Justice League: Last Ride #1 – Chip Zdarsky, Writer; Miguel Mendonca, Artist; Enrica Angiolini, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Chip Zdarsky’s one of the hottest writers in comics, and with that heat he’s pulled off an impressive feat—he’s managed to take a series from a digital-first run to a prestige print run based on sheer anticipation and likely sales. Following in the footsteps of alternate universes like Injustice and DCeased, Justice League: Last Ride keeps with the pattern of finding our heroes in a very grim place—except this time it seems more psychological than physical. The Justice League has broken up in the aftermath of a tragedy and it’s taken a toll on all of them, with Superman seemingly having the hardest time. He’s haunted by terrible visions of disasters he can’t prevent, some of which are rendered in brutal scenes by Miguel Mendonca.
The brief segment we see of Lois in this issue is strong, showing a clear bond between the two of them where she’s one of the few people able to get inside his head. But it’s not long before Superman is called back into action, and the former heroes—Wonder Woman, Flash, and a very reluctant Batman—are greeted by a trio of Green Lanterns bearing violent cargo. The Corps aren’t in much better shape than the League, and it largely seems to be due to Lobo. The sadistic Czarnian is wanted for genocide and will be put on trial by the United Planets—if the Lanterns can keep him alive long enough to face trial. This story often feels like we’re coming in at the middle, and Zdarsky lets us figure it out along the way.
This is a more character-driven start than we see in most alternate universes, with the most dramatic moments coming in a tense showdown between Batman and Superman in the Batcave. The truth of what broke up the League is revealed, but the why still has a lot of unanswered questions. This is one of the best depictions of grief and the search for blame after a tragedy that I’ve seen in a superhero comic in a long time, another piece of evidence that Zdarsky is one of the best writers in comics at the moment. He’s also one of the few whose reach covers just about every major company—and I wouldn’t be surprised if after his current DC work, he winds up on an A-list in-continuity title soon enough.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.