Justice League #75 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Rafa Sandoval, Penciller; Jordi Tarragona, Inker; Matt Herms, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: This issue both doubles as the finale to Justice League’s current run, and the unofficial Dark Crisis #0, as the building horror in the multiverse hits home and claims the lives of the Justice League’s best and brightest. From around the DCU, the top heroes are taken one by one by a mysterious force. Kal-El, Batman, Wonder Woman, John Stewart, Zatanna, Black Canary (with Green Arrow hitching a ride), Hawkgirl, Aquaman, and Black Adam all find themselves pulled into the multiverse not by a villain, but by President Superman—who has just seen the Great Darkness and its master Pariah take control of Darkseid and start marching on the multiverse with a deadly undead army including Nekron, Neron, Doomsday, and Eclipso. The Justice League Incarnate needs all hands on deck, so they’ve pulled in the best heroes from the universe—and it won’t be nearly enough, because we know this story ends in tragedy.
This is a double-sized issue, but it reads incredibly fast. Once the action starts, it’s brutal and unrelenting. Pariah makes for a great villain, because he’s genuinely tragic and genuinely terrifying. He’s similar to Superboy-Prime in that he was victimized by a previous Crisis, but his solution to the injustice is far, far worse than what was done to him. Rafa Sandoval proves again why he’s one of the DCU’s most underrated artists with a selection of brilliant double-page spreads, and the first hero to fall does so in an incredibly dramatic segment. From there, the carnage comes fast and furious—seemingly unambiguous, but cosmic in a way that could easily be unwound when the time comes. Williamson had a few jobs here. He had to get us excited for Dark Crisis. He had to get us invested in these characters and make us care when they fell. He did both perfectly, and his choice of the sole survivor is a curve ball to be sure. It’s an excellent kick-off to the bold next era of DC Comics.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.