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Justice League (2011) #8

Justice League, Volume 8: Darkseid War, Part 2

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In the aftermath of Darkseid’s death, the members of the Justice League have received immense power—the power of the Gods! Superman, Batman, Flash, Shazam, Green Lantern and Lex Luthor have been transformed, gifted the abilities of the New Gods. Even for superheroes, this near omnipotence is an unfathomable amount of power.

With her teammates’ humanity slipping away in the face of their newfound abilities, Wonder Woman must fight to save them all from destruction at the hands of the Anti-Monitor. To defend her world, she’ll have to seek help from the Justice League’s greatest enemies…the Crime Syndicate!

Comics superstars Geoff Johns, in his finale to his monumental run on the World’s Greatest Heroes—along with critically acclaimed illustrators Jason Fabok and Francis Manapul—presents the stunning conclusion to the superhero DC event of the year: JUSTICE LEAGUE VOL. 8: DARKSEID WAR PART 2. The darkness is here—are you ready?

Collects: Justice League #45-50 and Justice League: Darkseid War Special #1.

200 pages, Hardcover

First published September 27, 2016

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About the author

Geoff Johns

2,891 books2,218 followers
Geoff Johns originally hails from Detroit, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University, where he earned a degree in Media Arts and Film. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1990s in search of work within the film industry. Through perseverance, Geoff ended up as the assistant to Richard Donner, working on Conspiracy Theory and Lethal Weapon 4. During that time, he also began his comics career writing Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. and JSA (co-written with David S. Goyer) for DC Comics. He worked with Richard Donner for four years, leaving the company to pursue writing full-time.

His first comics assignments led to a critically acclaimed five-year run on the The Flash. Since then, he has quickly become one of the most popular and prolific comics writers today, working on such titles including a highly successful re-imagining of Green Lantern, Action Comics (co-written with Richard Donner), Teen Titans, Justice Society of America, Infinite Crisis and the experimental breakout hit series 52 for DC with Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid. Geoff received the Wizard Fan Award for Breakout Talent of 2002 and Writer of the Year for 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 as well as the CBG Writer of the Year 2003 thru 2005, 2007 and CBG Best Comic Book Series for JSA 2001 thru 2005. Geoff also developed BLADE: THE SERIES with David S. Goyer, as well as penned the acclaimed “Legion” episode of SMALLVILLE. He also served as staff writer for the fourth season of ROBOT CHICKEN.

Geoff recently became a New York Times Bestselling author with the graphic novel Superman: Brainiac with art by Gary Frank.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 177 reviews
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,128 reviews3,552 followers
September 8, 2016
And the title's run comes to an end.

I got this in its single comic book issues, but I chosen this TPB edition to be able of writing a better overall review. I’ll do “bonus” reviews of “Justice League” #51 & #52 since the run ends with those two issues not included in this TPB edition.

This TPB collects “Justice League” #45-50.

Creative Team:

Writer: Geoff Johns

Illustrator: Jason Fabok & Francis Manapul


I just don’t know what it will cost us… …but war always costs something.

People always think about the Justice League members as “gods among men” but…

…since different events during the first part of the Darkseid War…

…now several members of the team are indeed gods!

So, now it’s up to Wonder Woman, who is used to deal with real gods (from ancient mythologies), to keep in order this “new(er) gods”, keep them in focus, since the Darkseid War is far from being over.

The Anti-Monitor is still a threat to Earth, so the logical path is to ask about any weakness of the Anti-Monitor to the only people who met him before, however…

…they are the Crime Syndicate!!!

Or at least what remains of that team after the events of Forever Evil.

But contacting them isn’t easy, and even if the Justice League can pull it out…

…logic or not logic, how smart is really to deal with the Crime Syndicate?!!

Is it really worth the risk?

The unexpected new character that surged in the first part of the Darkseid War is with hidden plans, and nobody will be able to predict the outcome of that very dangerous agenda.

The Justice League won’t be never the same after this war…

…that honestly, I expected a way better finale.


