JUSTICE LEAGUE #49 Spoilers & Review
“Darkseid War, pt. 9: Power Mad” (20 pages)
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jason Fabok
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Covers by: Fabok & Anderson; Matteo Scalera & Moreno DiNisio
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Nothing is more painful than waiting for the grand finale!!! I’m experiencing higher levels of fandom anxiety due to this being the second-last installment. Superwoman’s labour pains pale in comparison to this!! Please do not think I’m insensitive because I’m certainly not. I’m a hardcore feminist.
Gotham City is nothing but fire and ash at this point. Lex Luthor is all primed and raging to go since he’s imbued with Apokaliptan fire. Like any good fictional piece, things never go smoothly. The one snag is Superwoman coming super-close to producing her offspring.
Mobius and Lex begin trading punches. They naturally pick on each other given their immense power levels. Batman, ever the analyst, determines the guaranteed victory: the unborn child. Volthoom affirms this and vows to take down the League after they dispose of the Anti-Monitor.
It comes as no surprise to Thomas Wayne when Lois confesses that it is not his love-child. That matters little since the baby is the key to defeating the destroyer of worlds.
Jessica briefly makes an appearance, unlike the previous issue. She breaks through the wall of the Green Realm. Reassuring her is friendly faced Victor. He appears ‘good’ (normal) due to a projection.
Lex seems to be struggling with his identity. He proclaims to be the former despot of Apokolips. Given his arrogance, pride, and vanity, he reasserts him as the double L.
Mr. Miracle and Barda return. They are off-course in terms of their objectives. Scot wants to assist the League and has the utmost faith in them. Barda sees an opportunity to return to New Genesis and free all the slaves. After professing their love to each other, Barda bails.
The Trinity converge on Mobius. Superman goes full throttle. He needs to expunge the alien energy within. Mobius easily siphons that from him but flicks him aside like an annoying gnat. Big Blue is back!!
The situation is reversed. Lex hovers over a weakened Superman positing his theories about true might. He is in no way similar to his former archenemy. He will not hold back when it comes to dealing with the colossal annihilator. Flash states the obvious since he is the harbinger of death. Ironically, he finds it difficult to remain motionless as the events unfold.
Mobius seems to have the upper hand against Luthor when the wild card returns – Grail along with her mother, the pet Gryphon, and a transformed Steve Trevor. Flash again states that all parties should evacuate immediately.
One final push comes in the nick of time. Superwoman is the beaming mother of a baby boy dubbed the Messiah by the Syndicate. Superwoman wants a piece of the action. Speediest recovery ever!!
Diana cannot help but be taken aback by Steve’s subjugated status. He too has received a ‘gift’ from the gods. Grail orders him to attack. Her mother Myrina is unaware of her daughter’s true intentions.
Steve does the unthinkable: he obliterates the Anti-Monitor!!! He got ten up on Lexy.
A former (boy)friend is now an enemy. The plot twists ever tighter. Steve is lost to Grail. He is the next threat that needs dealing!!
Mr. Geoff Johns, you get thunderous applause for characterization! The quiet moments overpower the louder ones. The vignettes carry the reader through the main event. Each serves as a marker for the encompassing dome. Volthoom had me guffaw unintentionally when he demanded Superwoman speed up the birthing process. Superman managed to throw in a pun regarding Lex’s pomposity. How awkward must it have been to discover that you did not sire your paramour’s son? I’m talking to you, Owlman!!
The Barenaked Ladies stated this best: it’s all been done. It’s extremely challenging to detract from tropes and to avoid clichés. Mr. Johns simply can’t resist tantalizing us with this dangling carrot: who is the progenitor of Superwoman’s evil seed??? Batman knows and he left us hanging! Since Supes has been restored, Bats is logically next in line. He experienced some intense overload in the Chair upon Grail and company’s arrival. I also predict that Barda will return with major reinforcements. The man for whom this storyline is named will also resurrect.
Action was present, although not as much as I had hoped. Nevertheless, Jay Fabok makes up for it a thousand times over with that two-page spread of Mobius’ demise. He also expertly has Lex preening like a peacock before he is upstaged. One motif that I begun noticing upon Mr. Fabok’s return are the faces. Each countenance is telling unto itself. He dedicates at least one compact panel to illustrate the various goings-on. This sure beats exposition!!
Brad Anderson must have reduced all his pencil crayons to nibs. I say that with the utmost respect not scorn. While he beautifully enriches all of Mr. Fabok’s linework, the angry orange is the definite eye-catcher. He creepily accentuates all the villains’ ocular orbs.
Rob Leigh gets the typeface right at every turn. I can imagine hearing the blackened word balloons. Those voices would probably stir my soul. There seems to be a flub on the fifth page. Diana speaks as if she were also ‘infected’. I’m sure that was unintentional and missed in the editing. Either way, the BOOMs are one thing I’ve come to expect and look forward to. This time around, there are no travelers within the large letters.
The page count is reduced by two. I won’t hold that against the creators. The very last chapter better have fifty pages of frenetic sequences and little to no dialogue. We have been informed that Batman’s ultimate nemesis’ true name will be revealed. That remains to be seen.
I give this book 7.5 out of 10. The saga has stretched far enough. It’s time for the well-deserved conclusion.
Major props to my local comic shop where I purchased this among many other of my monthlies. They also carry this Batman v. Superman variant:
Prepare for the bloodiest battle!!
Tags: Brad Anderson, Darkseid War, DC Comics, Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok, Justice League, Rob Leigh