Darkseid is. Azrael– Avenging Angel of Apokolips! continues the stories connected to the oncoming war being brought on by Darkseid. This issue of Justice League Odyssey, number twenty, is written astutely by Dan Abnett with sharp art by Cliff Richards and colorist Rain Beredo. The League lose Starfire, Azrael, and Cyborg to the influence of Darkseid. During the battle Jessica Cruz finds her ring broken from absorbing omega energy. Starfire dies and GL Cruz vows to make sure she doesn’t lose any other members.
Unfortunately, Azrael is there to stand in the way of Cruz and her mission. Other characters on the JL Odyssey backlog; Blackfire, Orion, Gamma, Hax, and Dex-Starr decide to back up the plan to help Epoch with his Revision Mechanism so that they can go back in time and rewrite history so that Darkseid never existed. Cruz attempts to save the remainder of her friends while the rest of the team is trying to back-up Epoch’s plan. It would be unfortunate for the team if Darkseid was to find out about the mechanism Epoch created.
Abnett and Richards communicate well with each other. They just make sense: it’s narration reflected through art. Better still was the coloring. From the beginning to the end of the issue, each panel progresses or invokes emotion. Jessica Cruz’ emotions flow from sadness to desperation as the situations start to shift around her and her options are dwindling. While there are moments where the story slows down and feels grey in areas where details are focused on less than the main action, JLO #20 is still an overall very good read and admirably sets up the oncoming war–plus time travel. Darkseid is. 3.5/5 Bibles.
And, hey, what do you know — it was Justice League Tuesday in the Simonian household. Written by Robert Vendetti, with art by Xermanico and colors by Romulo Fajardo, Justice League #44 finds “peril in the pits of Tartarus”. With action at an Atlantean outpost under siege, Aquaman, naturally, sends out a signal for back-up from the league. The heavy hitters answer the call: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and John Stewart Green Lantern. Green Arrow is still missing.
The League finds themselves searching for Aquaman in the South Pole, when an assortment of Greek Mythological creatures greets the team. A griffin, manticor, and a Scylla attack when Aquaman is discovered. Once the creatures are made aware of Wonder Woman’s presence, they go after here and thicken the plot. The Amazons locked the creatures in a mystical realm beneath Themyscira called Tartarus. Turns out, there is a reason why the mythological creatures are acting with the direct purpose of revenge. This issue has a really awesome 2-page spread that is well worth noting. And while this issue develops a new story arc, it still pays off with a definitive ending.
Plot twist at the end aside, this issue was awesome. The interior work on this issue from Xermanico is clean and moving at the same time. There are moments within the panels where the action is static from the line work more than the scripted action itself. Fajardo’s colors work so well with the line work that the pops seem effortless. Vendetti provides excellent pacing, and the comic feels self-contained with a satisfying ending. My initial dive into this issue was fine; but, by the end of the issue, I could only leave with hot anticipation for the following arc. 4/5 Bibles.