Justice League #51 “First Impressions”

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Writer: Dan Abnett

Illustrator: Paul Peletier

Inker: Sandra Hope (she rocks as inker so I always mentioned her if she’s in a book)

This 51st issue in the run of Justice League has a wonderful cover with Robin right in the middle of the action with the Justice League around him, and since it’s a story set later of the first arc “Origin” (six months after that) (and like 5 years ago from the most current events in the title), the roster is Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman (that with Robin in this issue) we have…

…the Super Friends! (I can’t ask anything cooler than that!)

And also you have Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), The Flash (Barry Allen) and Cyborg (which is amusing having Robin (Dick Grayson) quite younger than Cyborg, since they were about kinda the same age, way back in the good ol’ 80s in the title of The New Teen Titans.

Batman takes Robin to the Justice League’s orbital headquarters to meet the Justice League, when a crisis (No, not that kind of DC’s Crisis! Just a regular Justice League’s emergency) surges and the team (along Robin) have to go to Metropolis to support Superman that he’s quite busy dealing with some kind of techno-harvested beasts. Soon enough Mammoth (from the Fearsome Five. Another wink to The New Teen Titans) appears causing havok, and also appears an alien from Colu. Three different kind of threats, but something must link them somehow, and Robin has an idea of how to proceed…

…that will uncover an aftermath effect due the Justice League’s debut battle against Darkseid (in the “Origin” storyline).

Justice League #52 “That which you Manifest is Before you.”
Rating: *** (3 stars)

Writer: Dan Jurgens

Illustrator: Tom Grummett

Lex Luthor is back to Earth, after the final events of the Darkseid War, but he’s not empty handed…

…he’s back with an Apokoliptian Battle Armor, his own Mother Box and…

…a Superman’s shield on the chest of the battle armor!!!

Luthor could easily stay in Apokolips ruling there, but he’s an Earth guy, so he’s back to home, back to Metropolis and he is being briefed by the Justice League about what happened with Superman while Lex was away.

Now it seems that Lex has an unique chance to become the new “Superman” of Metropolis. His intentions are as good as they seem to be, since he want to do it to make his sister (Lena Luthor, in a hospital’s bed, in a coma) proud of him…

…but he’s Lex Luthor, he can’t avoid his nature, he can’t stop of doing things in his way…

…so how good this gonna end?

Profile Image for Anne.
3,918 reviews69.3k followers
February 6, 2017
It had been a while since I managed to read the first half of Darksied War. So long, in fact, that I'd forgotten the plot and had to do a re-read before I could start this one. And I really enjoyed it! Lots of craziness, big explosions, and Gotcha moments galore!


Well, while I wasn't quite as impressed with this volume, it had enough BIG moments to make it fun. I'm not terribly overjoyed by the way everything wrapped up, but maybe that's because I thought some of the way it ended seemed sketchy?
The art was also different from volume 1 for a few issues. The new look was pretty, but not what I was expecting, and then I found it a bit jarring when it switched back to the old look. I wish they had just stayed with one artist/look. For a big event like this, it just makes everything seem to flow better visually.


I did love seeing the Crime Syndicate again. Prego Superwoman was so freaking creepy, and the paternity of the baby was a cool surprise!


But after the big Who's Your Daddy reveal, that storyline went off the rails a bit.

The whole thing wasn't explained very well, in my opinion.


In fact, the entire ending left me with a feeling of disappointment due to that sort of thing.
It was very: BANG! *mumble, mumble* POW! *mumble, mumble* KA-BLAMO! The end.
The important stuff (like Grail & Myrna's talk at the end) seemed ridiculously rushed. Especially considering it led to the end of the battle...ish. And there were several things like that. Things that (I thought) deserved more page time, but were squished into a few panels that didn't pack much of a punch.


Ok, one of the things I did like was all of the stuff with Jessica (aka Power Ring). I was lukewarm about her character before, but I really want to read more about her now.
Another couple of characters I want more of is Scott and Barda! Those two (in my opinion) really stole the show!


And, of course, Batman and the Mobius chair was a highlight, as well...


