Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1 takes readers back to Earth after the fall of the Justice League and shows what the world looks like without its iconic heroes. With five distinct stories, told by five different creative teams, Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1 features heroes who must come to terms with the deaths of their mentors while villains seek to take advantage of a world without Justice League.
This new installment of DC’s next event is told in five different stories. Bringing together Jon Kent’s Nightwing and Superman in ‘Team-Up’, written by Joshua Williamson with art by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund and color by HI-FI. Williamson writes Dick Grayson as a character who is no stranger to heartbreak, and when it comes to Batman, Dick tells himself he’s never gone forever. Jeremy Adams, Rosi Kämpe and Matt Herms tell the story “Life of Purpose,” which shows how Wally West struggles with the unknown whereabouts of fellow Flash member Barry Allen and reminds those around him of the importance of be a hero.
“Survivors,” written by Chuck Brown with art by Fico Ossio and Sebastian Cheng, brings together Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, and Jackson Hyde, also known as Aquaman, as they battle an ever-changing enemy. Both Hal and Jackson must learn how to defeat this new enemy together while learning from each other about what happened to the Justice League. Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Leila Del Duca and Jordie Bellaire tell the story of “The Pariah”. The story explores how Kell Mossa, the titular outcast, is tormented by his past mistakes. But being the only person who can save the multiverse helps him put his past into perspective. Finally, “Because the Night,” written by Stephanie Phillips with art by Clayton Henry and Marcelo Maiolo, establishes a constant cycle of good and evil in the world.
All the stories of Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1 approach the loss of the Justice League in different ways. Each character deals with these deaths differently. In “Team-Up”, Williamson explores the stories Dick uses to help calm Jon down and to reassure him that death is often temporary in the DC Universe. In “Life of Purpose”, Wally realizes that just because Barry is lost doesn’t mean he can’t rely on him for strength and inspiration even when he’s not around. Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1 delves into the hearts of these heroes and doesn’t stop even when it feels like all is lost.
With five different creative teams behind each story, Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1 creates a beautifully tragic setting in each tale. Each art style demonstrates how different yet similar each story is. All five pieces make extensive use of color. Jurgens, Rapmund and HI-FI all work to capture the courage and uncertainty in Dick and Jon’s faces with the use of bold colors and intense shadows in “Team-Up”. Later, Sebastian Cheng’s colors burst with light in the farthest reaches of space and are imbued with the darkness of the depths in “Survivors.” Each story fits together visually to keep the reader’s attention. And Josh Reed’s lettering helps the stories flow together.
Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1 features many artistic and narrative styles. Each creative team conquers the task of putting together the pieces of a broken world. The multiple perspectives of a grieving Earth help paint a holistic picture of the DC Universe as it heads into the Dark Crisis. Although each story in this anthology is told by a different team, each teaches a lesson about how the surviving heroes must come together in a world without Justice League.
REVIEW: DC’s Batman: Beyond the White Knight #3