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Justice League: Darkseid War

Justice League: The Darkseid War Saga Omnibus

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Collected for the first time in its entirety, experience the epic conclusion to Geoff Johns' five-year run on JUSTICE LEAGUE with JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE DARKSEID WAR SAGA OMNIBUS!
The Justice League came together to stop the forces of Darkseid from destroying Earth five years ago. Now the ruler of Apokolips returns, but sets his sights on the world-shattering Anti-Monitor. Will the combined might of the Justice League be enough to protect the Earth from the collateral damage as Gods fight? The NEW YORK TIMES best-selling series from Geoff Johns comes to its explosive conclusion here in this massive hardcover!
Featuring art from comics industry all-stars including Jason Fabok, Francis Manapul and more--collects JUSTICE LEAGUE: SNEAK PEEK #1, JUSTICE LEAGUE #40-50, JUSTICE LEAGUE: DARKSEID WAR SPECIAL #1, JUSTICE LEAGUE: DARKSEID WAR one shots (Starring Superman, Lex Luthor, Flash, Shazam, Batman and Green Lantern).

512 pages, Hardcover

Published October 17, 2017

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About the author

Geoff Johns

2,886 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 72 reviews
Profile Image for Chad.
7,714 reviews867 followers
November 9, 2018
This has the epic feel of one of DC's big event books. It's actually surprising to me this wasn't. It references all the previous Crisis events. I like how Metron still had knowledge of the previous reboots of DC. Ultimately, this is Darkseid vs the Anti-Monitor with the Justice League dealing with the fallout. I liked the addition to the Amazon's history and the repercussions are just now being felt in James Robinson's Wonder Woman stories. I also liked how the Anti-Monitor was tied into the Mobius chair. This does not contain all of the Darkseid War stories. There were also a series of Power of the Gods one-shots that take place midway through the story. They are collected in Justice League: Darkseid War - Power of the Gods but are not essential to the story.

Received a review copy from DC and NetGalley. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.
Profile Image for Richard.
984 reviews359 followers
April 6, 2019
"The Kryptonian believes hope exists for everyone. But he will see there is no hope on Apokolips.

There is only Darkseid."
Geoff Johns closes out his Justice League run with this bombastic epic event. The first half of his run was a little inconsistent but he found a major stride starting with Forever Evil. This book concludes all the ideas started in that miniseries when the being that threatened the Crime Syndicate's Earth finally comes to our reality. Earth becomes the battleground for a war between two all-powerful gods: the returned Anti-Monitor and Darkseid of the planet Apokolips; a war that's the result of manipulations by a rogue Amazon and her vengeful daughter.

I loved the depictions of the Fourth World characters here and I loved how Johns linked the mythology of the New Gods and the Amazons. It just seems right. And Mister Miracle was one of my favorite characters in the book. It's filled with big fight sequences involving all of DC's biggest names, thoughtful writing and stellar art by Jason Fabok (who I would argue draws the best-looking Wonder Woman!).

It tackles some pretty cool concepts like the various ways that power can affect those who wield it. Events that happen here will have effects that will linger far into the DC Rebirth era (especially with Superman and Wonder Woman). It does get pretty messy at times though, which seems par for the course with big comic book events.

This omnibus collects the two volumes of Justice League that comprise the event as well as the collection of one-shots that feature each League character dealing with the responsibility of god-like powers:
Profile Image for Relstuart.
1,161 reviews101 followers
November 1, 2017
Solid event book with good art and build up. The art does change a couple times but for the most part it's not jarring.

Interesting to see Batman taking on a galactic type role and watching him deal with having the ability to see all the past and present. How does Hal Jordan deal with having the opportunity to have greater power than ever before and how does his response differ from Batman's response? These issues are dealt with though there could have been some greater depth but this story had to keep the focus broad enough to capture all the characters.

This could have been an Absolute. Interesting move on DC's part to keep this in omnibus format which saves the consumer some money.
Profile Image for Anthony.
781 reviews57 followers
January 4, 2018
Man, I loved this.

The art is great and Johns writes a really good superhero story.

It's the culmination of his Justice League run (so I would say you'd have to read most of his JL run to enjoy it fully) and he doesn't hold back.

Most of the team turn into Gods, each one fitting of their character. There's New Gods in here and a showdown between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor.

What I also enjoyed is that the main POV character is Wonder Woman, which is cool cause we get caption boxes of her reactions to the league becoming Gods.