Just grading it on a Blockbuster Fun scale this is easily a 5 star read, but if you break the actual plot apart, you're going to come up with some issues. Still, I enjoyed it more than a lot of the angsty crap that's getting churned out these days.
Recommended for DC fans.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,884 reviews31.2k followers
February 19, 2019
Well, there is sort of an ending to this whole run in this issue. It must be my age, but it's frustrating that they sacrifice telling a narrative so the story makes sense so that they can tell a super-fast paced exciting story that doesn't stop. It's hard to connect to the characters and action because there is no time. For me it takes some of the fun out of it.

Still, there is enough of a bare story to at least be entertaining. There are resolutions to things and things unexplained. I thought the ending was a good enough ending. I thought this was supposed to be the end of this series and then they leave us in a cliff hanger. Really? I found out there is a little half volume after this, so I have to hunt that down.

This is Geoff Johns and I kind of expect more from him. I don't feel like he lets the reader down like DC tends to do. He knows his characters. But, I felt this was a little muddled. He is probably exhausted from writing most of the good stuff from this DC 52 run. Oh well, I hope it's better in the future.
Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,486 reviews12.8k followers
February 6, 2017
Darkseid’s dead, the Anti-Monitor has bestowed New Gods powers on the Justice League for no reason, and chaos follows - it’s the final part of The Darkseid War aka Zzz… FART… Huh?!…Zzz...

The Darkseid War Part 2 is such a garbled mess. What was the point? What were anybody’s motivations for anything? Was there a story? I didn’t see one. This whole book was basically the modern day superhero event template where you just keep throwing in characters Royal Rumble-style and hope that something interesting will happen - and it doesn’t.

Most of the Justice League now have new powers like Flash is the new Black Racer and Batman’s sat in the Mobius chair - for no reason! Grail wants to punish her absent father, Darkseid, but even though she knows he’s already dead she keeps trying…? Here’s what the book is: Justice League fights obscure powerful characters; Justice League fights themselves; Justice League fights the Anti-Monitor and his cohorts; Justice League fights the Crime Syndicate (yeah, those bozos are back); Justice League fights Grail and a superbaby. Maybe that sounds appealing to readers who think fighting in and of itself is a great story but not me.

Geoff Johns can’t write characters - or at least he seems to have forgotten how in this book. He doesn’t know how to make you care about any characters but he can dramatically introduce them well. And the only readers who’re gonna be excited about seeing whoever are established fans of the characters because Johns doesn’t give you a reason to like them.

It’s bad enough trying to keep track of everyone who’s joining the fight let alone understand why they’re fighting at all - I couldn’t tell you what any of the sides’ goals were! Nothing was accomplished and it wasn’t even remotely entertaining. Maybe fans of Jack Kirby’s DC work might enjoy the references; it might even work well as a colouring book if it were printed in black and white. Otherwise, this is boring drek from start to overlong finish.

While I think it’s a good thing Geoff Johns has largely left comics behind to oversee the DC movie universe (he’s coming back later this year to ruin Watchmen for everyone), we’ll likely only see a lighter tone to the movies going forward - they’ll probably remain as loud and dumb as they’ve been under Hack Snyder if Johns’ comics are any indicator.
Profile Image for Chad.
7,728 reviews868 followers
February 19, 2019
There's a reason why Geoff Johns is DC's preeminent writer. Combine that with some fantastic art from Jason Fabok and we have a winning story here. You can tell they were ending the new 52 after this story and Johns goes for broke and effs up all of the Justice League. Big changes are in store for everyone involved until Rebirth. I really liked the character of Grail and her mother. It was a great idea, especially since I don't think they handled the New Gods in the new 52 well at all, at least until now.
Profile Image for Khurram.
1,597 reviews6,645 followers
February 21, 2019
The Epic and Excellent, conclusion to the Darkseid War. Great art work, and epic story worthy of all the characters used in the comics. DC's big guns are all here. Everyone is used brilliantly, not only was I more than satisfied with the awesome story but it also left just the right amount of loose threads for the to build on their own books.

