Justice League fires right into yet another installment of “The Darkseid War”. Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok are nearing the endgame--at least the first half. Not much has really been going on, but is this the chapter that will turn the tide? It has been less of a war and more just small vignettes. So, as we head into Justice League #43, let’s see if the team has worked up some magic.
First things first, this really is the issue where things start to actually come together and begin to feel like a unified whole. Characters and subplots intertwine at long last and there is a definite forward motion from here on out. It doesn’t hurt that the previous issues gave more of an impression that the League was merely being bandied about without any sense of direction. This is where things get a grip and the reader finally is subject to some “edge of your seat” scenes.The biggest instigator of this is, of course, is Wonder Woman. It’s her show and the narration is a great offset for the situations that unfold. Situations may swing from the darkly comedic, as per the case for a chuckle worthy scene with Batman, to the immediately threatening and dire presence of Mister Miracle. It’s a tone that really sells the enormity, and the increasingly twisted, nature of this battle. There’s so many turns and such convoluted moments in this issue that it’s hard to speak of without spoiling.
So, while Johns has finally kicked the plot back into gear, it is Fabok who is once again a shining star in this arc. There’s a multitude of things that he should be applauded for, but I’m going to attempt to cut it down to just a few. The thing that most people would recognize off the bat is that Fabok’s Darkseid is probably the best that he has looked in the New 52. Fabok makes the design work like no one else really has - all through the use of some dynamic posing and shading. Speaking of designs, we get a good look at the new Kalibak - who appears in one of his most supremely frightening incarnations. One note is that combined with Johns’ addition to Kalibak’s character as being slightly flippant of Darkseid, it works to rejuvenate the character in an unforeseen way. The big masterstroke for Fabok is nothing less than the giant spreads and panels that feel like spreads. Fabok really utilizes his space for maximum impact, and as the war begins that’s just what is needed.
This is an issue that makes it clear that the creative team knows exactly what they are doing. This is going to be an extended storyline so, honestly, this is the issue that makes certain everything is moving along as it should be. There’s a lot of plot movement and it is handled very well. One hopes that this is a trend that continues in the next issue, but that’s something we can never quite be sure of. I’m anxiously awaiting it though. Comments and thoughts would be appreciated below.
Fabok's art is near the top of his game
Johns moves the story along more fluidly
Great beats of tension and relief
Still not altogether sure of the League's place in events