But the art in this is what stood out to me the most. Jason Fabok is going to go down as one of the best.
Profile Image for Pop Bop.
2,475 reviews101 followers
August 24, 2018
Come On In; The Water's Fine

The best way to describe the reading experience here is to have you think about sitting cross legged on the floor staring at the door of a front loading washing machine. Everything in the window is just tumbling around. There's the arm of a shirt; there are your Superman briefs; there's a peek of your Green Lantern t-shirt. It's all jumbled and colorful and a little sudsy but full of action and color and parts of things you recognize. Well, that's this book.

As I understand it the goal of the D.C. Essentials initiative is to publish stand alone books that allow for easy entry points for newbies, (or lapsed oldies) to rejoin the DC Universe. You don't necessarily need to know the details of what has happened over the last few years, and you need only a general knowledge of who's who. To be fair, the plotting is so over the top and random that even having a detailed knowledge of the past probably wouldn't help you much. It might even hold you back, or annoy you if you've been a diligent fan. So, I just sort of jumped in and hoped for the best.

The big story, (this is the entire Darkseid War with all issues and a load of one-shots), is that two godlike villains are battling it out on Earth and the Justice League is caught in the middle. You can follow it pretty well because every now and then the Justice Leaguers pause to explain things to each other. There is a lot of folderol about past realities having been reformed and the present reality being at risk, but I take that as a way to just skip over continuity and plausibility problems. The most fun here is in some of the minor storylines and one-shot walkabouts. For example, for no especially good reason Superman and Lex Luthor are transported to Apokolips and have to find their way back. That's fun. And Batman gets to sit in the Mobius Chair, and he totally gets into it and creeps out. That part is awesome. And how neat is it that the best heroines - Wonder Woman, Myrina Black, Grail - are all Amazons from Themyscira?

So, if you're willing to follow a slam bang head-scratching rumble-in-the-jungle actioner with scattered bonus fun story and scene mini-bits, and if you'd like to just get reacquainted with the DC characters, this could be a nice choice.

(Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
Profile Image for Your_Average_Magical_Girls_Fan.
262 reviews12 followers
May 9, 2020
I read the single issues when they were available, and this SUUUUUUUUUUUCKED. It's just your tipical superhero punch-punch-punch-punch-punch-punch farce with plastic art akin to 52 or any other Geoff Johns blockbuster fare. Avoid.
Profile Image for Met.
440 reviews19 followers
February 22, 2021
Epico. È esattamente quello che cerco da un fumetto di supereroi. Le botte ci sono, le splash page pure, i disegni eccezionali, gli eroi messi a dura prova.
Ancora più apprezzabile se letto alla fine della run di Johns, ma comunque godibilissimo anche da solo. Super.
Profile Image for Lashaan Balasingam.
1,361 reviews4,619 followers
December 24, 2019

You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

There is a myriad of questions that baffle us throughout our lives on humankind and its inherent nature for good or evil. Are we born good? Are we born bad? Are we capable of change? The concept of heroism has often led us to acknowledge the existence of beings who embody vertu with an immutable resolution. These heroes bring us to see them as stellar examples of what everyone should strive for, what we should all be capable of deep down. Despite these symbols, evil also has a face and allows many to see what vice in humankind is like through an individual. However, change is what allows us to believe—to have hope in ourselves and in those around us—that in defiance of acts of evil, there is a possibility for good. To bring his five-year run on the New 52’s Justice League comic book run, legendary writer Geoff John brings forth an explosive and godly saga that questions not only the good and evil in humans but in gods as well.

What is Justice League: The Darkseid War Saga about? The Justice League first formed to stop Darkseid and his Parademon and thus became Earth’s greatest heroes, ready to stop any threat from destroying their planet. Following their encounter with the Crime Syndicate, a far more dangerous evil was teased to be on the horizon and it will not stop until it sees everything turned to dust by its own hands. It calls itself the Anti-Monitor and it is a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the Justice League have much more to worry about than this foul creature as a mysterious being sets loose their master plan to bring Darkseid to Earth and confront the Anti-Monitor right on Earth. This is where the Earth’s greatest heroes must find a way to stop this deadly confrontation between two destroyers of worlds before their own universe is erased from existence. To do so, they must learn the history of these beings and find the answer in the essence of the New Gods.

This beautiful hardcover omnibus edition collects Justice League #40-50, Justice League: Darkseid Special #1, Divergence #1 and all six Darkseid War one-shot tie-in issues to complete the epic saga that marks the end of the New 52 Justice League run. It also includes a stunning variant cover gallery of single issues as well as a sketchbook by various artists including Jason Fabok.

