Time to review Justice League #5, as we return to the aftermath of Darkseid’s first full appearance in the New 52 DC universe. Does he measure up to the Darkseid of old? Can our recently formed League take him down? Let’s see!
The entire Justice League has been KO’ed by Darkseid’s initial assault. Flash and Superman are up first and quickly have to dodge away from Darkseid’s Omega Beams, which are homed in on them like heat seeking missiles. Flash uses his wits to barely avoid the beams, but Superman isn’t so lucky. He takes an Omega beam straight in the back! after which, he gets carted off to a boomtube by some Parademons.
However, other than the rest of the team realizing that they have another new member in Cyborg, most of the cast doesn’t have much to do in this issue. Green Lantern continues to be stupid and goes up against Darkseid by himself, getting his ass kicked and his arm broken in about three places. Then, inexplicably, Darkseid walks off toward downtown Metropolis instead of finishing him off.
Finally, Batman talks Green Lantern down from going after Darkseid and hits him with some armor piercing psychoanalysis. This however leads to a completely out-of-character moment that annoyed me. Batman tells GL who he is and removes his cowl. In PUBLIC!!!
Granted, we are to assume that most of the downtown populace is either dead, kidnapped by parademons, or in hiding miles away. But STILL! Batman would never take such a huge risk in public just to get through to a stupid teammate.
Regardless, Batman tells GL to regroup with the rest of the Justice League and formulate a real plan to take down Darkseid. Thankfully Green Lantern actually heeds Batman’s advice and gathers the rest of the team. Meanwhile, Batman sneaks into a boomtube and arrives…on Apokolips!
Batman finally set Green Lantern straight without being a prick about it. Someone needed to rein Hal Jordan in before he got himself and others killed. Batman made him look beyond his own issues and take in the bigger picture.
Another good thing was showing that Darkseid’s Omega Beams can actually hurt Superman. As many have seen in the past, Superman is such a powerful guy that it’s hard to write him in perilous situations. But having Superman taken out immediately establishes that it’ll take more than the Man of Steel to take Darkseid down.
Even though it’s become a moot point now, Jim Lee and Scott Williams continue to impress with their amazing art.
What didn’t work:
Again, it came off as very OOC for Batman to reveal his civilian identity in public. That just felt lazy to me. There should have been another way to get through the Green Lantern that didn’t include Batman taking off his cowl and telling his long tortured origin story…in PUBLIC.
And again, the rest of the team (Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Flash after the first few pages) didn’t have much to do. Best we take care of that in the next issue.
What was gross:
The way that Omega Beam hit Superman looked so WRONG. Eesh!
All in all, this was one of the weaker issues in the new Justice League series. However, I think it served two purposes.
1.) Establish Darkseid as a legitimate threat.
2.) Get the Justice League to officially team up and strategize on how to deal with this new alien menance.
So in those veins it was successful. Let’s see some better plotting and action next issue! 'Til next time!