Join Us / Login

Justice League Review: Superman Joins The Darkseid War

Kyle King Kyle King
Expert Contributor
November 8th, 2015

T. Kyle King’s published work ranges from newspaper columns to film reviews and from short stories to law review articles. Most notably, he served as a site manager and staff writer at DawgSports.com, a daily weblog devoted to University of Georgia athletics, from 2006 to 2013, and he is the author of a book about the history of the college football rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson Tigers published by Clemson University Digital Press in 2013. Kyle is a lifelong comic book fan whose thoughts on comic books previously have appeared at ComicsVerse, Progressive Boink, and the Superman Homepage. Kyle is a Superman guy.

Justice League Review: Superman Joins The Darkseid War
Comics
68 Comments
Price:
Superfluous

Reviewed by:
Rating:
2
On November 8, 2015
Last modified:November 8, 2015

Summary:

This rehash of overused themes covers familiar ground in an unoriginal and confusing manner.

Price:
Superfluous

Reviewed by:
Rating:

2
On November 8, 2015
Last modified:November 8, 2015

Summary:

This rehash of overused themes covers familiar ground in an unoriginal and confusing manner.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Darkseid is dead, and some members of the Justice League have been granted god-like powers as a result. Individual superheroes are wrestling with these sinister new abilities in The Darkseid War, and ComiConverse’s Superman writer, T. Kyle King, has taken a look at the God of Steel installment written by Francis Manapul and drawn by Bong Dazo.

Justice League: The Darkseid War – Superman #1 zeroes in on the Man of Steel as he returns to Earth from Apokolips. The dark solar energies of that evil alien world have infected and affected Superman, transforming him into the god of strength. Is he still the same superhero underneath?

Synopsis

Just as it appears the Man of Tomorrow has abandoned Metropolis, he returns home with a bang: Superman, his appearance changed to an eerie glowing black and white, crashes into the Daily Planet building while battling an irate alien in a battle suit. Superman pulls his diminutive assailant out of the creature’s oversized armor, dismissively tosses his opponent aside, and heads to Melvin’s Diner to demand apple pie.

When the alien departs, he unleashes a creeping plague of black gunk that eventually envelopes all of Metropolis. Jimmy Olsen plaintively appeals to the seemingly indifferent Man of Steel’s better nature just before the entire city is stilled by the tar-like substance. To prove his power, Superman frees the city by freezing the ooze with his super-breath and smashing the now-brittle substance into shards. The darkened hero then flies away while ominously observing that the appearance of Metropolis’s restoration to normality is deceiving.

Credit: DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

Analysis

Story continues below

I hadn’t planned on following any part of The Darkseid War until I learned this issue prominently featured Jimmy Olsen, so I suppose I should start by addressing the significance of Superman’s pal. In an interview published the day before this issue was released, Manapul offered his thoughts on the role Olsen plays in God of Steel, saying: “Jimmy is essentially the hero of the story. He is really Superman’s best connection to humanity…. Jimmy is the best reminder of who Superman was and how that contrasts with the powerful, corrupted guy in the book. He’s a great analogue for us as fans.”

These comments drew some negative responses on social media from fans who rightly noted that Lois Lane, lately much maligned as the betrayer of Clark Kent’s secret identity in Truth, has for more than three-quarters of a century been Superman’s actual best connection to humanity. While I am a Jimmy Olsen fan, I agree with the critics who contend that Lois ranks first on the list of the Man of Tomorrow’s capeless confidants. Her absence from Justice League: The Darkseid War – Superman #1 is therefore noteworthy, and, in light of her conspicuous omission, it certainly would have been wise of Manapul to be more mindful of the reaction his words were likely to elicit when he substantially exaggerated Olsen’s relative significance.

Manapul is mistaken when he claims Jimmy is “Superman’s best connection to humanity”, but, as a guy who spent 20 years starring in a solo series with the words Superman’s Pal in the title, he’ll certainly do as a suitable substitute in a one-shot comic. Besides, we’re talking about a story in which a black-clad protagonist possessed by an otherworldly embodiment of evil displays an inclination to devour multiple slices of pie at the local diner; any tale that contains such overt reminders of Twin Peaks’ Dale Bartholomew Cooper may as well feature the comic book character who shares the FBI agent’s middle name, James Bartholomew Olsen.

Dazo delivers a traditional depiction of the Daily Planet cub reporter, complete with red bow tie and green sweater vest, and he highlights the photojournalist’s youth by having him pedal a bicycle through Metropolis traffic while wearing a child’s safety helmet. This is amusing, but it’s a bit over the top, which is a common problem with God of Steel.

Credit: DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

Of course, this is a superhero comic book, so there are plenty of places where the brashness of Dazo’s graphics and the boldness of Hi-Fi’s colors are more than welcome. The double-page splash that introduces the title while the two-toned Superman batters his opponent’s enormous exoskeleton with Earth serving as their backdrop is eye-catching, as is the later two-page layout showing the Metropolis skyline with the horror of the inky alien infestation grotesquely depicted in the foreground.