This is a terrifyingly stunning cosmic event that redefines the word “epic” with its unimaginable beauty and multi-layered mystery. Writer Geoff Johns is in charge of galactic wonder that intertwines multiple characters, settings, and history to deliver an action-packed saga that continuously sweeps you off your feet and transports you to uncharted territories where man and gods tangle in the same battlefield. This is how you handle deities while conserving the fundamental traits of heroes and villains to tell a story where the past is history and only the present can determine if there will ever be a future for humankind. Although there are significant plot holes that are difficult to overlook, the central story arc is full of unpredictable plot twists that marks this achievement as a thrilling and authentic contribution to the Justice League lore. The individual repercussions of the events are also intelligently tackled throughout the story for each of our heroes, whether it is superficially through the main series or in-depth through the tie-in issues, which by the bye allow for a pause in the main story arc to explore the changes in the characters who play a key role in the narrative.

Although there are many incredibly ambitious ideas that are attempted throughout this saga, writer Geoff Johns doesn’t hesitate to give this story the necessary flamboyance to propel the narrative in the direction he wishes. From Lex Luthor pursuing his own form of heroism no matter what form takes his means to playing with the genealogy of certain characters, it is necessary to take a step back and recognize the incredible talent of artist Jason Fabok who draws most of this saga and gives it the iconic and grandiose scale that goes hand in hand with the Justice League franchise. His character designs are infallible and assure to convey the godly attributes of every character at play. Together with the rest of the creative team—artists, colourists, and letterers—they breathe life into this epic saga and assures a formidable final product. Despite the sudden, unfortunate, and momentary shift in the artwork that gives the reigns to artist Francis Manapul for an issue out of ten—which isn’t bad per se—as well as some less-than-stellar artwork for the spin-off issues, this saga delivers some of the most top-tier artistic renditions over at DC Comics, especially to close out the New 52 era of the Justice League.

Justice League: The Darkseid War Saga is an exquisite, monumental, and epic cosmic event pitting deities against themselves in a war for world annihilation.

Yours truly,

Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer
Official blog: https://bookidote.com/
Profile Image for Nicko.
93 reviews
July 23, 2022
*2.5 stars*

