arrival of Grail and her battle with the League is going to go down as legendary, especially if you’re a Flash fan. The highlight of the book for me was Lena Luthor (Yes, his sister). That was the jaw dropping moment for me in the book. The final page has a tease for next issue, but it didn’t excite me like Lena’s actions did. However, I did enjoy this and will definitely be following this storyline, but I’m hoping the cover price goes down a dollar next month! Overall grade: A-

The art: The first page involves a glass of wine being poured and then smelled by an unseen person. I knew by the details on just this one page that artist Jason Fabok would be creating some fine visuals for this book, and he does. The architecture of the Blacks’ home is really nice, especially with some slick perspective work on that wooden floor. The emotion on the characters is good, with Myrina’s face, Kanto’s full introduction with his full glass, and Lashina’s creepy stare. There are several stand out images in this book: Mister Miracle’s first full appearance is pin-up quality, Pages 8 and 9 contain five sensational panels of the big five in their younger days, Page 12 has a character making a statement that is reflected in a shaken visage, 22 has a grotesque arrival, and the battle with Grail is a winner on every page. I really like the creature that appears on the final two pages; it had me hollering “Harry Potter!” Famok can draw anything successfully. Overall grade: A

The colors: There is an incredible range of colors on this book from Brad Anderson. The blood red color of the wine in the darkness is excellent foreshadowing of events to come. The interior of the Blacks’ residence is done excellently in suggesting darkness but allowing all aspects of the environment to be seen. I like the flair of colors inside the Boom Tube’s use. In using red on the interior of Apokolips, Anderson is able to visually remind readers of the threat and tension in Free’s quest. Anderson goes into overtime for colors when Grail arrives, with her full page splash having an amazing combination of yellow, orange, and red around her. There’s even a flawless amount of reflective colors in the studs on her wrist guards–top about going above and beyond the call! This is a super job on this book. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Rob Leigh also does a stellar job, creating dialogue, sounds, yells, narration and a transmission (same font), Mother Box speak, and screams. I’m liking what he’s doing, but I wish Darkseid had a font that was unique to him, given his unique status in the DC Universe, but that’s beyond Leigh’s prerogative. Overall grade: A 

The final line: A great start for The Darkseid War with excellent visuals. Oh, yeah. I’ll be back for more. Overall grade: A

 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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