It all started in Forever evil with the name of the Anti-Monitor not the most fear provoking name in comics, but actions speak louder than words. This is the being that sent the Crime Syndicate running from their own dimension anyone with that kind of power is to be feared. Then in volume 1 of the Darkseid War he did the unthinkable and actually killed Darkseid. Using the thing that Darkseid himself converted the most the Anti-life equation. What does the now most powerful mass murdering being in the multiverse, do after killing his greatest rival? Destroy everything and everyone else of course. Now it is up to the Justice League & allies, the Crime Syndicate, and the forces of Apokolips with new but familiar leader to save the universe.

This is a great story, excellent artwork and even character development and of course lots of action. There are many reversals, betrayals, and power up and down grades. All in all one of the best comic conclusions since Forever Evil. The only thing I would have changed is I would have put the first issue of this series in the last issue so it flowed better with the Power of the Gods TPB just so it flowed better. However I loved both volumes of the Darkseid War, just way the one shots were released put a tiny dip in the story arc as a whole. One again a great volume and epic conclusion.
Profile Image for Subham.
2,560 reviews59 followers
October 20, 2021
This was an epic event!

It continues the saga and we follow the heroes of JL as they become god, the reformation of Mobius and the coming of the Crime Syndicate and their rebirth and whatever plans Grail has for Steve Trevor and her plans with the Anti-Life Equation and war on both sides and the fall of a dark god and the rise of one and the ultimate battle on all sides, good vs evil, startling revelations and big status quo changes and new legacies. AND THE ENDING JUST WOW!

This was an epic volume and has such great moments and I love the way Johns explores Grail and gives her a definite character arc and also expands on her birth and hints at a big WW connection and also the way he resolves it is awesome and I love every moment of it, the art is next level good and each page is like a poster unto itself. Its awesome and like one of the best DC stories ever! Also one of the best Wonder Woman stories ever! MUST MUST READ!
Profile Image for Tom Ewing.
Author 1 book58 followers
July 31, 2016
There is a scene near the end of Darkseid War where multiple characters use a newborn super-powered baby as a death ray, waving it around so it blasts people to ash with its laser eyes. Perhaps there are other writers than Geoff Johns who would think of this. I'm not sure any would ask us to take it seriously. Darkseid War, the payoff to fifty issues of scheming and pouting from Johns' Justice League cast, is a muddle of clenched jaws, splash pages, meaningless conflict and rotating super-powers. It's self-important to an extreme, an incoherent slugfest, ten issues of one-time icons shouting at one another about how high the stakes are. Nothing sticks. Even Johns' gifts for manipulation desert him - emotional throughlines, like Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, turn into false trails. Fittingly it all leads into DC Rebirth - this noisy, banal retread of better stories is a good tombstone for the New 52 era.
Profile Image for Shannon.
891 reviews225 followers
June 10, 2018
Darkseid is dead!

But it's DC so take that with a grain of salt and then some. ;)

The JLA deals with its godlike powers and the Crime Syndicate as well as a bigger problem.

Very good to great artwork; bold and brilliant.

Profile Image for Chris Lemmerman.
Author 7 books94 followers
September 18, 2016
[Read as single issues]

Geoff Johns really knows how to tell an event story. I don't think I've read a bad comic by the guy in all the years he's been writing DC comics, and the Darkseid War is a perfect end to his Justice League run.

This second half of the story begins with two issues beautifully illustrated by Francis Manapul which act as a bridge between the two major acts of the story; the Power of the Gods collection (which includes all the one-shots about the Justice League and their new god-like abilities) takes place between these two issues, if you're trying to fit everything in.

Then we get back to business for a few issues as the Justice League turn to their enemies for aid as the Anti-Monitor and Grail target them for death, and the only ones who can stop them are the Injustice League. The New Gods, Darkseid's Furies, and Steve Trevor are thrown into the mix too for good measure. It sounds hectic, but Johns always makes sure that everything makes sense, and if you're fans of these characters and what Johns has been doing with them, it's wonderful to behold.

Also collected (hopefully, since this review is out a week before the book actually hits the stands) is the Darkseid War special, which contains the origin of Grail, as well as the fruition of her current plot before she pops back up in the main series. Just goes to show how much story Geoff Johns had to tell, since it bled out into this issue as well as the main Justice League book.

