Dark Crisis - War Zone 1-1

Dark Crisis: War Zone #1 Review

Dark Crisis: War Zone #1 is your typical obligatory anthology-style tie-in issue that publishers feel we must get with every single big event. The concept is that these issues offer more insight into some smaller battles and more minor characters involved in the bigger event. However, in reality, these types of issues are usually little more than cheap cash grabs. Will Dark Crisis: War Zone #1 break that trend? Let’s find out!

Words: Jeremy Adams

Pencils: Fernando Pasarin

Inks: Matt Ryan

Colors: Matt Herms

Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

This story involves the ladies of the Flash teaming up together outside the Hall of Justice. Iris is armed with some weapons from the Hall of Justice, while Linda uses her speed powers. During the battle, Iris talks about Barry and how much she loves him, and how he is such a hero. Iris is anxiously awaiting Barry to make his heroic return.

The story is a solid read. However, we do get plenty of action in this eight-page story. It is a fast-paced read that never drags or bores the reader.

I do love Iris’s character. I love the pairing of Barry Allen and Iris West. They are a lovely classic DCU couple. Adams does a good job of capturing Iris’s personality. I also appreciate how well Adams is able to convey Iris’s love for Barry. Adams really does nail how much Iris loves her man.

Linda is less interesting than Iris. Oddly, Linda was far more unique and fascinating when she was just a regular person. But by giving Linda powers and a Flash costume, Linda’s character has been robbed of her uniqueness. Now, Linda is simply another derivative character running around in a Flash-style costume. It is a real step back for Linda’s character.

Having said that, I did enjoy the chemistry between Iris and Linda. The two ladies play off each other well. Adams also does a fine job in having Linda offer hope to Iris that Barry will, in fact, return.

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Dark Crisis – War Zone #1. Credit DC Comics

I also appreciate how Adam is able to make Barry look like such a hero without Barry appearing until the very last page of this story when we see the real Justice League finally returning to the Hall of Justice. Adams plays with the common theme of Barry always being late. This is a long-running trait of Barry’s and a humorous twist on the fastest man alive never being able to be on time. I love the final line that Linda delivers that Barry may be late, but he is always on time. Barry Allen is a fantastic character, and I appreciate how much Adams builds up Barry in this story.

Fernando Pasarin delivers tons of incredible artwork. I adore Pasarin’s art and this story is no exception. DC Comics needs to make sure they always have Pasarin working on one of their comics!

Words: Frank Tieri

Art: Serg Acuña

Colors: Matt Herms

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

This was a cool story. I love Frank Corrigan. I have always enjoyed his noir-style cop character. I am thrilled to see Corrigan getting some time in the spotlight. Tieri does an excellent job writing Corrigan’s character. What is wonderful is how Tieri is able to deliver so much impressive character work in only eight pages! That is phenomenal. Most writers are unable to deliver this much character work in a full issue!

Tieri gives the reader an exceptional sense of Corrigan’s personality, his relationship with the Spectre, and the Spectre himself. It is such impressive, concise writing. The dialogue is also well crafted. Corrigan’s inner monologue is pitch-perfect.

Of course, Tieri does not just deliver splendid character work and dialogue. This short story is also loaded with tons of action. Yup. Tieri is able to deliver great character work within the confines of a large fight scene. It is a testament to Tieri’s skills. Cool story. Love Frank Corrigan. Tieri writes a great Corrigan. In just a few pages, is able to pull off an impressive amount of character work. Excellent dialogue. Crafts a unique voice for Corrigan.

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Dark Crisis – War Zone #1. Credit DC Comics

Serg Acuña delivers plenty of nice artwork. Acuña’s style of art is the perfect match for Corrigan’s noir-style character. This is an action-heavy story and Acuña’s action is dynamically looking. Another strong suit of Acuña’s artwork is the facial expressions he gives the characters. They are fantastic. Plus, I appreciate Acuña’s attention to detail in having Corrigan drive a beautiful 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback.

Words: Stephanie Williams

Art: Caitlin Yarsky

Colors: Peter Pantazis

Story Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10

This story is horrendous. Williams’s writing is terrible. Literally, nothing happens in this eight-page story. There is very little dialogue. All we get is the running narration boxes of the inner thoughts of an Amazonian historian. It is just one massive exposition dump about whom the Amazons are. It is mind-numbingly boring and does nothing to get the reader even remotely interested in what the Amazons are doing during Dark Crisis.

