Comic Review: The Darkseid War

I had to quit comics for a period not long after the New 52 started, and that was something that bothered me a little because there were a few New 52 books I really liked, but I couldn’t justify the expense anymore.

For what it is worth, Geoff Johns’ Justice League was NOT one of the books I regretted dropping, and it wasn’t due to any sort of distaste for Johns’ writing, something I have enjoyed in other places in the past.  The book just wasn’t doing anything for me.

At any rate, one of the complaints made about that series was it often just seemed to set up one big crossover style storyline after another.  Well, what may be the last of those stories was the eleven part The Darkseid War.

So, what was the Darkseid War anyway?  Well, it had Darkseid, obviously, but his opponent for this one wasn’t his old foe Highfather.  Nope, it was the Anti-Monitor.  Why him?  Well, the Anti-Monitor got it into his head he could have certain powers related to his origins removed if he somehow took out Darkseid, and Darkseid was out to bring down a daughter named Grail he had by an Amazon assassin.  And then, into that comes the Justice League, a group that looks something like the Big Seven team that started the New 52 but also now includes Lex Luthor (and one or two others but most notably Lex Luthor).  A one page summary recounts what came before, but about all I can say is the whole story has an “everyone and the kitchen sink” approach as beyond the League, Darkseid and his forces, the Anti-Monitor and his forces, and Grail and her mother, there’s still the Crime Syndicate, the Green Lantern Corps, and Mr. Miracle, the origins of the Anti-Monitor, and a number of Justice League members becoming “gods”.

And…it didn’t really do anything for me.

The problem here, for me, is despite the Anti-Monitor presumably attempting to destroy reality again and even a noteworthy death here and there, there’s never any feeling of danger for the League.  Even though the different heroes are all supposedly outclassed, I never worried about any of them and my lack of fear was more or less justified.  The artwork, though nice, was largely generic, the “godhood” for a couple of the characters didn’t quite feel like godhood to me, and Johns had a two-page splash page where the heroes charge in with a brave single line meant to show maybe what the true meaning of the story was, but I saw the same thing when I read Johns’ Blackest Night and it didn’t work for me then either.  The world never felt truly imperiled, the villains that scary, or the revelations that earth-shattering.  It just wasn’t special.

Heck, the book ended like many big crossovers do:  with plot threads for the future, and DC Rebirth started not too long after this one ended, so it does look as if many of these story ideas were mostly just dropped and forgotten about.  Heck, the last two pages just seem to set up Doomsday Clock, so Johns was just using yet another big story to set up a different one.  I’d say pass on this one.  It’s a solid “meh”.  5 out of 10 moments of Lex Luthor somehow being arrogant and heroic at the same time.

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