I cannot heap enough praise on the artist for the rest of the Darkseid War, Jason Fabok, who is absolutely brilliant. He has a perfect sense of proportion, and his artwork always pops off the page. Brad Anderson's colours only enhance the work Fabok does, and I am so glad such a good artist got to draw such a event-scale storyline. He's definitely one to look out for in the future.

Geoff Johns brings his Justice League run to a triumphant close with the final half of the Darkseid War, perfectly pencilled, cleverly executed, and jaw-droppingly brilliant. Comic book storytelling at it's finest.
Profile Image for MiM Metwally.
452 reviews46 followers
May 14, 2023
An epic finale to an amazing tale, after finishing the whole 8 volumes, it is clear the amount of effort put in the design and production of this!
The story brings a conclusion to the Darkseid and Anti-monitor battle, yet the ending leaves the door open for more to be told on 2 fronts:
- Batman's revelation that the Joker is not a single person but actually 3!
- The rise of a new mysterious villain taking out Metron and Mobius, who is it?

Are these spinoffs going to take place in other volumes out of the JL, or is it a road that remains unexplored, this I would look out for while reading on in the DC universe and Geoff Jones' work.

My final point is that Batman within the JL is having a tough time keeping a solid role, being the only human in the team, his sitting on the Mobius chair has given him a dignified contribution as an advisor to the team, which is an upgrade to his presence as strategist in the previous volumes. My opinion? He's better off in his standalone comics being in his hunting grounds of Gotham, there he is able to shine in his natural element...

Will be reading the Trinity war next, to fill the space left out by the facecoff between the Justice League and the Crime Syndicate

Profile Image for James DeSantis.
Author 19 books1,125 followers
December 10, 2016
Well shit...this is the first really crappy volume of this series for me. I thought part 1 was bad but 2 is just a jumbled mess.

So got everyone being a god now. Cool huh? Nah, just boring as shit. Darkseid is dead! WHOA! Nah...not really that amazing. Oh still got this overpowered Darkseid child but fuck, that's boring as shit. The fights are rushed, lacked impact, everything gets fixed up in 10 minutes and you're left with a "That's it? What the fuck?"

So overall a really sour taste for this long running series. I wish this series stayed "great' THANKS JOHN! THANKS!

I still <3 you.

But fuck this volume.
Profile Image for Dr Rashmit Mishra.
706 reviews92 followers
June 8, 2016
What an absolute pile of shit

guess it's an apt end to the horrendous new 52 run of Justice league .

I mean what the hell happened in this ? Batman spend the whole saga literally sitting on his ass. Superman spent his time fighting his fellow JL member , Wonder woman kept on narrating , Flash was just STANDING* , Green Lantern and others were just There I guess the 3 stars are simply for the superb art and the few stunning revelation , but make no mistake this was a piece of garbage

* Yep the fastest man on the comic-verse standing still on his spot
Profile Image for John Yelverton.
4,228 reviews36 followers
November 5, 2016
Oh, this book series started off so well, and then it nose dived into a heart breaking, death dealing, universe changing and moderately blasphemous quagmire that pretty much does nothing but shackle the "Rebirth" with baggage worthy of an albatross. Oh, I am so glad the "New 52" is dead.
October 23, 2017
This is by far the darkest Justice League book I've read at this point. Darkseid is bad enough, but if he had offspring with a disgraced Amazon, you can imagine how bad that would turn out. Everyone of the JL has serious issues, and there are some fatalities. So much happens, and it's been a while since I read this, so I'm going by my memory. It was very good, lots of action, very dark as I said earlier. I really like how the Crime Syndicate from Earth One shows up. They are so deliciously twisted.

I think Geoff Johns is a good writer. He draws you into the story and his writing melds well with the art. Sometimes I get lost trying to interpret what the panels are doing in some books. I didn't feel that way with this one, even with all the drama that's going on.

A lot of big surprises in this one, and some really great cameos. Unlikely heroes show up, and the big dependable heroes seem humbled in this. I would recommend it, despite the fact that it's very chaotic in some ways.
Profile Image for Quentin Wallace.
Author 33 books155 followers
July 2, 2017
The big wrap up of the Darkseid War was a good read with great art, but got a little complicated and also left us with some questions.