Subtlety, however, is not the strong suit of this issue’s imagery. Every emotional display is overwrought. Jimmy’s facial expression remains unchanged for more than nine consecutive pages, even though he is utterly immobilized for fewer than five of them. For three panels, super-breath looks disconcertingly like super-spit. The Kryptonian power-punch that liberates the city sends shock waves across two pages, producing a smash so outsized, it literally contains three A’s, four S’s, and five and a half H’s.

In the artwork, though, Dazo’s and Hi-Fi’s form follows Manapul’s function, as the script is nothing if not blunt. Before entering the diner where he expects to find the superhero who has been taken over by an outside force, Jimmy makes eye contact with the audience so he can sell the telegraphed double meaning of the line: “I hope you’re in there.” (Just in case anyone was dense enough to miss it, though, Jimmy’s first words after being freed are, “Superman! You’re in there!”) A similar forthrightness is evident in each piece of dialogue; every character’s words are direct, declarative, and unfiltered.

What isn’t overly on the nose is entirely inscrutable. It’s unclear at the beginning where Superman and his attacker land after appearing at first to crash into the Daily Planet newsroom. It’s unclear at the end why Jimmy is yelling, “Superman, wait!” while running through the newspaper’s offices carrying a cup of coffee immediately after being freed. There seems to be no discernible reason why the alien speaks English in reverse, and no explanation is offered for why the Man of Steel’s piercing blue eyes momentarily peer out through his monochromatic exterior when the departure of a pigeon leaves him entirely alone. The story frequently veers from in your face to over your head.

Credit: DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

Finally, any aspect of God of Steel that isn’t either obvious or inexplicable is derivative. The ordinarily lovably gruff Perry White is openly cynical here, just as he has been in the Truth and Justice arcs in the main Superman books. The black gunk that overtakes Metropolis looks suspiciously similar to the alien tar unleashed by Wrath in Action Comics. Most notably, the crepuscular Kryptonian whose solar batteries have been charged by the darkness of Apokolips offers an apathetic alternative that actually is less brutal than the Man of Steel seen in Superman/Wonder Woman.

In his recent interview, Manapul opined: “I think anytime you do an evil Superman, it feels like an exploration of what makes him super…. It’s all about him, and that fundamentally changes who Superman is. And brings to light what he’s usually all about: he’s completely selfless. Exploring him in this manner reminds us what makes him such a different character from all the other heroes.”

Story continues below

Is that really an exploration we’re lacking? We’ve just come through Truth. We’re still working our way through Justice. Superman: American Alien is on tap for the very month during which Justice League: The Darkseid War – Superman #1 was released. Was there truly a need for one more dark take on the Man of Steel? It seems to me that, when it comes to crafting comics concerning a corrupted Kal-El, we’ve been there and done that – and Superman is there, is doing that, and is still wearing the T-shirt. God of Steel was perfectly fine for what it was, but it ultimately occupies the shallow end of a pool that already was deeper than it needed to be.

Have you enlisted in The Darkseid War?

How do you think God of Steel compared to the other installments in the Justice League storyline?

Please ComiConverse with us by sharing your thoughts in the comments below!

 

T. Kyle King is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @TKyleKing.

Justice League: The Darkseid War – Superman #1

  • 2

Superfluous

This rehash of overused themes covers familiar ground in an unoriginal and confusing manner.

(Visited 589 times, 1 visits today)

68 Comments

  1. I simply want to say I’m all new to blogging and absolutely liked your web blog. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You certainly come with impressive articles. Bless you for revealing your web site.

  2. If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

  3. The INTEREST RATES doesn’t necessarily compensate appeal for almost any too much tax bill repayments, therefore you are really bringing this inside slacks by simply not altering the duty repayments.

  4. Usually I don’t read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very great post.

  5. Arts & Dance says:

    Hello, you used to write great, but the last few posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a little out of track! come on!

  6. Game says:

    Definitely, what a fantastic website and illuminating posts, I surely will bookmark your site.All the Best!

  7. Automotive says:

    There is apparently a bunch to realize about this. I suppose you made some nice points in features also.

  8. Business says:

    Well I truly liked studying it. This information procured by you is very helpful for correct planning.

  9. Automotive says:

    Thank you so much for giving everyone a very special possiblity to discover important secrets from here. It’s usually so enjoyable plus full of a good time for me personally and my office acquaintances to visit your website more than thrice per week to learn the fresh secrets you have. Of course, I’m also at all times satisfied concerning the magnificent things you serve. Certain 4 ideas in this article are in reality the most efficient we have all had.

  10. Sports says:

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too fantastic. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a great web site.

  11. Business says:

    I¡¦m no longer sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic. I must spend a while learning more or understanding more. Thank you for wonderful info I used to be on the lookout for this info for my mission.

