Ricky Church reviews Justice League #45…
The critically acclaimed “Darkseid War” continues as the second wave of war begins with “Darkseid War: Gods and Men”! Writer Geoff Johns is joined by superstar artist Francis Manapul for this special issue featuring the all-new, all-powerful Justice League! In the aftermath of the cataclysmic events of JUSTICE LEAGUE #44, members of the League have gained great power —the power of Gods!— but at a great price. And that price may be their destruction, unless Wonder Woman and Mister Miracle can help the League escape the curse of the New Gods and hold on to their humanity.
After the shocking conclusion of the last issue, Justice League #45 slowed things down to take in the gravity of the situation. However, there wasn’t too much story progression as the issue spent more time shuffling the deck and set-up the second act of ‘The Darkseid War’.
The Justice League took their time to recognize how drastic things had changed as several of them infused more god-like powers. It helped answer some of the questions of what exactly Batman and Superman had become even as Flash, Lex Luthor and Shazam were changed as well. Some of the scenes showing their adjustments were interesting, but others, as in Shazam’s case, felt too rushed. One of the shining points of the issue was the emphasis on Lex Luthor, especially considering how sidelined he’s been since he and Superman became stranded on Apokolips. However, the trade off for this was a decreased focus on other League members, primarily Wonder Woman. After so many issues with a great characterization from her, she was missed in this issue.
Jason Fabok has taken a break from art duties in this issue, coming back to the title in December. In the meantime Francis Manapul has taken over art duties for this issue and #46. The change in art styles might be jarring for some, but Manapul’s art is great to look at all the same. Brian Buccellato’s colouring is similarly jarring and doesn’t quite pop as much in some scenes as others. There are some panels that are a bit confusing to look at as well. Their combined art is still good overall, but makes for a somewhat disjointed reading experience when reading the issues back-to-back due to the very different art styles.
Justice League #45 is a nice breather from the previous action heavy issues and a nice set-up for the next phase of ‘The Darkseid War’. Its too bad though some of the story felt rushed or sacrificed for other parts and the art was such a drastic shift from the previous issues. Still, Geoff Johns continues to sell ‘The Darkseid War’ as a worthy and interesting conflict for the Justice League to face.