Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Written by: Chris Terrio …
With the clock winding down and with only 3 issues in the War to go, not all of the characters are at the forefront in Justice League #47, but it works lest the already packed title become overstuffed with players. With the main artist back on to finish the event, the “Darkseid War” should begin to wrap up character arcs and pick up steam to change the landscape of DC Universe in issue 50.
The Dark Knight III #2 has some wooden dialogue and a chase scene that is a little too similar to last issue’s magnificent one, but it does a great job establishing the characters of Carrie Kelly’s Batman and Lara while setting up the conflict between humanity and the Master Race. The Wonder Woman backup story is a real treat and positions Diana as a wild card in the issues to come in her roles as both warrior and mother. (Risso nails this part of her as she swings a sword with a baby slung on her back.)
The Dark Knight III #1 is bombastic in its themes and scale and type of art drawn by Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, and Brad Anderson. There are ideological differences between gods and mortals, the law and citizens hinted at or show vividly on the page with blood flowing like red wine on the Gotham rooftops leading to the kind of conflict that spawns one of the biggest, final page cliffhangers in recent memory.
The Darkseid War rages on and is proving to be the biggest and largest story DC has told yet in the New 52 and DCYou era through the Justice League title. Readers are treated to an artistic switch with Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, who were the team that ushered in a new era for The Flash at the New 52’s inception to give us this aftermath of the insanity that went down in issue #44.
On the surface, the title of Final Crisis feels like a misnomer. How can there even be a “final” crisis? There will always be a DC Universe, there will always be earth-shattering dangers, and there will always be heroes to ensure the end is never really the end. But the strength of Final Crisis lies in that it recognizes this, and uses this fact as the crux of the entire event: the promotional tagline was, after all, “Heroes die. Legends live forever.” The characters and stories of the DC Universe are timeless, never-ending, and very much alive in the way that language can be said to be alive. It’s from this angle that writer Grant Morrison attempts to comment on and interact with DC’s complex and often unwieldy history. While Final Crisis is not the final challenge these characters will ever face (because nothing ever will be until the day DC stops publishing — and at this point that’ll likely be the same day CNN puts it “Nearer, My God, to Thee” video to use), one walks away from it feeling like they’ve just experienced the ultimate in everything the DC Universe was, is, and will be.
JLA #1 is another feather in Bryan Hitch’s artistic cap as he excels at showing superheroes in action along with labs, helicopters, explosions, and even a decent flirty interaction between Clark Kent and Lois Lane. However, his plot maybe suffers from some hypercompression as ideas, threats, and allies are introduced at a rapid pace without proper establishment. There are also a few story logic issues, The Flash and Green Lantern are written interchangeably, and Cyborg is kind of treated as deus ex machina. These misfires make JLA #1 an average comic with great art.
As DC’s next big soft-core reboot begins underway, one of the most troubling facts to acknowledge is that despite the compay’s claims to have a new marketing strategy with a wider target audience in mind, that some of their most troubling decisions dating all the way back to 2011 are going nowhere. Case in point, just about everything involving DC’s handling of Wonder Woman, not just in comics but also video games, animated movies, and very likely the upcoming live action films, seems to be stripping the character of the revolutionary feminist philosophies that she was born from and replacing it with the same toxic masculinity straight out of 300. DC has taken William Moulton Marston and swapped him for Frank Miller and it still remains one of the New 52’s cardinal sins that intends to live on beyond Convergence.
Artist/writer Jill Thompson has one of the most idiosyncratic bodies of work in contemporary comics ranging from important arcs on legendary comics series The Sandman and The Invisibles to more traditional superhero work like a run on Wonder Woman as well her own creator owned comic/children’s book/film series Scary Godmother. She has drawn everything from dying stripper gods to Romantic poets, Batman to Bart Simpson and even an all animal cast in her Eisner winning Dark Horse series Beasts of Burden with writer Evan Dorkin. She is also one of the few creators not named Neil Gaiman allowed to write The Endless in her Li’l Endless stories.
One would go on to think that after being the problematic brain child of a single writer for three years, seeing someone else take up the reigns would be exciting. It would be a chance to explore brand new territory, perhaps utilize the seventy-plus years of history and say something regarding Wonder Woman’s place as the best known female on the planet. So why is it that David and Meredith Finch’s Wonder Woman so boring?