Review: Justice League 23.1/Darkseid 1 by Greg Pak, Paulo Siqueira, and Netho Diaz

JUSTL_Cv23

Review:  Darkseid #1

“Apotheosis”

Published by DC Comics

Written by Greg Pak

Art by Paulo Siqueira and Netho Diaz

Coloured by Hi-Fi

The Plot

So the heroes are all gone and now we have Villains Month.  In this issue, Darkseid takes over the story lead in Justice League.  In an old world, a man named Uxas  is watching over the dirt fields as he is forced to take shelter with his brother Izaya and Izaya’s wife, Avia.  Above them the Old Gods are wreaking havoc upon their land.  His siblings show fear and respect whereas Uxas decided to take matters into his own hands.  Eventually his actions result in a war amongst the Old Gods and he takes matters even further, which results in him becoming Darkseid.  His brother becomes High Father (but is still referred to as Izaya).  The world ends and eventually Apokolips is born.  The harsh life is shown on Apokolips and then a being named Kaiyo emerges who thrives on bringing about chaos.  Her journey leads Darkseid to various worlds as we eventually get a glimpse of what happened back in the first arc of Justice League.  Kaiyo believes that Darkseid is going to kill her for her actions, but finds that he up to something else.

The Breakdown

I went into this book thinking that it was going to be difficult to get through and basically only read it to review it.  However, I enjoyed this book end to end.  Seeing the old world and the Old Gods was very interesting.  The same goes for Darkseid prior to him becoming Darkseid.  He was always a brutal individual and his commitment to it gained him a great deal of power.  I enjoyed the fact that there wasn’t a misunderstanding or a tragic loss that lead to him becoming Darkseid.  He wasn’t completely evil, but he was still a dink.  I liked how the Old Gods reckless actions eventually lead to their own undoing.  This story does a good job of enhancing the mythos with relation to the New Gods and Apokolips.  Seeing more of Darkseid’s conquest was interesting because it filled in some backstory behind Justice League and Earth 2.  Also, it answered the question of who “she” was when Darkseid was searching for her in issue six.  Kaiyo’s analysis of the primary Earth’s Justice League was good because it showed why they were able to successfully repel Darkseid and his forces.  It was a straightforward story that enhanced the heroes and Darkseid.  I should have had more faith when I read that Greg Pak wrote the issue as I generally like his work.  He had a good handle on Darkseid and I liked how he wrote some subtle differences between Uxas and Darkseid.  The art in this story was also well done.  The soft colours gave this book more of an epic look.  I really liked the splash page with the Old Gods creating chaos on the world as the art on that page was very solid.  The 3-D cover was actually pretty decent looking and I might have attempted to collect them all if my LCS wasn’t shorted on the covers.  All in all, this was a really decent story that I enjoyed more than I expected to.

BUT…

I wish there was more explanation provided as to how Darkseid was able to initiate the conflict.  “No one knows what gave him the power” is a little too deus ex machina-ish for my liking.  Maybe it’ll be explored more in the future, but as I was reading it I just felt like it was too convenient.  The change in artists worked for me overall because there was a shift in the story.  However, there were some panels that I really didn’t care for (ex. the ones with the parademons).  Although I’m glad to find out what Darkseid was looking for on Earth, I was still a little disappointed that it wasn’t one of the many theories out there on the net.  Some of them had some great storytelling potential.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

I went into this thinking it would be worth perusing on the shelf at the LCS, but as it ends up I have to go with Buy It.  I’m not sure the cost though of the regular cover and if it’s still at $3.99 then I would be more hesitant to go with that recommendation.  The 3-D cover is pretty sweet, but the page count went down to 20 pages and if that price point holds the same for the regular cover then I might be leaning less towards buying it.  I enjoying seeing why Darkseid is so damn powerful in comparison to even the other New Gods.  This issue provided some history that gave this character and his world more depth.

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