Chapter One - God vs. Man
* So much going on in this first chapter. It’s not that it was bad but quite convoluted. I also might blame it on the fact that I’m not super familiar with DC lore but there was a lot going on. What was new to me were new players like Darkseid’s lackies, Kanto and Lashina. But you have a lot of moving gears at play — essentially, it’s the League, Superman/Lex/Lena, Mr. Miracle, Grail, and Kanto/Lashina. So it is juggling a lot and just thought it could’ve been streamlined a tad bit. It was awesome seeing Diana describe the commonality between everyone in the League and how Jason drew those panels. I do like how Johns is setting up a big danger with big antagonists to make the stakes and danger feel really high for our heroes. Hopefully it just gets cleaner from here.
Chapter Two - The New God
* Much cleaner as they didn’t cut back to Superman and Lex much. Motivations are getting clear — Myrina states that as an Amazonian, her job is to stop wars on her world. She knew Darkseid would come eventually which is why she had his daughter (as a weapon). She made Grail search the multiverse for someone who can defeat Darkseid and found Anti-Monitor. For the whole purpose to wage war on this universe between the two. We still don’t know Darkseid’s intentions, however. Batman accidentally gets ahold of the Mobius chair from Metron due to Diana demanding answers on how to defeat Anti-Monitor. Last thing — how did Shazam survive that stab? Lol
Chapter Three - Taken
* Getting juicy. All the chess pieces are now in play and fighting. I don’t think I’ve ever read a comic so heavy into mythology — it’s clear that this is John’s’ intent with this story. It’s not a bad thing but maybe it’s not my favorite thing. It is cool, these huge mythical, ancient beings and their offspring and motivations. Maybe I’m getting into it more especially after watching ZSJL. It was a clever way to have Batman in the Mobius chair as the supplier of info (literally) to get our heroes caught up with what we know. I also enjoy Diana’s narration, holding our hand throughout. Superman’s plot with Lex is intriguing — I’m curious to see what pans out and if the story will start to focus on character of our heroes.
* Before I forget, I did like Diana’s parallel story about Odysseus and how he had to fight two different monsters to get across a river / who should the League fight / what’s the lesser of two evils? And that the lesson is “sometimes whatever you choose, you lose.”
Chapter Four - The Death of Darkseid
* There’s so much going on in this book lol. Maybe not in a bad way but just a lot of things happening, setting up intrigue, paying off intrigue, surprise characters (Evil Flash and Black Racer lol), surprise deaths, etc. It’s an entertaining read, that’s for sure. I wonder what, if any payoff, Jessica’s ring will have?
* I love that we finally get some answers with the Anti-Monitor. It was unbeknownst to me so idk if it’s supposed to be familiar lore in DC canon but through Mobius Batman and Hal’s journey, we learn that Mobius (pre-Anti-Monitor) seeked forbidden knowledge of the universe. In the anti-matter universe (what is opposite of our universe), he touched what was at the center of it before its creation which seemingly was the Anti-Life Equation and bonded with him. Which is why his sole purpose from then on was a universe destroyer. For some reason we don’t know yet, Darkseid’s death is key to Anti-Monitor’s renewal of life.
Chapter Five - After Death Part One
* There’s a lot to follow here. Basically, some of our heroes become or now identify as Gods. Batman, God of Knowledge (due to the Mobius chair). Superman, God of Strength. Flash, God of Death (After being bonded with the Black Racer from Anti-Monitor’s doing. Black Racer is Darkseid’s strongest weapon. He found death on Apokolips and that’s who Black Racer is but some how, Anti found a way to take control of it and bond it with Flash. Making him kill Darkseid.)
* Lex pretends to be a human that a blind prophet of the Forgotten People on Apokolips predicted would be their savior. To test this, they hit him with Darkseid’s now-free Omega Beam, now making Lex, God of Apokolips.
* Last but def not least, Manapul’s art suh-layyyzzzzzz.
Chapter Six - After Death Part Two
* Lots to unpack here. At the very end of this issue, Anti-Monitor finally separated from the Anti-Life Equation and we find out that that’s what Grail wanted all along, becoming the Goddess of Anti-Life.
* I did enjoy another one of Diana’s tales in the beginning. The story of Inos raising her sister’s daughter who happened to be the son of Zeus. Odysseus taking them under his wing which leads to the Odyssey. And how that sorta mirrors what has happened with our “New Gods” being born. It’s a nice payoff to what the beginning of the book set up thematically.
* Barda (Mr Miracles’s wife) comes and helps the remaining League kick Kanto, Lashina, and Steppenwolf’s ass.
* Diana then decides to search for The Crime Syndicate as they’re the ones most familiar with Anti-Monitor.
Chapter Seven - Gods of Justice Part One
* The League break into Belle Reve for the remaining Crime Syndicate. Ultraman looks depleted. Grail has her sights on Steve Trevor next. Volthoom (evil lantern power ring) takes over Jessica. Diana uses the lasso on God of Strength Supes to bring Clark back. Mobius Bats claims he’s dying now due to his new power. Mobius is back and wants his chair. Owlman demands to work with the League for survival.
Chapter Eight - Gods of Justice Part Two: Crime Pays
* Owlman explains Anti-Monitor to the League. Grail made a deal with him. Told him that if she killed Darkseid, “reality would fracture” and that the line between Gods and Men would blur. And in result, Anti would be able to separate from the Anti-Life Equation.
* Crime Syndicate make it clear that they’ll fight for revenge on Anti (now Mobius), but not to save League’s world.
* Mobius arrives for his chair and everyone fights. Hal calls for backup from the Corps.
* Grail captures Steve Trevor and “has plans for him.”
* Mobius kills Ultraman.
* Lex, God of Apokolips arrives to defeat Mobius.
* Superwoman’s baby is about to be born.
* Some cool moments of surprise with the Green Lantern Corps, Lex’s arrival, and Ultraman’s death.
Chapter Nine: The Darkness Within
* Jessica is trying to fight her way out of being trapped in the Green Realm. Turns out a voice, who’s been Cyborg the whole issue, was helping her lead her out of it. Cool surprise. The dead souls who Volthoom has trapped, were trying to make her stay.
* More origin story for Grail. Turns out, the last thing her and Myrina needed before this all started was an all-seeing eye from one of the last remaining of the “Three Blind Witches”. This eye showed her Anti-Monitor, a being powerful enough to destroy Darkseid, but also showed her that killing Darkseid would momentarily break the bond between Gods and Mortals, thus freeing Anti-Monitor from the Anti-Life Equation. But, while Myrina is reluctant, Grail has plans with the Anti-Life Equation. Apparently, it can’t stop evil but it can control it, and do something else that she’s planning to use it for. She’s tortured and performed a ritual on Steve Trevor, making him some sort of Darkseid-ish being.
Chapter Ten - Power Mad
* Idk, so, Mobius is now free from the Anti-Life Equation but his motives are basically still the same? To kill? I get that he wants to kill on a personal level, than on a world level, but c’mon. Also, Steve Trevor killed him way too easily. Like, this dude is stronger than Ares and older than Zeus and wipes him out with one blow? I get that he’s got some of the Anti-Life with him but…that’s just bad writing lol.
Finale: Death and Rebirth
* What a shitshow. The title says it all. People die, people come back alive again. People have new powers and combined powers, people get back to normal, etc. All just so much going on. Nothing felt central about this whole book except for Diana. Sure, maybe Myrina and Grail’s thread but Grail came off as just a psycho in the end. This last issue felt so rushed. Wow this was disappointing.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rocco Ricca.
119 reviews1 follower
May 17, 2021
This is the fun stuff I wish the whole series had been. The premise of this book is very whacky but still feels like an event. None of the big reveals had me rolling my eyes and I was genuinely enjoying the story. Is it master writing? No, of course not. But it's a fun, summer blockbuster to turn your brain off to. It feels like it took Johns until the last arc to actually understand the JL and write them in a way where they didn't seem like idiots/awful people which helped the reading experience as well.
Profile Image for IvanBat.
129 reviews
April 12, 2020
Me he pegado toda la maratón de la Liga de la Justicia para leerme esto, y vaya si me flipó. Los One Shot me parecieron bastante malos e innecesarios, y no le doy 5 estrellas porque no sé si el final me termina de gustar del todo.

