Saturday, January 11, 2014

Justice League #23.1/Darkseid #1


Written by Greg Pak
Art by Paulo Siqueira and Netho Diaz
Color by Hi-Fi
Letters by Dezi Sienty
Assistant Editor Anthony Marques
Editor Eddie Berganza
Darkseid created by Jack Kirby
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster by special arrangement with the Jerry Siegel family

The cover is by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Alex Sinclair, and it actually is one of my favorite of these villain month covers. I think it's a great, striking image, even without the 3-D effect — of course, I couldn't stand any of the 3-D covers, but I was apparently in the minority with that. Now, it is true that Ivan Reis didn't draw any pages inside this issue, and it would have been great to somehow squeeze the Flash onto this cover, but it still is really cool, nonetheless.

Told from the point of view of Kaiyo, the chaos bringer, we are given the origin story of Darkseid. He once was a mud grubber named Uxas, who lived in a world plagued by giant elemental gods.

Uxas hated the gods for causing so much destruction for their amusement, so one night, he snuck into the gods' castle and whispered lies to them while they slept. His plan worked, and soon the gods turned on each other. In their weakened state, Uxas was able to kill them and absorb their power, becoming Darkseid. He later established Apokolips, but was tormented by Kaiyo.  He then began a long trend of chasing Kaiyo to different worlds and dimensions, bringing destruction wherever he went. Until he was stopped by the Justice League.

The Good:

I think my favorite part of this issue was the cover. The art was OK, but nothing special. And the story … well, it was all right, but not what I wanted, or even expected. I guess I kinda figured that a story about Darkseid would be as epic as the threat he poses is.

The Bad:

Weak motivations. I was never interested in learning about how Darkseid became Darkseid. I thought he should just always be there. Darseid always was, is and will continue to be Darkseid, the near-invincible god of Apokolips. But this issue gave me an origin story that I didn't care much about, nor understand. How exactly did he gain those gods' power? That's just what happens when you kill a god, you know. But what I really wanted from this issue was a detailed explanation of how and why he invaded Earth. In those early Justice League issues, he clearly said he was looking for his daughter. And in Vibe #1, we saw the vault where Amanda Waller is keeping Darkseid's daughter. Now that's what I want to know more about. But instead, this issue implied that Darkseid was just bored and started chasing Kaiyo around for an excuse to blow up planets. Sure, Kaiyo could be, and mostly likely is Darkseid's daughter, but that doesn't explain or justify everything that happened in previous issues. Instead of giving us some much-desired insight behind the seminal moment of the New 52, Greg Pak chose to use this issue to springboard his Earth 2 stories in Batman/Superman. I can't blame him for doing that, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with him for doing it.

Final score: 4 out of 10

Next time: As far as I know, there is only one more passive Flash appearance before Forever Evil starts, and that is Justice League of America's Vibe #10.

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