The only thing useful about this story is if you are suffering from insomnia, then reading this story should help you fall asleep. Seriously, I have no idea how Williams continues to find gainful employment with DC Comics. The level of writing in this story is so far below the two stories before it.

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Dark Crisis – War Zone #1. Credit DC Comics

Caitlin Yarsky’s artwork is awful. The art lacks detail. The characters look stiff and dead-eyed. There is nothing dynamic at all in the two pages of action that we do get. This artwork looks amateurish and is way below the standard for a company like DC Comics.

Words: Matthew Rosenberg

Art: George Kambadias

Colors: Matt Herms

Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 3.5 Night Girls out of 10

This story was another unimpressive read. It is Rosenberg, so we have to immediately ditch Hal Jordan. Hilarious. This story then focuses on Guy Gardner and Jo Mullen and a team of Lanterns fighting some bad guys above the Hall of Justice. Our heroes must hold the line and not let the bad guys get to the Hall of Justice. It looks like our heroes are doomed to fail when they suddenly prevail and the bad guys retreat.

The best part of this story is Guy Gardner. Rosenberg definitely writes a grizzled and badass Guy Gardner. We get vintage Guy during the battle as he rallies the troops to never give up despite what appears to be impeding doom. Rosenberg gets across Guy’s warrior spirit and his willingness to die in battle.

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Dark Crisis – War Zone #1. Credit DC Comics

Outside of Guy, the rest of the character work is bland at best. Outside of Guy, the dialogue is generic. Jo and the other Lanterns are just window-dressing in this story. The action scenes are poorly done. The reader gets no real sense of what is going on.

George Kambadias’s artwork is a total miss. The art looks rushed and sloppy at certain points. There is a lack of detail. The action scenes are poorly done. They lack any dynamic quality at all. They are basically just the Lanterns firing at villains who are off-panel or not seen at all.

Words: Delilah Dawson

Art: Tom Derenick

Colors: Matt Herms

Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10

This story has Red Canary with Damien Wayne, Power Girl, Sideways, and Black Canary. Damien tells Red Canary to just hide in a bus and sit out this fight since she is just a teenage girl with no superpowers. That her having no powers and no experience makes her a liability. Red Canary goes and hides, and then Black Canary appears to save Red Canary from a bad guy.

Red Canary is starstruck at getting to meet her idol. The two team up to punch out some villains. Red Canary talks about how Black Canary’s death inspired her to pick up Black Canary’s mantle. Black Canary then gives Red Canary her stamp of approval.

This story is average. Dawson does do a good job making this story new reader friendly. So, people who have no clue who Red Canary is will understand what is going on. Dawson also clearly conveys to the reader Red Canary’s origin story. From a technical standpoint, this is a good introduction to a new character.

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Dark Crisis – War Zone #1. Credit DC Comics

However, this story begs the question of why Red Canary even exists in the first place. Does literally every single adult DC Comics superhero really need a “legacy” character? It is getting to the point where it has become ridiculous. It makes the DCU overly convoluted, which is a turn-off to new readers. It also waters down the main adult DCU characters when there are “legacy” versions of every adult character running around. A superhero’s gimmick is only unique and interesting when only they have that gimmick. Once you start giving the same gimmick to more and more characters, the gimmick gets less unique and exciting.

Furthermore, does the DCU really need yet another teenage girl with no superpowers running around the DCU? There is absolutely nothing unique or special about Red Canary at all. This character seems like a total dud. We have already seen Red Canary’s character multiple times before. This makes Red Canary look like a creatively lazy idea.

Tom Derenick’s artwork is excellent as always. Derenick’s action scenes are well done and exciting to the eye. As usual, Derenick packs plenty of detail into every panel. The dialogue-heavy scenes look nice due to Derenick’s good facial expressions that he gives the characters.

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Overall: Dark Crisis: War Zone #1 was a mixed bag. That is to be expected with an issue comprised of five different eight-page stories. In the end, Dark Crisis: War Zone #1 costs a whopping $6.00. It is absolutely not at all worth the price of admission. This certainly feels like a cash grab. I would pass on this issue. There is nothing in Dark Crisis: War Zone #1 that is necessary to read in order to enjoy the main Dark Crisis event.