  12. Business says:

    I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting! Carry on the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site 🙂

  13. Automotive says:

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  14. Automotive says:

    I have been examinating out many of your stories and i can state nice stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your blog.

  15. I’ve been surfing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, but I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours. It is pretty value sufficient for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made just right content as you did, the internet will be much more helpful than ever before.

  16. Pets says:

    I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

  17. Law & Legal says:

    Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and internet and this is really frustrating. A good site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  18. You can certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  19. I happen to be commenting to let you understand what a magnificent experience our child had browsing the blog. She came to understand a lot of details, including how it is like to possess an excellent coaching nature to get many more without problems know specific grueling matters. You undoubtedly exceeded readers’ expectations. Thanks for offering such insightful, safe, informative and as well as easy tips on the topic to Evelyn.

  20. I as well as my pals have been analyzing the excellent guidelines located on your web site and so the sudden I had an awful suspicion I had not thanked the web site owner for those techniques. Those guys came certainly stimulated to read through all of them and have now very much been taking pleasure in those things. We appreciate you truly being so considerate and then for deciding on varieties of remarkable guides millions of individuals are really desperate to be informed on. My sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.

  21. I haven¡¦t checked in here for some time as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I¡¦ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  22. Pets says:

    I enjoy you because of all of the hard work on this web site. Ellie really loves making time for investigations and it is easy to see why. A number of us know all about the dynamic medium you render good tips and tricks on the web blog and even cause response from other ones on this area while my daughter is without a doubt discovering a lot. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You’re the one conducting a first class job.

  23. Law & Legal says:

    I really appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again

  24. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your blog. You have some really great articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Thanks!

  25. Emeryeps says:

    Very motivating highlights that you have stated, thanks a lot for publishing.

  26. Science says:

    It is truly a great and useful piece of info. I am happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Mike Koosher says:

    IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

  28. Law & Legal says:

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  29. divorces says:

    Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

  30. We stumbled over here different web page and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking over your web page again.

  31. SacramentoCremation.us is one of the leading crematorium services in the Sacramento area. Feel free to contact us regarding any questions on Sacramento Cremation Services or concerns you might have. Our staff will respond to you as soon as possible.

  32. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  33. If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

  34. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  35. Emeryeps is a SEO(Search Engine optimzation) and Internet Marketing company. They help businesses to get traffic from various search engine and online community. They have seo experts and consultants with many years of SEO Experiences. No matter where your business is located, EmeryEPS.com can help your business to secure your highly convertible leads online.

  36. IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

  37. The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  38. imsc says:

    IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

  39. Url Site says:

    It can be near unattainable to see well-qualified americans on this issue, even though you seem like you realize which you’re indicating! Cheers

  40. My Web says:

    I just intend to inform you that I am new to blog posting and extremely cherished your information. Likely I am inclined to remember your blog post . You truly have great article content. Like it for giving out with us your favorite domain document

  41. find more says:

    Quite engaging details you’ll have mentioned, thank you so much for posting.

  42. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read more things about it!

  43. It¡¦s actually a cool and helpful piece of info. I am happy that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  44. It is right opportunity to construct some schemes for the long run. I’ve browsed this blog entry and if I could, I desire to suggest to you you couple insightful pointers.

  45. Thank you, I’ve just been looking for info about this subject for ages and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far. But, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you sure concerning the supply?

  46. togel sidney says:

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  47. I have been examinating out a few of your posts and i can claim pretty clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your website.

  48. Someone essentially assist to make severely posts I would state. That is the very first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I surprised with the analysis you made to make this actual publish extraordinary. Wonderful process!

  49. Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  50. Games says:

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  51. Dog says:

    Great article and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any ideea where to employ some professional writers? Thx 🙂

  52. There is perceptibly a lot to know about this. I assume you made various good points in features also.

  53. Business says:

    Hello. magnificent job. I did not expect this. This is a fantastic story. Thanks!

  54. hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this website, as I experienced to reload the site many times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

  55. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, as well as the content!

  56. You can certainly see your expertise in the paintings you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

  57. Keep working ,splendid job!

  58. Hello.This post was really remarkable, particularly since I was investigating for thoughts on this topic last Thursday.

  59. Business says:

    I delight in, cause I discovered exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  60. Education says:

    Well I truly liked studying it. This information procured by you is very practical for good planning.

  61. Business says:

    Excellent site. Plenty of helpful info here. I am sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks on your effort!

  62. “Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!”

  63. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite sure I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  64. Technology says:

    What i don’t understood is in reality how you’re not really much more smartly-appreciated than you may be now. You are so intelligent. You know thus considerably in relation to this topic, made me individually imagine it from a lot of various angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested unless it¡¦s something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. All the time take care of it up!

  65. Technology says:

    Magnificent web site. Lots of useful info here. I¡¦m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you to your effort!

  66. You are a very capable person!

  67. “Great Blogpost! great threat, i like it, thanks very_ much.”

ComiConverse with us...

Yes No