comic books

Justice League #43 Review: Darkseid v Anti-Monitor is on

justice league 43 review

Justice League #43 continues the intense and epic Darkseid War arc, and whilst last issue was more of a moving pieces issue, this issue had a lot going on and it was pretty amazing. So let’s discuss Justice League #43.

Spoilers follow.

The issue opens up to Darkseid’s son, Kalibak. Kalibak, like his father, has a serious ego problem. But unlike his father, he fails to show calculated intelligence, and instead is driven without a purpose, by his anger. I’m sure Kalibak will play a major role in the war, and do something to screw something up real bad.

We then jump to Shazam’s fortress, where Bat-God is chilling on his chair. You have to admire Fabok’s art, as his facial expressions perfectly captures the smugness Bat-God has, now that he’s the holder of all knowledge. Batman could be a bit of an arrogant know-it-all before, but now, with the knowledge of the multiverse, he’s a lot worse.

This is something Batman has wanted for a long time. Ever since his parents’ death, he has felt like he lacked control. Now with the Mobius chair Bat-God has control and power. He has expansive knowledge that could help solve all of his problems. However no one should have to deal with having all the knowledge in the world. That could be a very dangerous thing. Sometimes knowing our limits is what keeps us safe, and Bat-God clearly thinks he is without limits now, which is obviously not going to end well.

Thankfully Green Lantern is being the rational one (also probably the slightly jealous one) and is ensuring to keep an eye out on Bat-God, perfect time for male-bonding after all.

We then jump back to the adventures of Lex Luthor and Superman. You have to love the way Geoff Johns writes the back and forth between these characters. His writing really shows the stark differences in ideologies and thinking these two characters have. Whilst Clark is quickly one to jump to diplomacy and believe in innocence and goodness, Luthor wastes no time and quickly writes off their attackers. And because Superman and Luthor have been through so many fights, they know how to handle each other. Clark ignores Luthor’s arrogance with sarcasm, and Luthor ignores Clark’s boy scout nature by just continuing on with his actions no matter what Clark says.

There was a great moment where Luthor stood still for a moment in shock, as he saw a god bleed. Witnessing Superman weak on Apokolips truly revealed his vulnerability to Luthor, making him for a second reevaluate the grand nature he generally associates with Superman. And in a dynamic shift in power, it’s Superman who has to rely upon Luthor to help save him. Justice League #43 review

Justice League #43 truly kicked off the war between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor. As Grail draws Darkseid to her, the rest of the League members are caught in between a war of gods. And whilst we normally look up to the Justice League as the most powerful beings, the are tiny compared to the massive war that is breaking out between Darkseid and Anti-Monitor.

The last few action panels were truly cinematic in scope. The explosive colours coupled with the action-filled art of two gods charging at each other, really portrayed the massive scope of this story arc. This isn’t just a throwaway story arc, this is a big one, and demonstrates that there really are forces out there more powerful than the Justice League. The Justice League are hardly gods compared to those two beings.

And as Wonder Woman narrates, all the League can do is pick a lesser evil. Scot is determined to defeat Darkseid, so it looks like the League might have to be team Anti-Monitor, until Darkseid is defeated. However there are other players involved before the war can even come close to a conclusion.

Such as Superman, who went through a bit of a change at the end of Justice League #43. Perhaps bathing in the flames of Apokolips isn’t the best idea. So what happened to Superman at the end? Well it looks like he has been corrupted in the flames, and the darkness of Apokolips has consumed him. Justice League #43 review

Now this slightly annoys me because I’m sick of evil Superman stories. The number of times we’ve gotten the whole, “oh something or someone has brainwashed Superman in some way and now he’s eviiiillll” story has happened a thousand and one times in the comics. And I get it, an evil Superman is always an interesting story to explore, but it’s been done way too many times. The solicitations of the upcoming Justice League issues suggest that most of the League will undergo some change anyways, so I guess something similar will happen to all the League members (I wonder how a Bat-God vs Apokolips Superman fight would go down like).

Wonder Woman’s monologue at the end of the issue suggested some foreshadowing of what’s coming up. “Those are the lessons from the gods. They are far from perfect. They are anything but. They will turn on you. They will turn on their own family. On themselves. The gods are at war, and not all of us will survive”. So perhaps we will see some League members turning on each other as they attain their god-like powers. But the big question is, will someone die? I’m definitely expecting a major character death (obviously not one of the core 7), but someone will die. To have a war on this scale, and have no casualties, just wouldn’t make sense.

Overall Justice League #43 set-up perfectly the epicness that is about to go down. Johns and Fabok have been bringing their all to the grand-scale story, that explores the power dynamics within the DC universe. The Justice League are merely ants in this war between two of the most powerful beings in the DC universe. It will definitely be interesting to see what goes down in Justice League #44. 8.4/10.
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