The story put some things back in the status quo but also shook things up at the same time.

I'm not sure how much of the storyline threads will be followed up on because of Rebirth, but this was quite an ending to the Justice League New 52 series.
Profile Image for Dan.
2,108 reviews44 followers
March 16, 2017
Really enjoyed Part 1 and even the start of this was good. But the ending was extremely ridiculous.
Profile Image for Dimitris Papastergiou.
1,817 reviews55 followers
February 21, 2018
Ah.. it's over!

Don't read if you haven't read it. This is NOT a review. This is me ranting about this bullshit.

Lots of shit happening.

JLA / Crime Syndicate / Darkseid / Anti-Monitor / Darkseid's daughter / Darkseid's daughter mother.

As I said... Lots. of. shit.

Here's the thing... I'm trying to remember a DC event I've read in my whole life that made complete sense & it wasn't like everything and everyone was crammed up inside a storyline. And I can't.

Anyway, I was willing to play the Forgive & Forget card on the shit they pulled with someone dying here.
Seriously, from the moment it starts (since Part 1, previous volume) Wonder Woman especially and some others too, are all like "Someone is going to die here", "this is the end, but at what cost? A Life", "Black Racer is here, and for him to be gone, he needs to take a life", "Anti-Monitor is more than a God, we're going to die".. anyway... And then. Lots of shit happen. Someone dies. More than one. Lots of bad guys die too. Characters we just got introduced and characters nobody gives a flying fuck about die too.

BUT GUESS WHAT TRUE BELIEVERS? And spoiler alert below if you haven't been reading comics at all in your life:

NO ONE FUCKING DIES. YES. Everyone comes back just fine. The good character that you thought was dead? No no no. It was actually the EVIL entity inside the good character that died and the GOOD character is all alive and well YAY?! Even the bad guys are back ^_^ YAY!


And the character that was newly introduced in this brand new event? And it was Evil as fuck? and did all those things? Oh no. That character is BACK too. Fuck you again!

"FUCK your intelligence fanboys & fangirls. Fuck everything and every sense in your brain" - DC

Anyway... I was willing to forgive as I said, lots of comebacks, if they weren't crying about someone dying for real aaaaall the fuuuuuucking tiiiiiime.

Had its good moments. Sure, I liked the stuff with Batman and at the end, that was super interesting. I liked also the Superman stuff sometimes. WW was too much to take.. with her nonstop narrative like we didn't know what was happening and she had to tell us every single time every 2 issues or so. That, I didn't like much.

Also, unrealistic as fuck as well. But hey, COMICS!

No? Fuck off thank you? You will NOT have a fucking pregnant woman all dressed up in tights and have her screaming that she's going to give birth in any second IN HER CLOTHES and the next panel is her holding the baby all fine and shit.

There was literally a panel of a woman (I won't say who don't worry) with her legs spread like she was giving birth, but IN HER FUCKING CLOTHES. And a dude holding a fucking blanket NEXT TO HER. Like, what? Are you on fucking drugs over there? You mean to tell me that you're going to justify a billion shit to make them real with scientific nonsense and 9 times out of 10 keep shit realistic and use everyday excuses on shit for the script but when it comes to giving birth you're going to be like "It's comics".. "yeah she's going to give birth in clothes, all dressed up"... "yeah put him next to her with a blankets like she's going to shoot the baby from inside her pants".. "pufff puff pass bitch"..

Fuck you. One less star again.

Insulting the fuck out of your fans.

And if me, the stupid one, is willing to overlook all a that shit. And say hey, it's a comic. let them do whatever the fuck they wanna do... then it's a story about someone who was born and wants to kill her father, so she travels the multiverse to find someone powerful enough to kill him, finds him, then he's dead, but then for some reason that again we don't understand why, she wants to kill JLA, oh wait we DO understand, because she is EVIL. Yeap. THat's the answer kids :D she wants to kill everyone cuz she is EVIL. She even says so "I want to kill them because that's that I'm supposed to do because I'm evil."

Fuck outta here. Fucking 5-year-old-could-write-this fucking script for a fucking joke. Fuck.