Pero con ese teaser del Dr Manhattan al final... Ohmagad!
Profile Image for Christian Zamora-Dahmen.
Author 1 book26 followers
November 24, 2018
The one-shots derailed things a bit, but not enough to take away the eloquence of this saga.
Definitely one of the best arcs in Justice League galore.
Profile Image for Jordanne.
200 reviews43 followers
December 20, 2018
The Not-Really-About-Darkseid War

I received a copy of this book from DC Comics via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This review contains spoilers.

As a new comic book reader, I hear a lot about DC’s various ‘crises’ and their world-altering (and most definitely not publication driven) effects on the wider DC universe. As a very process-driven person, this all seemed messy to me, so I appreciated that the beginning of this book directly addressed the in-universe effects of significant comic book events, even if it did so by being one?

Honestly, not a great deal stuck with me after this book. It was my first interaction with Shazam, Mr Miracle and Barda and I absolutely fell in love with them and intend to read more. There were aspects I simply did not understand, like the Crime Syndicate, but I assume that’s because I have never read them – either way, Owlman & Power Ring are dumb names in any universe. I also appreciated Wonder Woman & Scott’s narrative.

Whilst I understand that the length of the book meant there had to be a lot of moving parts, it all felt a bit forced together in the end and didn’t fall as naturally as I’d like.

I don’t feel this is a great jumping on point for the JLA ...

To see my full review visit my blog, Bloodthirsty Little Beasts.
Profile Image for Michael Rivas.
158 reviews55 followers
April 5, 2021
Wow, there’s soooo much happening in here. So many inner battles and one big overarching battle with multiple pieces. I’m glad I have the essentials edition because there is a little extra art in the back which is alway nice to see the concepts the artist come up with. Drawings which you’d never see other wise.
There is a theme of the cycle of life, which plays out minutely with in each character and their respective realm. Superman and lex, wonderwoman and other Amazon’s, Apokolips vs ...... justice league vs crime syndicate. New gods vs old gods.
The story reaches far back in time and the boomtube brings people in and out of the story line very easily. There are new characters that are here for a short time and they look awesome.

My only gripe with this one, and sometimes with DC as a whole, there are times when some events seem too “ coincidental”. It’s like “ o of course this happened, it needed to or else the story wouldn’t move’. I don’t know if it’s because the characters are too power reliant or because they are less person character driven. More superhero or less person. I haven’t decided yet. I’m just getting more into justice league as I’ve read way more Batman who has a longer character arch

Maybe I should have read some more of the beginnings of the justice league then it would have more drama and reasoning behind everyone’s actions.

Overall no one will be disappointed reading or viewing this detail of art
Profile Image for Henry Blackwood.
654 reviews2 followers
March 30, 2021
This is my second read of this storyline and this one was a lot more disappointing than the last. The anti monitor story sucked, the Darkseid story was terrible we waited a million issues just to have him die immediately, and the Darkseid daughter story is super stupid. I think that one is the worst because I just read it and I’ve already forgotten her name. It was a terribly forgettable story and promised to be a Darkseid story and instead was about his long lost daughter.

It felt like this was supposed to be some perfect culmination and it just missed on every mark. The only interesting thing from this story was the Three Jokers foreshadow.. a story that took about 4 years to come to fruition. It just feels like a complete waste and a misleading title.
January 11, 2019
Epic is the word while reading the darkseid war which brings the justice league new 52 to a gargantuan finish ... it’s superhero battle on a biblical proportion with enough characterisation to make it interesting from start to finish ..and what made this interesting is that it already put the bases for Rebirth ...it a must read if you want to get yourselves in Rebirth and understand the run to its fullest .. Epic, dense , spectacular, Geoff Johns gives us another blast and the art by Jason Fabok is beautiful as hell
Profile Image for David.
2,551 reviews81 followers
August 8, 2020
I am a huge Geoff Johns fan. I've been following him since his Flash first came out in monthly comics. But I am not a fan of the New 52 Justice League series. This grand finale for the series is the series weakest link.
Profile Image for Matt.
2,417 reviews28 followers
December 31, 2018
Collects Justice League issues #40-50, Justice League: The Darkseid War Special, and DC Sneak Peek: Justice League

Geoff Johns continues to impress with his writing on this series. The artwork also continues to be good.

