REVIEW: DC’s Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League

REVIEW: DC's Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League

  • Dark-Crisis—Worlds-Without-a-Justice-League—Superman-1-1

    Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League – Superman #1

    Tom King

    Chris Burnham

    Troy Peteri

    Cover artist:
    Chris Burnham



    Release Date:

    Adriano Lucas

Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League Superman #1 The first in a series devoted to tie-in comics that explore the ongoing Dark Crisis arc currently dominating DC’s summer lineup. DC fans are treated to stories from Aquaman and Superman in alternate timelines, where the Justice League is no longer relevant. The bulk of the issue is taken up by the first Superman story by Tom King. It features artist Chris Burnham, colorist Adriano Castro, and letters from Troy Peteri. The Aquaman special, penned and illustrated by Fico Obsio and colored by Sebastian Cheng, has Peteri’s backup letters.

The Superman comic’s central storyline is, as the cover suggests, based on the relationship between Superman, his son Jon, and the Justice League. This continuity sees Superman fighting without the Justice League. Jon is left to be his Boy Wonder and grow up at a normal pace. The comic shows Jon’s progress from age thirteen to 18. “Aquaman Have Everything” is less detailed and depicts Arthur Curry in his perfect day. He is surrounded by three generations of his family members, friends, and the odd ne-er-do–well.

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Although the subject matter for a fatherly and more familiar Superman concept sounds whimsical, Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League Superman #1 has a very hard edge. King’s writing style is sharp and intense. King examines the complex family dynamic as well as the terrifying possibilities of growing up in a world with extraterrestrial powers. The comic’s resolution feels painfully difficult, and is a poignant commentary about raising super teens. Thomas’s version of “For The Man Who Has Everything” by Alan Moore through the eyes of Aquaman is a fantastic romp that features some great cameos. It also serves to deepen Dark Crisis mythos.

Burnham’s extraordinary artistic sensibilities are responsible for a lot of the Superman story’s unique tone. He has mastered a style that is both timeless and modern. The art’s most prominent element is the in. Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League Superman #1 is texture. The texture is the result of intense hatching, which brings many details to the forefront of a page in a way that almost feels tortured. Burnham’s illustration amplifies the rawness of this story. It captures both extreme action and paralyzing stillness in equal measure with equal ease. Osio’s Aquaman comic is a return of more mainstream superhero comics, but it still displays a remarkable clarity and boldness.

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Lucas’s colors make some of the most haunting and human panels in Superman. Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League Superman #1 in years, and perhaps the best. Lucas effortlessly switches between stunning fantastical colors and muted sepias to create the magical atmosphere that Superman lives. As rich and sophisticated as Cheng’s Aquaman backup colors, Cheng’s are also rich and elegant. Although the palette is varied, it has a bright quality that matches the story’s wish-fulfillment theme. Peteri’s letters are great throughout, but Superman is where they shine. They use a more scratchy, uneven style to capture the vintage, homespun feel of the comic as well as the feeling that the characters are in a state of depression. Although his work in Aquaman’s story is shorter, it shows his remarkable talent.

Double bill for Superman/Aquaman Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League Superman #1 is an amazing and surprising experiment, exploring two familiar characters in a way that feels truly original. This comic is an excellent fix for Aquaman and Superman fans who have been missing them in the main continuity. However, the insight and vision that it offers makes this issue more than just a temporary fix.

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