‘Dark Crisis’ #1 Is A Great Example Of What A Summer Blockbuster Can Be
by Olly MacNamee
Out of tragedy comes a new hope as the young Superman attempts to resurrect the Justice League as an all-new, younger version. A legacy League. But, not everyone is happy about the young hero’s plans. Joshua Williamson and Daniel Sampere deliver a tour de force of an opening issue kicking off what promises to be a DCU crisis worth of it’s summer blockbuster credentials. A must read for any DC Comics’ fan.
Another summer and another big DC Comics’ event. Although with the various mini-series helmed by writer Joshua Williamson we’ve had exploring the new multiverse left in the wake of Dark Night: Metals it feels like more of a continuation of a longer running saga. And after such a long slog, here’s hoping this may well be the end of it. I am personally tiring of the seemingly never-ending story of the DC multiverse and its fight against the forces of darkness. But, even with my battle-fatigue I couldn’t help enjoying Dark Crisis #1. A dour title that doesn’t reflect the hope and optimism embodies by Jon Kent, aka Superman, as he tries to recruit a new, younger Justice League in the wake of the more experienced Justice League’s death.
Of course, not everyone welcomes Jon’s plans, and many of the heroes he approaches want nothing to do with this new League. Especially Black Adam. But, nonetheless he does garner enough interest to create an interesting new reiteration that I for one would love to see more of. A League that is a rather radical reinterpretation with heroes you would never think would fit in. But, who’s inclusion would make for some interesting storytelling.
However, Superman’s recruitment drive is just the start of it. We also get to catch up with Nightwing and his Titans Academy as well as the big bad of the series. And another rather interesting take on an old and familiar face. It’s certainly a big, bold and explosive start to this summer’s DC Comics’ blockbuster. A very promising start indeed.
And while the story is clearly large in scale and ambition and potentially a real game-changer for the DCU, what also makes this a series worth keeping an eye on is the art. Ofttimes big event comics encourage the creators to bring their A game to the table, and boy has this first issue done that. I have never seen Daniel Sampere’s artwork shine so brightly. His art has since last I saw it – admittedly on The Flash a few years ago – evolved to become much more polished, detailed and nuanced. A talent quickly climbing up the talent tree if this is the standard he now achieves. No better an example of this skill can be found on a dynamic, energetic double page spread nearer the back of the issue as Titan Tower is attacked at all angles by Deathstroke and his army of supervillains. With all the action directed at the tower, drawing the reader’s eye into this central target. A wonderful blend of styles that, to me, seem a beautiful blend of both Clay Mann and Jason Fabok. Although, honourable mentions must also be made of the double page spread at the start of the issue that evokes the spirit of the late, great George Perez too. The whole issue is just a delight to read.
But what really adds the shine onto this already polished style is the colours of Alejandro Sanchez who really helps add texture, depth, and shape to the art. Just look to the meeting between Jon/Superman and wonder Girl, with just the right amount of light glistening off her upper thigh to suggest an almost three-dimensional quality to it all.
So, while the whole recruitment drive trope has been done may a time before, this one is done with a sense of hope coming from a great tragedy as well as a good amount of cold water provided by the more cynical heroes of the new DCU too. An issue that lays down the gauntlet to other summer event series, and promises big things to come.
Dark Crisis #1 is out now from DC Comics