In this story, dark forces are at work to bring Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor at odds. As these two superbeings go to war, the Justice League is caught in the middle.

I liked the attention given to the history of DC Comics in this book, and it was also fun to read more about the New Gods.

This is the big, final story before DC Rebirth. This Justice League story features major players like Darkseid, the Anti-Monitor, and the Crime Syndicate. There are some huge moments in this epic story, and I thought it was strong conclusion to Geoff Johns' run.

I read most of this when the comic book issues originally came out, so here are my SPOILER-FILLED reviews of those issues:

Issue #45: In the wake of Flash being turned into the Black Racer and being used as the Anti-Monitor’s tool to kill Darkseid, other members of the Justice League are also being transformed into god-like versions of themselves. Batman is the god of knowledge, Superman is the god of strength, and Flash is the god of death, and Shazam is being called the god of gods. Meanwhile, Anti-Monitor is being transformed back into Mobius. Also, now leaderless, the parademons are heading towards Oa for an attack, so the Green Lantern has to take off to help the Green Lantern Corps. Elsewhere, Lex Luthor is found by a group called the Forgotten People. They believe that Lex is the savior of Apokolips promised in an old prophecy. They expose him to red sun energy, and I’m guessing he is going to be transformed into a new Superman. The art wasn’t as good in this issue, according to my tastes, but it wasn’t horrible. (3.5 stars)

Issue #46: The characters that became gods in the last issue didn’t really feature much in this issue. I did find out, however, that somewhere outside of the “Justice League” book, Lex Luthor and Green Lantern also became new gods. GL is the god of light and Lex is the god of Apokolips. I’m guessing those stories appear in the tie-in issues that came out around this same time, but I haven’t read them yet. Wonder Woman was mainly featured as she and the League and Scott Free and Big Barda continue to fight Darkseid’s generals. Elsewhere, Grail sees the anti-life equation separate itself from the Anti-Monitor, and she takes it as her own. She then becomes the god of anti-life. I think this separation has turned the Anti-Monitor back into Mobius. Also elsewhere, Batman is reading things about the Joker. This will be paid off later as it has already been announced that Issue #50 will reveal the true identity of the Joker. Steve Trevor is fighting on the side of the Justice League, and honestly, I forgot he was even there. I read Volume 1 of “Darkseid War” a while back and when I saw Trevor in the background, I just thought he was Aquaman (who is apparently not a part of this story). Trevor tells Wonder Woman that he still loves her, and he goes in for the kiss, but Superman shows up and is mad. Moments earlier, Wonder Woman had told Steve that her and Superman weren’t in love, even though they’ve been dating since almost the beginning of The New 52. Wonder Woman has an idea about the Crime Syndicate. Since they are familiar with the Anti-Monitor (because he destroyed their Earth), they might have helpful information in this battle against him. Owlman has been missing since the end of “Forever Evil,” but Ultraman and Superwoman are both in A.R.G.U.S. custody. The artwork in these pages was so-so, but it looks like the next issue’s artwork goes back to normal (and by that I mean good). (3.5 stars)

Issue #47: Batman is fighting crime from the Mobius chair and doing more good in one night than he can usually do in a month. Green Lantern is no longer a god, so that whole storyline happened outside of the “Justice League” title. After realizing that Superman is turning a little bad after his exposure to the solar flares of Apokolips, Batman and Green Lantern return to help Wonder Woman. There, Batman reveals to Superman that the exposure is killing him. There is no cure. He will eventually die. Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Power Ring, and Cyborg travel to get information from Superwoman and Ultraman, but things don’t go well. Power Ring’s evil ring possesses her and she becomes evil. While Cyborg is trying to help her, Power Ring uploads the Grid personality into Cyborg. Now he is evil too, and the Crime Syndicate is almost reunited. As they attack Scott and Barda, Owlman shows up to tell them that the only way to stop Anti-Monitor is to team up with the Justice League. Speaking of the Anti-Monitor, his regeneration is complete. He is now Mobius again, and he wants his chair back. (4.5 stars)

Issue #48: The Darkseid War: Part 8! The team-up between the Justice League and the Crime Syndicate happens in this issue. Mobius, an all-powerful, god-like being is attacking with a force of shadow demons. Even the combined forces of the JL and CS seem to be no match for him. Mobius kills Ultraman pretty easily. Superwoman starts to go into labor after being thrown around by Mobius. Lex Luthor shows up, powered up with god powers, and leading an army of parademons. As far as I know, he is still on the JL’s team. Steve Trevor gets kidnapped by Grail because she has a plan for him. The Green Lantern Corps shows up to lend aid against Mobius, but they don’t seem to be much help. Through it all, it seems like Owlman knows more than he is telling. (5 stars)

Justice League: The Darkseid War Special - Issue #1: The truth behind Grail’s story!

