Over in the main Justice League series, something has happened that caused the New Gods, both good and evil, to depart the mortal plane with one noteworthy exception: Darkseid. He’s been up to something in the mysterious Ghost Sector, but a handful of Justice League members are there to possibly stop him.
While the first volume of this series didn’t impress me much, maybe the second, subtitled Death of the Dark, will be a better read.
There’s actually a good chance for that. Original series writer Joshua Williamson may have set everything up with Cyborg, Starfire, and Azrael each drawn to the Ghost Sector for reasons they do not understand, plus Green Lantern Jessica Cruz along for the ride, but this volume’s writing duties fell to Dan Abnett. Abnett, while working with partner Andy Lanning, proved capable of doing fairly long form cosmic storytelling on various books in the past. Since then, Abnett has struck out on his own and seems to still have that gift. That might be a step up for the series.
And, truth be told, it is. This volume, while not a must-read, works much better. Darkseid has a plan that he shares with the heroes, claiming he is not lying. Granted, no one really trusts him, but he has an offer that may be too good to be true. The Doom that may be consuming the rest of the multiverse, as seen in the aforementioned Justice League, may be something he can keep out of the Ghost Sector, allowing at least that relatively small portion of the multiverse to continue to exist after Doom sweeps through and takes everything else out. To that end, we do see some changes in some of our heroes. Starfire’s starbolts are now a hell of a lot stronger than they ever used to be. Azrael, a non-powered vigilante from Gotham, now has some kind of vocal powers that can command and compel anyone who hears it, especially his own fanatical followers in the Ghost Sector. That gives Vic and Jessica cause for concern.
But Cyborg is also there because of Darkseid. Jessica may need to take all three of the others out if things get bad enough. Whatever brought the other three to the Ghost Sector only brought her along inadvertently. But Jessica has her own problems: she has no way to charge her ring, and every time she uses it, she gets closer to having no power of her own.
Of course, the heroes have a plan of their own to somehow out-scheme Darkseid. Considering how good Darkseid is at scheming in general, that seems like a pretty tall order.
So, this was a step up, and the end to the volume left things on a hell of a cliffhanger. Abnett is a little overly fond of dialogue boxes here giving what at times felt like too much exposition, but the end result is a story that feels like it’s going somewhere, and that could mean something potentially awesome. I’ll try volume 3 when the time comes and see if that trend continues.
8 out of 10 familiar-looking refuges.