Justice League #23.1 (DC)

JL 23.1

Rating: 2.5/5 – A rushed origin not befitting of Darkseid.

This issue from the 1st batch of “Villain Month” titles gives us the New 52 origin of the long-time and fan favorite DC Villain Darkseid.  Unfortunately after reading it, this origin makes Darkseid a bit less intriguing in the New 52.  It’s a fast paced story that actually could have benefitted from a mini-series like Thanos Rising to take their time and explore some of the ideas presented in this book, as well as Darkseid’s motivations.  This issue has ties to the Batman Superman series also written by Greg Pak, and brings us back to Darkseid’s first New 52 appearance in Justice League.

Uxas is a farmer that not only has no patience for those around him, but also no patience for the gods.  After watching the gods wipe out his farm and the town around him, he decides to take matters into his own hands and sets out for revenge.  Through some simple cunning, he ultimately turns the gods against one another and takes their power for his own.  This power turns Uxas the farmer into Darkseid, the new god.  From there we see some of those early Justice League flashbacks, as well as the motivation behind Kaiyo the trickster god, who was introduced in the Batman Superman series.

For such a fantastic villain, this origin story seemed rushed.  The transformation from Uxas to Darkseid happens in one panel, costume and all.  It’s also possible to say that this story is the birth of the New Gods.  If that’s the case, then even that deserves more time and attention.  We also only get to see Darkseid’s life before becoming a god for just a few pages, and from those limited scenes we don’t get much.  And like the story, the art feels a bit rushed as well.  Paulo Siqueira and Netho Diaz handle the art chores on this book and the pages and panels with Darkseid are powerful in its imagery, but the rest of the book seems to lack the epic scale it was trying to go for.  The art is heavy on the pencil work and could have been better served with an inker to harden the edges and bring out a bit more depth, especially to the gods.

It’s sad to see Darkseid’s New 52 origin be told in such a rush.  I am all for done-in-one or single issue stories, and I’m excited to read most of the Villain’s Month titles because of this.  Unfortunately when the story sets out to be epic in scale like this one, it felt like a ten-page recap of an origin, rather than an origin story worthy of this classic character.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – shawn@comicspectrum.com
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