REVIEW: ‘Dark Crisis,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dark Crisis #1

Dark Crisis #1 is written by Joshua Williamson, illustrated by Daniel Sampere, colored by Alejandro Sanchez, and lettered by Tom Napolitano. It’s published by DC Comics. The Justice League has fallen in battle against Pariah and his Dark Army, and the world is reeling from the loss of its greatest heroes. While Black Adam – the sole survivor of Pariah’s attack – recuperates, Jon Kent attempts to recruit a new Justice League to defend the world. Little does he or the rest of the superhero community know that Deathstroke has formed a new Secret Society of Super-Villains intent on killing every superhero left on Earth. Pariah’s plans extend far beyond killing the Justice League.

Dark Crisis marks the final installment in a trilogy of sorts for Williamson, following the events of Infinite Frontier and Justice League Incarnate. Each of those previous issues dealt with the theme of legacy, whether it was tying back to previous DC events like Crisis on Infinite Earths or the importance of characters like Batman and Superman to the DC Universe. That continues here, as Jon feels that he has to form a new Justice League in addition to filling his father’s role as Superman. And in a moving opening sequence, Nightwing, who started his legacy as the first Robin and a founding member of the Teen Titans, gives a stirring eulogy for the Justice League. Williamson also has a good grasp of character dynamics, especially between Jon and Adam, as the two have a discussion about how to handle the League’s death.

A story this big deserves an extremely talented artist, and Sampere rises to the challenge. His pages are full of big, bombastic moments, including the unveiling of Jon’s new Justice League and Deathstroke leading a supervillain attack on Titans Tower. Sampere also has the chance to draw nearly every major character in the DC Universe, whether it’s at the Justice League eulogy or a page of heroes responding to Jon’s request to join the new Justice League. The term “blockbuster” often gets overused when it comes to art, but I can safely say that Sampere’s art truly feels cinematic.

A large part of that is due to Sanchez’s colors and Napolitano’s lettering, which feels “big” in every sense of the word. The color often shifts based on the environment; for example, the Justice League eulogy takes place at night, with reddish-orange flames from candles lighting up the sky. And when John goes to visit Yara Flor, the trees in the Brazilian rainforest are depicted with a lush and vibrant green hue. Large towering letters appear in certain panels, announcing a specific location with a cinematic flair. Given the variety of characters, speech bubbles also change. While Jon speaks normally, Swamp Thing’s bubbles are dark orange and twisted like the branches of a tree.

Dark Crisis #1 isn’t just the next major DC event; it’s a meditation on the themes of legacy and loss and also doubles as a love letter to the history of the DC Universe. The buildup to this event has been worth the wait, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds especially since it ends on a massive cliffhanger.

Dark Crisis #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

 


Dark Crisis #1
4.5

TL;DR

Dark Crisis #1 isn’t just the next major DC event; it’s a meditation on the themes of legacy and loss and also doubles as a love letter to the history of the DC Universe. The buildup to this event has been worth the wait, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds especially since it ends on a massive cliffhanger.