Justice League #45
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colorist: Brian Buccellato
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics
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.
Darkseid is dead. This exclamation made by the Trinity rings across space itself, and the ramifications are immediately felt on several levels. In the immediate area, we catch up with Jessica Cruz, Steve, Diana, Mister Miracle, Cyborg, and Shazam all contemplating the next step and asking, “What happens next, and how can a God die?”
Flash, who is the host of “The Black Racer” after the Anti-Monitor bonds the two, feels guilt about dealing the killing blow and wants to control death as he is dubbed the God of Death. The art team uses all the space in several panels to make full use of the page. Everything syncs from the menacingly sinister Flash and the crackling lightning to the sparks and detail in Anti-Superman when he rips apart Lex’s armor in full force. This arc so far turns the League inside out. Superman is finally reveling in his power, Batman is the most knowledgeable asshole this side of the Earth, and the rest of the JL will suffer in the grand scheme of things.
The art varies to great degrees when focusing on each set of characters. Bat-God and Hal are dipped in cooler colors while exploring the origins of the Anti-Monitor, and it strengthens the newer glow and blues that Bat-God is sporting. All of the heroes are slowly starting to unravel with threats on all fronts, and this begs the question: How far can you go before you lose yourself in the war to end them all?
Lex goes through the biggest change of them all in Justice League #45 when he meets a camp of “Forever People” believing he himself is the prophesied Superman. Shazam becomes a conduit for what seems to be all of the New Gods, and it’s here the League is thrown into complete disarray with Wonder Woman to pick up the pieces. With the sudden threat of the villains at their feet, the threat of the Anti-Monitor still looming, and several members dealing with new found Godhood…the next chapter in this event sized title can’t come quickly enough.