Issue #49: The Darkseid War: Part 9! Superwoman’s baby is finally born, and the Crime Syndicate believes that he (it’s a baby boy) is the weapon they need to use against Mobius. They were wrong, though, because Grail arrives on the scene with a powered-up Steve Trevor, and he (seemingly against his will) shoots out some sort of energy blast that appears to kill Mobius. Earlier in the battle, Superman used all of his stored up Apokolips solar energy on Mobius, and he appeared to return back to his non-god-like state after that. Inside the realm of the Power Ring, Vic and Jessica are trying to figure out how to become un-possessed. The Green Lantern Corps is present, but again, they are really a non-issue in this fight. They seem to be battling Mobius’ Shadow Demons, but this all happens off panel. It seems like the short-term alliance between the Justice League and the Crime Syndicate will soon be coming to an end. This was a fun read, but for all of the buildup behind the Anti-Monitor/Mobius, he was dispensed of rather easily once Steve Trevor showed up. (4.5 stars)

Issue #50: The Darkseid War: Part 10! The finale! Three Jokers was my favorite moment, along with some of the other revelations.
Profile Image for Chen-Wei Cheong.
159 reviews3 followers
December 25, 2017
*Warning: Spoilers included in review!*
To a certain extent, this saga felt like a desperate attempt to write in backstory for a new character named Grail. She was a born of a union between Myrina Black and Darkseid, and was born on the same day as Diana of Themiscrya. Also, it was suggested that Diana has a twin brother, Jason, who was the chosen one - the first male who set foot on Themiscrya, and it wasn't Steve Trevor, like we have always been led to believe.
The plot revolved around Grail's plan to murder her father Darkseid. When old gods die, new gods are born. This became the interesting part of the saga, whereby after Darkseid died, his various powers, like his omega-beams etc, all went to various heroes like Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam and a few more Justice League members. They gained the power of a God, what they did with the power, that was the fascinating part of the saga, and how, after becoming a God, whether or not they will have the willpower to give up all that power.
It wasn't the best and most satisfying ending, but what transpired here will leave ripples of things to come in the DC universe, and not to mention, the DC Rebirth storyline, if the various authors are interested to take up the aftermath of what happened.
Highly recommended to DC and Justice League readers. Casual readers may not understand the backstory which led up to this saga.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,539 reviews37 followers
April 29, 2020
I liked this more than I thought I would. That said, the whole "Leaguers become new gods in the pantheon" thing stretched my suspension of disbelief a little too far. But still... it was an interesting idea with a pretty cool execution. The action was solid with dynamic art. And, not gonna lie... the best part was definitely Batman being able to confront Joe Chill. The conflicts that arose from Batman having so much knowledge was understandable for the character--even if it showed his weaknesses more than his strengths. Should you stop crime before it happens? Punish criminals before they are actually criminals? Is that justice? The short answer is... no, that's more like mind-reading tyranny. But who could blame Batman, who has lost so much and fought so hard for so long, for wanting to go that route? But seriously... his confrontation with Chill. That was epic and worth reading every page of this monster omnibus just to fully appreciate the context of that moment. Add into that the fact that there are apparently three Jokers--WHAT??!! How does that work?--and I'm excited to see how this major event will impact the rest of the DC Universe. This was also an interesting character study of Lex Luthor, and I also enjoyed hearing Wonder Woman's voice as the narrator. All in all... a really solid read. (And I'm happy to say that I'm one step closer to finishing the "bridge" between New 52 and Rebirth.)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Danielle Booey.
962 reviews13 followers
December 29, 2018
Wow! This book is a lot to unpack. I picked up all of the singles when it was originally published, but didn’t read it until I was catching up on Wonder Woman and ran smack into the Jason arc aka the sequel to Darkseid War.

So here I am. Reading it from the future was a lot of fun I’ve got to say, seeing the little hints and things dropped at the end like Dr. Manhattan, etc. Plus the final fates of the Crime Syndicate, Barda rejoining the Furies and going back to Apokolips, Superman’s illness, and that cool griffin!

