Dark Crisis #1 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Daniel Sampere, Artist; Alejandro Sanchez, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Dark Crisis is finally here, coming off a prequel issue and the Justice League issue that saw the League die in battle against Pariah—all except a wounded Black Adam, who returned to Earth to warn everyone else about what was coming. Now the word’s gotten out, and everyone is figuring out their next move—both the heroes and the villains. The heroes mourn their losses, holding a memorial service, while Jon Kent starts to wonder what a Justice League led by him will look like. Meanwhile, Black Adam’s survival comes under suspicion, as several members of the surviving heroes start to wonder if he’s the sole survivor—or one of the culprits. It sets the stage nicely for what’s to come—the heroes aren’t just decimated, but divided.
And while the heroes are divided, the villains are rising. Ranging from low-level criminals, to cultists like Kobra, basically every force of evil has decided it’s game on. That includes Deathstroke, who makes his move on Titans Tower in a devastating attack that seems like it’s designed to be Williamson forever putting the kibosh on the idea that Slade Wilson could be anything but a monster. Given the history here, this is a total declaration of war that seems to leave blood on the floor—although this has a surprising number of references to the recent Teen Titans Academy book, almost too specific. I also wonder if it’s forgotten about one big detail—or if it’ll be the way a hero survives to fight another day.
Pariah doesn’t appear too much in this issue, but when he does it drops a major bomb into the story that likely sets up the rest of the narrative. Aside from that, this issue doesn’t quite feel like a Crisis yet—it’s much more character-driven than cosmic. Some of the best scenes are Jon trying to put together a new Justice League and usually striking out—with both Yara Flor and Jace Fox shooting him down, some more gently than others. After the explosive action in Justice League #75, this issue largely decides to let us sit in the loss for a bit. That works as effective setup for all the chaos to come.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.