2 stars.

It was shitty as FUCK. With glimpses of nice moments here and there, that will NEVER satisfy the bullshit our eyes had to go through to get the good moments.

Anyway, rant's over.

Don't read this. Unless you're a super fan of JLA and you really need to.

Profile Image for Brian Poole.
Author 2 books41 followers
October 4, 2016
Justice League: The Darkseid War Part 2 wraps one of DC’s more successful New 52 runs, while setting several characters up for the “Rebirth” era.

The action picks up from the events of Part 1, where, manipulated by Grail (daughter of Darkseid and a renegade Amazon), the Anti-Monitor killed Darkseid. In the upheaval that follows, several League members are imbued with godlike powers. The Anti-Monitor remains an extinction-level threat and the devious Grail comes into possession of the devastating Anti-Life Equation. The threat forces the League to ally with the Crime Syndicate to stop the Anti-Monitor, while Grail complicates matters even more. Mister Miracle, the forces of Apokolips, Steve Trevor and the Green Lantern Corps all factor into a massive final battle that wraps the saga while setting up numerous major stories for the future.

Writer Geoff Johns sticks the landing with The Darkseid War Part 2, continuing the winning streak that Justice League has enjoyed in its post-Forever Evil phase. Johns manages an excellent balance of large-scale cosmic action with thoughtful character explorations. Johns is juggling a lot here, but brings it all together very effectively. He crafts new status quos for several characters, devises an intriguing new history for the Anti-Monitor and develops Grail into a credible threat. Along the way, he choreographs some first rate action sequences, packs in plenty of twists and surprises and keeps a sense of vital energy flowing consistently.

Johns has a good feel for his cast and plays them off one another in canny fashion. He zeroes in on Wonder Woman as the plot’s focal point, a smart decision that pays off in all sorts of ways. Johns really nails the right balance in the “philosopher warrior” concept and positions Diana as the heart of the team. The Batman/Green Lantern dynamic is well used throughout and Johns finds creative ways to spotlight Superman, Jessica Cruz, Lex Luthor, Flash, Steve Trevor and Mister Miracle. For as crowded a story as Darkseid War can be, characters never feel short-changed. Even if playing small roles, each cast member matters and enhances the story.

Johns clearly had Rebirth on his mind as he built to the finale. The climax is a crucial springboard into that new era, with plot threads that have already spread across the DC line with major impact.

Artist Jason Fabok cements his place on the A-list with this arc. Working with colorist Brad Anderson, Fabok produces some absolutely stunning visuals. His design sense is strong, with character concepts and page layouts that are sharp and innovative. Fabok and Anderson nail the big screen ethos of the story, producing stunning images, including absolutely beautiful one- and two-page spreads packed with detail, energy and dynamics. But they’re just as effective with the quieter moments, infusing tension and drama into even the simplest scenes. Francis Manapul steps in on a couple of issues at the beginning of the arc and his soft focus, impressionistic style is an interesting and effective contrast to Fabok’s bolder line work. The Manapul chapters have a dreamy quality that constitute an appealing interlude before Fabok and Anderson unleashes their high impact visual pyrotechnics for the finale. Overall, it’s a masterful visual presentation.

Given how uneven the first two years of Justice League were in the New 52, the stunning course correction in the second half of the run is downright amazing. The creative team brings this era of Justice League to a strong crescendo, providing a satisfying conclusion that sets up the next phase of the franchise very effectively.
Profile Image for Alan.
1,826 reviews12 followers
July 5, 2016
If anything too many writers have tried to take on Jack Kirby's Fourth World creations, and frankly I think most of them have failed (please note I have yet to read Brian Azzarello's Wonder Woman work with Orion etc. where from what I have read he did a good job). Geoff Johns' strength though is working with pre-existing properties, whereas he seems to struggle with creating original characters. Johns did excellent work on The Flash where he made minor characters interesting.

Johns does add some new creations to the mix here, but for the most part this is a big knock down action sequence, a story where both sides are going for the knock out. Yep, I'm using cliches here, but this did remind me in some ways of the old fashioned Hollywood action epics of the 1980s.