The real star of this graphic novel in my opinion is Wonder Woman. Finally, she gets an epic Justice League story of her own. Oh, it might not say her name in the title, but make no mistake, she leads the team and makes all of the important decisions. It is her strategy, compassion, and kindness throughout the book that keep the League together. And dang do I want a spin-off book with her and Luthor now. Never thought I would say that.

I highly recommend this story. It is Geoff Johns at his best and Jason Fabok absolutely kills it on pencils and Brad Anderson’s colors are gorgeous.

If you like the Justice League and weighty DC stories this one is for you.
Profile Image for James Zanghi.
107 reviews
July 31, 2018
This is the culmination of the New 52 Justice League graphic novels and it's pretty impressive. Taking place a few months after the events of Forever Evil, a series of seemingly routine murders quickly erupt into a violent war of the gods involving the Justice League and the daughter of Darkseid.

Geoff Johns does his usual good job of making epic action with great visuals, but the story was pretty dark. I think this is pretty close to what Zack Snyder would have done with a two-part Justice League movie. The reinterpretations of classic DC events from Jack Kirby's Fourth World is interesting, too, mainly Metron's story of Orion and Scot.

If you haven't read the other Geoff Johns graphic novels for the New 52 events, and most of the other major events, you will be thrown by most of the scenes and characters of this graphic novel, mainly Jessica Cruz/Power Ring, who winds up playing an integral role in the story.

I recommend buying this version mainly because...it looks cool and it is pretty comprehensive of the story, but mostly the reason because it looks cool
Profile Image for Carlos.
112 reviews
March 21, 2021
After the sour taste of the Snyder Cut... No I didn't like it sorry... I wanted to go back and read something more light-hearted and fun which was also packed with the rich mythology of the DC universe.

Who better to turn to than Geoff? He's basically a living encyclopedia of DC lore and he can tell a damn fun story. Yes the dialogue in the Snyder Cut of JL is cheesy, wooden and expository and I felt completely detached it. It's exactly the same here, but there's a charm to this comic book medium that you just can't translate 100% accurately to the big screen - without making a smelly turd of a film of course.
This book was exactly what I needed it to be, it was exactly what Johns wanted to be and it didn't try to be anything more profound or revolutionary than it needed to be. So overall, it was just fine.
Jason Fabok's art is also just astoundingly good.

This book ranges from okay to fun. Pick it up if you have an hour to spare.
Profile Image for Emma Gerts.
291 reviews24 followers
December 27, 2017
Wow. This arc was . . . really something. It was chocked full of comic book ridiculousness. It is certainly not a saga for people who aren't a fan of real comic-y plotlines, where things become crazily entangled and convoluted, where there's multiverses and retcons and all sorts of bonkers stuff. But on the whole I really enjoyed this little venture into the really nutty side of comic book storylines. It was a lot of fun, and some of the sub plots were really interesting. Sadly, for me, Batman's story was definitely the worst and the least interesting, and frankly was just a bit stupid. But Wonder Woman and Flash stood out particularly for me as having interesting plotlines, and Grail was an interesting villain. Overall and enjoyable romp as long as you're not too invested in actually understanding what's going on.
Profile Image for Clay Bartel.
510 reviews
March 12, 2019
Not my first 5 star review, I love comics and can hand 5 stars out pretty easily... this though deserves a 6!

I read half of it and then went to mexico and didn't want to take this big book with me, read Earth 2 series and Convergence in between, before finishing Darkseid War in a couple days.

This was totally a page turner and I just want more.

Be sure to read Forever Evil before you get into this book. Also wouldn't hurt to have read Crisis on Infinite Earths or at least watch a good YouTube summery of that book. Lots of Syndicate villains pop up.

I'm a huge fan and will definitely look at collecting the full justice league run or any other tie in stories to my Darkseid War Omnibus.
Profile Image for Lokman Aycam.
11 reviews
January 24, 2021
Geoff Johns, iki büyük isimden sonra (Alan Moore, Frank Miller) çizgiroman dünyasının en önemli yazarlarından biri (Morrison'u saymıyorum). Burada da karakterler arası bağları iyi kurmuş, DC mitosuna yeni şeyler eklemiş ve uygun bir sonla da hikayeyi bitirmiş. Fabok'un çizimleri de oldukça sağlam.

Keyifli okumalar.
2 reviews
April 14, 2021
I wish they took the stuff about darkseid daughter being from the Amazon’s and what they did to Wonder Woman love interest and put that in a Wonder Woman story line instead of this event. Also, I did enjoy the stories of each of the justice league members becoming gods except for Superman’s. Again a another new 52 story with good ideas not used to there full potential
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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