Justice League have been in the middle of their own The End-style story as they have re-assembled after previously breaking up in a new continuity. This new continuity comes courtesy from the minds of Chip Zdarsky and Miguel Mendonca under the title of Justice League: Last Ride. And thus far the series has lived up to this being a Last Ride adventure for the Justice League as they have been trying to protect Lobo before a major trial at the United Planets. This security mission has been made even more complicated by the fact that they now have to fight Mongul, Cyborg Superman, Braininac, and the Manhunters while protecting Lobo. How will things turn out with all these developments? Let’s find out with Justice League: Last Ride #6.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Miguel Mendonca
Colorist: Erica Angiolini
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
Synopsis: As Batman discovers a room where Darkseid cloned himself as a back-up he realizes that Darkseid’s mind took over Hal Jordan’s body when Oa blew up. Darkseid in Hal’s body mocks Batman for walking right into his plan. Darkseid then transfers his mind and Green Lantern Power Battery powers into his new clone body.
On another part of Apokolips, Superman and Flash battle a Brainiac-controlled Cyborg Superman, the Manhunters, and some bounty hunters. Superman gets caught by some of the Manhunters. Just as Braniac-Cyborg Superman is about to kill Superman with a kryptonite knife Wonder Woman and Green Lantern John Stewart arrive for the save.
Batman contacts the Justice League to let them know they all fell into Darkseid’s plan and is about to use the power he obtained from the Green Lantern Power Battery to bring Apocalypse back to life.
This warning comes to late as Darkseid uses he full power of his Green Lantern powers to reactivate Apokolips. As this happens Darkseid unleashes a horde of Parademon constructs.
Back at Darkseid’s lab Batman informs the Justice League that he has run out of time to escape. Just before the lab blows up Superman, motivated to not let anyone die this time, shows up and saves Batman and Hal.
Over where the Justice League were keeping Lobo, John Stewart takes the villain to the rest of the team.
At the same time Batman orders Wonder Woman and Flash to retreat and meet up with everyone.
Once they are together Batman interrogates Lobo to find out Darkseid hired him to lure the Justice League to Apokolips. Seeing no other way out of this Batman offers Lobo two million Thanagarian credits to help them stop Darkseid. Lobo accepts the offer.
Batman then gets everyone to make their focus on stopping Darkseid and worrying about Lobo’s trial later.
Elsewhere Darkseid equips Granny Goodness with a Green Lantern construct power suit. Superman and Wonder Woman show up to take on Darkseid and Granny Goodness. While Wonder Woman takes on Granny Goodness, Superman is immediately overpowered by the Oa-powered Darkseid.
At the same time Batman, John Stewart, Flash, and Lobo take on Braniac-Cyborg Superman and his forces.
Back at the fight with Darkseid, Wonder Woman is able to defeat Granny Goodness. Seeing this Darkseid turns his attention to and immediately captures Wonder Woman.
As Darkseid is about to kill Wonder Woman a voice is heard telling Darkseid “You may have outrun death but as long as we exist you will not outrun Justice.” A Green Lantern energy based Martian Manhunter suddenly appears much to Wonder Woman’s shock. End of issue.
The Good: After five issues of build up Justice League: Last Ride #6 executes the payoff extremely well. Chip Zdarsky and Miguel Mendonca bring together all the plot threads they have been working on in both the present day and flashback scenes to make Darkseid’s big reveal have the biggest impact possible.
Especially coming off the ending of the last issue with Darkseid blowing up the Power Battery there was clearly something big that was going to be revealed from that cliffhanger ending. Immediately starting Justice League: Last Ride #6 with the answer as to the importance of this decision by Darkseid was all well executed. Zdarsky and Mendonca wasted no time making what Darkseid did and is now doing with his new powers something you see the great urgency for the Justice League and DC Universe as a whole.
The entire issue does a good job in creating a scenario where as soon as Darkseid appears you have no idea how the Justice League can stop him. Because he was already a difficult opponent for the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman to take on before. But now with the full power of the Green Lantern Power Battery at his disposal he comes across as unstoppable. That aura of unstoppability is done well through both Darkseid’s dialogue and the way he is drawn.
Adding to how big of a threat Darkseid is was how it all played into the trial Lobo was being protected for. A development I particularly appreciated from Lobo’s trial was that it didn’t turn out to be a big intricate fabrication Darkseid created while controlling Hal Jordan. Lobo’s trial is still something that is real and it was all caused by Darkseid in order for his plan to be executed. That little detail makes Darkseid an even better bad guy because he was truly willing to do anything to make sure he regained his full power and got his revenge on the Justice League at the same time.
This also made Lobo’s presentation in Justice League: Last Ride #6 the best of the series thus far. He has largely just been an annoyance up to this point. But the fact that Lobo has been doing everything he has done was because Darkseid hired him gave him more layers than he previously had. This also made the fact that Batman was able to hire Lobo with a ton of Thanagarian credits further drive home how he will take any job as long as he is paid well.
All of this worked as a way to finally bring the Justice League together. Because up to this point we have seen each of the Justice League members acting more as individuals rather than a team. But now with Darkseid back they don’t have the luxury of just being a bunch of individuals. The threat they are facing is too large that they need to put their differences aside to win. Which we see with how they are all operating more as a team in the final battle against Darkseid, Brainiac-Cyborg Superman, and the other villains.
This full reformation of the Justice League made the fact that they still struggled against Darkseid’s increase power be an effective way to create concern for how things would turn out. Darkseid easily took on Superman and Wonder Woman. With that concern created Zdarsky was able to make the ending of Justice League: Last Ride #6 have the biggest impact possible as we see a Green Lantern energy Martian Manhunter reappear. The way this ending was done you are left as surprised as Wonder Woman was. Which Mendonca deserves a lot of credit for making that final page as epic as possible as Martian Manhunter’s new form did make it feel like things were finally turning around for the Justice League.
The Bad: The one thing that didn’t fully work was how the other villains outside Darkseid were used in this issue. Brainiac-Cyborg Superman, Granny Goodness, the Manhunters, and other villains were nothing more than grunts. We even see that with how easily Wonder Woman takes on Granny Goodness even after Darkseid gave her additional powers. It doesn’t impact the story heavily but something that was noticeable compared to how much of a struggle these villains were in previous issues.
Overall: Justice League: Last Ride #6 does a great job raising the stakes to be as high as possible going into the final issue of this series. Darkseid’s resurrection has the strong impact you expect from this epic villain. The developments around Darkseid and how the Justice League are facing impossible odds made the ending deliver the maximum amount of hype it could have.
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