Now that Convergence is over Geoff Johns is set to begin his next big Justice League storyline: Darkseid War. In the last issue of Justice League before Convergence Johns brought in Anti-Monitor and Darkseid’s Daughter, the other two major players of this event. With the involvement of two of the most powerful villains in DC’s library how can the Justice League hope to save universe? Let’s find out with Justice League #41.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jason Fabok
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In an empty apartment a person in the shadows pours some wine. Just as they take a drink the woman living in the apartment walks in. Kanto shows himself to be the person in the shadows. He asks the woman if her name is Myria Black (the mother of Darkseid’s Daughter that we saw in the DC’s Free Comic Book Day comic Divergent). The woman yells at Kanto about her husband’s whereabouts. Kanto quickly tires of her screaming and kills her with a knife.
Lashina suddenly appears and tells Kanto that the woman he killed wasn’t Myria. Kanto says he knew that already and calls on the Mother Box to transport them out of the apartment.
On Apokolips Mister Miracle breaks into a secret room. From there he makes his way into an underground sewer. He uses the sewer to make it into a room housing some Mother Boxes. He uses it to continue his search for whatever Darkseid found to power himself up.
On Earth Wonder Woman thinks about how she originally thought of her Justice League teammates as Gods when she first met them. Thinking back to her childhood Wonder Woman remembers how she always tried to look for ways to learn about the outside world but her mother would always stop her. It was then that she understood that what everyone was searching for something more.
In the present the Justice League are looking through the apartment of the woman that Kanto killed earlier that night. Flash points out that whoever was there was not human given what he found from the wine glass. Cyborg does his own scan of the apartment and as he is doing so Shazam mentions that it is the first time he’s seen a dead body.
Elsewhere, Superman tells Lex Luthor that he knows that Lex had Neutron transferred to Lexcorp and wonders why that was done. Lex says that he is going to treat Neutron and get answers about who put a price on his head. Superman is suspicious of Lex’s motives but Captain Cold says that Superman should give Lex a chance.
The three soon enter the room where Lex’s doctors are treating Neutron. The doctors say that because of the Amazo virus Neutron’s body is ravaged by cancer. Superman challenges Lex to use all his superior knowledge to cure Neutron.
Back on Apokolips, Mister Miracle is going through Darkseid’s files on the Justice League. He tells the Mother Box he has to copy the files on the Justice League and Myria Black. As he does that Darkseid arrives. Mister Miracle does his best to fight of Darkseid but is quickly overwhelmed. Just as Darkseid is about to crush Mister Miracle with his boot Mister Miracle uses the Mother Box to teleport away, while mentioning about knowing what Darkseid is after.
Back on Earth, Cyborg tells his teammates that there are reports of multiple women named Myrina Black have been killed. Green Lantern and Power Ring mention that their rings can find anything. Flash suddenly starts feeling funny. Darkseid’s Daughter suddenly comes through Flash’s mouth and slashes the speedster.
Darkseid’s Daughter attacks the Justice League, making sure to take Batman down first before fighting the others.
Elsewhere an injured Mister Miracle has teleported to a garage parking lot where a Myrina Black lays murdered. Lashina attacks Mister Miracle, who is able to dodger her attacks. Kanto suddenly appears to join Lashina.
Back at the apartment, Darkseid’s Daughter has taken Cyborg out. Shazam tries to retaliate but Darkseid’s Daughter quickly recovers from his attack and stabs Shazam in the back. Wonder Woman then goes one-on-one with Darkseid’s Daughter while also informing Superman about the Justice League’s current battle.
Darkseid’s Daughter unleashes her own version of the Omega Beam on Wonder Woman, who blocks it with her bracelets. As Wonder Woman is holding back the blast Darkseid’s Daughter reveals that she is an amazon. The power of Darkseid’s Daughters beams soon break Wonder Woman’s bracelet. Trevor and his men try to help Wonder Woman out but Darkseid’s Daughter uses her Omega Beam to destroy Trevor’s men.
At a Lexcorp lab, Lex tells his Lena Luthor to get his kryptonite suit ready. Superman is stunned that Lex has such a suit. Lex tells Superman that kryptonite can power a whole city and that his goal is to use kryptonite to power Metropolis. Superman says that no matter how Lex and his PR team spin it Lex is still a criminal. Lex gets frustrated by Superman’s constantly questioning him and attacks Superman. Lex suddenly gets shot from behind by Lena, who says that Superman shouldn’t be shocked that everyone hates Lex.
