REVIEW: ‘Justice League: Road To Dark Crisis,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Justice League Road To Dark Crisis #1 - But Why Tho

Justice League: Road To Dark Crisis #1 is an anthology one-shot published by DC Comics. In the wake of the Justice League’s death, the rest of the superhero community is struggling with their feelings, which range from disbelief to sorrow. And as it turns out, the supervillain community also has a wide range of reactions – from attempting to take advantage of the power vacuum left by the League’s death and even grieving in their own way. A total of five stories explore the different corners of the DC Universe and sets the stage for Dark Crisis.

“Team-Up” is written by Joshua Williamson, penciled by Dan Jurgens, inked by Norm Rampund, and colored by Hi-Fi. True to its title it has Jon Kent and Nightwing join forces. “Life of Purpose” focuses on Wally West/The Flash and is written by Jeremy Adams, illustrated by Rosi Kampe, and colored by Matt Helms. “Survivors” features another team-up, this time between Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Jackson Hyde. It’s written by Chuck Brown, illustrated by Fico Ossio, and colored by Sebastian Cheng. “The Pariah” is written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, illustrated by Leila Del Duca, and colored by Jordie Bellaire. Finally, “Because the Night” features Stephanie Brown/Spoiler and is written by Stephanie Phillips, illustrated by Clayton Henry, and colored by Marcelo Maiolo. The entire issue is lettered by Josh Reed.

“Team-Up” is a strong opening for the issue, as Jon and Nightwing discuss the legitimacy of the League’s death. Williamson’s script acts as a meta-commentary on how death is treated in the superhero genre. Jon really believes his father is gone while Nightwing has experienced the death and rebirth of many of his colleagues, somewhat reflecting the attitude readers have toward the death/rebirth of superheroes. He also builds upon the connection between both heroes that was established in Tom Taylor’s runs on Nightwing and Superman: Son of Kal-El, which I greatly appreciate. It’s also appropriate that Jurgens illustrates this story, as he’s best known for his work on The Death of Superman. He gets the chance to draw various moments in DC history, including Batman and Superman’s previous deaths. Paired with Rampund’s strong inks and Hi-Fi’s bright colors, this story has some striking images, especially when Jon interrupts a battle between Nightwing and the metahuman crime lord by slamming Brick’s head into the ground.

“The Pariah” is also straightforward as it focuses on Pariah, who serves the Great Darkness and was responsible for setting off the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Johnson slowly peels back the layers of what drove Pariah to serve the Great Darkness. And even though he’s the villain of Dark Crisis readers will empathize with him. Del Duca’s art brings a horror-tinged element into the story, as the ghosts of Pariah’s family haunt him, with their words growing louder and angrier thanks to Reed’s lettering, and Bellaire’s colors blanketing the page in ghostly white. The other stories set up elements that will appear in Dark Crisis and its upcoming tie-ins.

Justice League: Road To Dark Crisis #1 serves as an excellent prologue to Dark Crisis, with multiple creators showcasing the DC Universe’s reaction to the death of the Justice League. With Dark Crisis set to debut next week, this is the perfect starting point for readers old and new.

Justice League: Road To Dark Crisis #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Justice League: Road To Dark Crisis #1
4

TL;DR

Justice League: Road To Dark Crisis #1 serves as an excellent prologue to Dark Crisis, with multiple creators showcasing the DC Universe’s reaction to the death of the Justice League. With Dark Crisis set to debut next week, this is the perfect starting point for readers old and new.