The comic book that will define the rest of 2022 for DC Comics is finally here: Justice League #75. DC Comics has been hyping up this comic book up for months as it will set the table for the upcoming Dark Crisis event. We already know what will happen in this comic book as DC Comics is marketing this as “The Death Of The Justice League.” From the title alone we know we are in store for a dark story by Joshua Williamson and Rafa Sandoval. In living up to the name of the story we know only one member of the Justice League will survive this issue. Which member survives? Let’s find out with Justice League #75.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Inker: Jordi Taragona
Colorist: Matt Herms
On Earth-Zero Black Adam, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern John Stewart, Hawkgirl, Superman (Clark Kent), Zatanna, Aquaman (Arthur Curry), Martian Manhunter, Black Canary, and Green Arrow teleported away from their individual locations. They all end up at The House Of Heroes (the home of the Justice League Incarnate).
President Superman of Earth-23 explains how the Flash (Barry Allen) is currently stuck in a twisted reality and Darkseid has been enslaved by The Great Darkness, which has created an unstoppable army. Wonder Woman mentions finding hope in her journey with The Spectre when saving the Multiverse. President Superman reveals to Wonder Woman’s shock that The Spectre is dead.
The Great Darkness suddenly attacks and starts consuming The House Of Heroes. Doctor Multiverse acts quickly by teleporting both Justice League teams to the ruins of a dead Multiverse previously swallowed by The Great Darkness.
Pariah suddenly appears revealing he is there to witness another great disaster as for the true Multiverse to be reborn Earth-Zero must die. Pariah then reveals that he is working for The Great Darkness and summon the Dark Army, which includes Darkseid, Eclipso, Doomsday, The Empty Hand, Nekron, Neron, and Ares.
As the Justice League and Dark Army fight the heroes realize that the members of the villains aren’t fighting normally as Pariah is stretching himself to control everyone. Though this helps the Justice League stand a chance they are still overwhelmed by the numbers and power of the Dark Army.
John Stewart uses his upgraded Green Lantern to create constructs of other Justice League members to turn things around. Just as things are looking up The Quintessence suddenly appear to witness what is going on. The Spectre then appears and immediately attacks Green Lantern.
As the fighting is nonstop Green Arrow hits Pariah’s machine with an explosive arrow that severely damages it. Pissed off, Pariah has Doomsday kill Green Arow.
Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman confront Pariah together. Seeing as they just delayed the inevitable Pariah uses his new powers to instantly kill Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Pariah then kills Green Lantern, Zatanna, Aquaman, Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter
Black Adam tries to fight Pariah but his punches do nothing. Pariah then proceeds to kill the Justice League Incarnate. With no other option Black Adam shouts “SHAZAM!” so the lightning that strikes knocks both he and Pariah out.
Back on Earth-Zero, at the Hall of Justice, Flash (Wally West), Naomi, Detective Chimp, and Firestorm work on tracking down the missing Justice League members. As Superman (Jon Kent) shows up to ask about his dad something causes an earthquake to shake the Hall of Justice.
Superman, Flash, and Naomi go check what caused it and are shocked to find a severely injured Black Adam. Black Adam weakly says “The Justice…League…Are…Dead.” End of issue.
Justice League #75 lived up to its title. In its own way this comic book is a mini-event. There was no time wasted as even the set-up for what is going on is done quickly so we get right into what “The Death Of The Justice League” is about.
From an overall story perspective I do appreciate that Joshua Williamson and Rafa Sandoval trust the reader that by invoking name The Great Darkness you’ll feel how big of a threat the Justice League are facing. There isn’t a deep history lesson about all the times The Great Darkness has been taken on. Williamson and Sandoval instead put over The Great Darkness by the way the two Justice League teams talk about it and react when President Superman or Doctor Multiverse reveal new details.
At the same time, this is where Justice League #75 also hits the greatest weakness of “The Death Of The Justice League” story. And that is feeling that there is a lot of catch up being done to make it seem like this is culmination of a long-building storyline. While it is true that Williamson has been building this story through Infinite Frontier and Justice League Incarnate, it was not something dealt by this series. The members of the Dark Army in particular doesn’t hit like it should because its hard to care about mindless zombie versions of classic villains fighting the Justice League without build to this reveal.
That said, the second half of Justice League #75 really picks up with big-event level action. As soon as Pariah appears on the screen you know that something big is about to go down. Pariah being what kickstarts both “The Death Of The Justice League” and upcoming Dark Crisis event felt right. Adding the element that Pariah has fallen to The Great Darkness made it so the Justice League where taking on this evil that didn’t have a form. Williamson and Sandoval were able to have the threat of The Great Darkness be visualized through Pariah.
While the Dark Army impact in terms of story potential leaves a lot to be desired Sandoval does an excellent job getting over how difficult of a fight this was for the Justice League. Even with the slight advantage that Darkseid, Eclipso, Doomsday, The Empty Hand, Nekron, Neron, and Ares weren’t fighting at 100% this was still difficult. Each of these villains are powerful in their own right to make them a threat even while under control.
That led to a strong sense of escalation as John Stewart used his Green Lantern powers to turn things around. From there we get how big of a deal Spectre’s surprise return to attack John as it immediately turned things back to the villains side. Which led to the last ditch attempt by Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman to take down Pariah be a great way to fully kick off the fall of the Justice League. Sandoval did well in getting over how Pariah was done messing around as he killed just about everyone.
This made the fact that Black Adam was shown as the only survivor to be a big surprise. He was someone I did not think would be one of the likely to survive this fight given he is not as connected to the rest of the DCU as any of the other members. Though that unexpected twist of Black Adam being the sole survivor does further emphasize how all the other DCU heroes must step up even more. There is no iconic Justice League member to help rally everyone. It is going to fall on others that weren’t on any of the Justice League rosters to step up with what is coming to Earth-Zero.
Though it should be mentioned that we didn’t see Black Canary killed by Pariah or the Dark Army. The last we see of her she is mourning Green Arrow’s death as Black Adam and Pariah are knocked out. So while Black Adam is the survivor that makes it back to Earth-Zero it does appear that Black Canary survives but is now stuck in the dimension where the ruins of a dead Multiverse is at. Given the emphasis of that final shot with Black Canary it’ll be interesting if Williamson follows up with this throughout the Dark Crisis event as a sub-plot.
Joshua Williamson and Rafa Sandoval lived up to what was promised by Justice League #75 for months. Though certain aspects about “The Death Of The Justice League” were rushed the mission was accomplished in building interest for the upcoming Dark Crisis event. I am invested in where Williamson is planning to take the DC Universe next with all the major heroes taken out of the equation. If you are intrigued by the upcoming Dark Crisis event this is a comic book you’ll want to pick up and read.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10