Back with the Justice League, Green Lantern and Power Ring try to double team Darkseid’s Daughter but they too fall to her might. Darkseid’s Daughter uses Power Ring’s ring to unleash what’s inside. As Darkseid’s Daughter revels in what is coming Ultraman is crying in horror in his cell. Mobius, the Anti-Monitor, arrives on the battlefield.
At Lex’s lab, Lena reveals that she has a Mother Box and that she is working for Darkseid. She uses the Mother Box to teleport Superman and Lex somewhere for Darkseid.
Elsewhere, Mister Miracle is having a difficult time fighting Kanto and Lashina. Somehow Mister Miracle is teleported away and to the location of that the Myrina Black everyone is looking for. Myrina asks Mister Miracle if he will join her war to kill Darkseid. End of issue.
The Good: Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok waste no time in hitting the ground running with their huge Darkseid War storyline. Justice League #41 has a lot of cogs in motion all at once and Johns impressively made sure they all worked in sync. The synchronization made the story feel like a true big event.
The thing that stood out right away was how Johns did not worry about the new status quo of various Justice League members. This Darkseid War stands on its own as we see all the changes made to all of the heroes post-Convergence haven’t happened yet. This allows us not have to worry about continuity outside what Johns has established during his Justice League run. It is an important decision that gives a greater spotlight on how this is a big event that only DC’s biggest heroes can handle.
The most impressive thing about Justice League #41 is how Johns masterfully manages to have all the characters in this story in multiple locations without ever losing focus on the main story. Everything that goes on in this issue moves with the purpose of moving the greater story forward. The way Johns is able to move from one location to another also gives a greater spotlight on how he decides to pair up the Justice League and New Gods.
The most interesting pairing out of them all is easily that of Superman and Lex Luthor. Johns has always had a great understanding of what makes this particular relationship tick and it’s no different here. Seeing how both characters were able to get on each other’s nerves throughout their interaction gave us a bit of reprieve from what the other Justice League members were doing. It was also a good way to keep Amazo virus story going as we see Lex not hiding the fact that he has been working on various methods focused around Superman.
The swerve of all these Superman and Lex scenes also played in well as we finally see why Johns has been building up Lena Luthor character after Forever Evil. While her double crossing Lex was not a surprised I was taken aback by the fact that she is actually an agent of Darkseid. It was something I was not expecting from her character arc at all. And with the rest of the story hitting predictable story beats this surprise is welcomed as it adds an element of uncertainty to how the story will go moving forward.
The battle between the Justice League and Darkseid’s Daughter was also well executed. While this battle was made to get Darkseid’s Daughter over as a threat I did enjoy the little tidbits that Johns threw in during the fight. Darkseid’s Daughter mentioning having to take out Batman first and re-emphasizing her amazon origins gave us a greater idea of how cunning she is. Seeing how Darkseid’s Daughter broke Wonder Woman’s bracelets also gave us a reason as to why we are seeing a change in Diana’s appearance in the post-Convergence DCU.
This battle also led us towards the reappearance of the Anti-Monitor, who is now going by the name of Mobius. Johns did a good job integrating scenes from Ultraman and Superwoman’s prison cells during the build-up of Mobius appearance. It added to how Johns has been introducing various types of characters during the course of his Justice League run.
Mister Miracle’s involvement in the story also helped to give context to how dangerous a place Apokolips has been built to be by Darkseid. This is an important element to help bring in new readers up to speed with what Johns has been doing during his run. It was also helpful in establishing the politics around the New Gods are as it is the exact thing that Mobius, Darkseid’s Daughter and Myrina Black are looking to tear down during this war.
Jason Fabok deserves just as much credit for this opening issues success as Johns. Fabok gives everything happening throughout Justice League #41 a big event feel it deserves. The scope of the story is never lost, even when there is a lot exposition being given. I especially enjoyed how Fabok gave Darkseid’s Daughter a sadistic smile during her fight with the Justice League. That enjoyment helped get across how big of threat she is on her own.
The Bad: The one problem I had against this issue was how much exposition we got during Mister Miracles introduction scene. While it was necessary to help give context to the story for new readers it did feel like Johns went overboard with how much we were given. It didn’t help that Wonder Woman’s inner monologue made Mister Miracles own a lot less special. It would’ve been smarter to have Mister Miracle as the only character with this type of exposition since we already have a general idea of how Wonder Woman ticks.
Overall: Justice League #41 is a great example of how to keep the opening issue of an event moving forward while introducing all the major players along the way. This attention to detail allowed every big moment Geoff Johns gives each character have a greater impact to what was going on. The issue also does a great job making the story really feel like there is no hope for the Justice League to overcome the might of Darkseid and Anti-Monitor’s forces as they are. Seeing how the Justice League can overcome these odds makes the anticipation for what comes next harder to endure.