It turns out once upon a time the Amazons had an assassin, and she had Darkseid's daughter. Afters thousands of years of manipulation, a war is set in motion with the goal being Darkseid's death.

This is in many ways Wonder Woman's story as she does a good deal of the narration. There is some setup here for the current DC reboot, but that is easily ignored. Good use of the Anti-Monitor, Mister Miracle, Big Barda and Kalibak.

As a note, for those who read this as singles, they read fine on a tablet with a good display (which is how I read this-just doing the review in TPBs which is easier for me).
Profile Image for Vinay Badri.
684 reviews38 followers
May 28, 2016
This was very uneven but as much big action cinematic fun as one can get. Johns signs off in style as the DC Universe preps itself for something big, Rebirth. The action is non-stop and the developments are earth shaking even as the DC Universe is set to be rebooted.

Johns has never been shy of putting the DC trinity through some paradigm shifting events and he does more than justify why. Each of the 3 has moments that causes them to question whats happening and it helps that for once, we have a different point of view. Wonder Woman acts as the narrator and the audience's eye for the action that unfolds and comes out looking stronger.

In typical Johns style, he has never been shy of wanting Batman to take up the green lantern ring and yet again foists the ring on Batman. Similarly, he makes Lex Luthor into something more than what he was before.

Fabok's artwork is stunning and the characters leap off the page, marking yet another successful creator-artist combo for Johns. (Boy, is he lucky or what in that regards)

What will be interesting is to see how this leads into Rebirth and the repercussions for DC Universe post the events of the Darkseid War
Profile Image for Fraser Sherman.
Author 10 books29 followers
November 5, 2017
Geoff Johns does not get Jack Kirby's New Gods at all (though I don't think anyone else working on the New 52 does either). And he doesn't get the Anti-Monitor either.
In Kirby's original "Fourth World" stories, the struggle was between life (freedom and choice) and anti-life (slavery and blind obedience). Here the anti-life equation is primarily some kind of death force that wants to literally eradicate life, making it much less interesting. In fact just about everything in this book is uninteresting. And I seriously doubt the big reveals (the Joker is three people! Wonder Woman has a twin brother!) will pay off in anything good. Nor is Grail that interesting, which is unfortunate as she's a major player here (DC apparently considers her the Next Big Thing as she gets a lot of space in Wonder Woman recently too).
Profile Image for Norman.
388 reviews16 followers
June 21, 2016
Well that's that I suppose. Ridiculous nonsense monologues, anticlimactic deaths, strange transitions between pages and even panels, overpowered everybody, teasers for future storylines.... I suppose it's a fun read if you're into action that goes nowhere. Giving it three stars for Batman's Joker bit at the end and Wonder Woman's reveal at the end. Everything else seemed underdeveloped like a million storylines had to be squashed in for some stupid reason. I don't even understand Lex Luthor's whole thing -- why are they giving him such a big role? I mean we get it, he's an asshole. I don't know maybe I'm just lost.
Profile Image for Eric.
1,311 reviews6 followers
June 13, 2017
Like most superhero events lately, this feels bloated. I don't think Geoff Johns handles Darkseid well, the character never feels threatening or authoritative. Calling this a war is a mistake as well, since it's just one battle that happens for a few issues. So, the combination of part 1 and 2 equal three stars but DC has done better.
In fact, I kept thinking of how much better Darkseid was represented in the old Superman and Justice League cartoons.
Profile Image for Robert Wright.
218 reviews34 followers
February 25, 2017
It was OK. Can't remeber much about it. Batman was a god, then he wasn't? Darkseid is dead? Something something Amazons?

DC needs to: 1) get out of constant, sequential event mode; 2) make these easier to follow in collections.

It was an improvement over volume 1.

Thank god DC seems to be back on track with Rebirth.
Profile Image for Dan.
228 reviews71 followers
March 1, 2019
I can't exactly call this overstuffed mess good, but Geoff Johns crams it with so much insanity that it somehow manages to entertain, in spite of itself. Once again, DC majorly screws up Kirby's Fourth World, and, despite being published three years ago, this volume teases the "Three Jokers" storyline...which still has not been addressed.
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