COMIC REVIEW: Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1 | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi

Artists: Fernando Pasarin, Matt Ryan, Gabe Eltaeb, Dave Sharpe

$3.99

DC Comics

“In the wake of Darkseid’s death, several members of the Justice League have gained the power of gods – but at what cost to their humanity?” This hyperbole is the opening line of “Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1”, and it’s a pretty good way of recapping the events of the most recent Justice League arc.

To recap further, at the end of Justice League: Darkseid War, we see Shazam become the God of Gods, Flash become the God of Death (how freakin’ cool is that?!), Superman become the God of Strength, Lex Luthor become the God of Apokolips (also pretty great), and finally Batman becoming the God of Knowledge.  If you haven’t read the last five issues of Justice League, you may want to check it out to catch yourself up, because it’s pretty damn great. That’s where this book picks up – with a view of the Gotham skyline, and Batman seated comfortably in his Mobius chair.

COMIC REVIEW: Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1

Justice League – Darkseid War – Batman #1 (2015) – Page 5

That Bat Signal flashes through the sky, and in an instant, Bruce teleports himself to the GCPD rooftop. That’s a thing he can do now. This is a brief but needed encounter with Jim Gordon. This is Peter Tomasi’s first of many shining moments in this book – the paradigm shift between Bruce the friend and vigilante, to Bruce the god of the subservient. We see that the relationship between Jim and Bruce has been altered immensely, with Batman becoming much more of the antihero, bringing in criminals just for thinking about committing crimes and filling up Jim’s lockup while working his staff to death. It’s an excellent set up to the rest of the book, as Batman uses his new god powers to exact vigilante justice in a way that a godlike Batman would: like a badass.

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The bat patrols Gotham in his Promethean Hoveround, stopping a gang of would be thugs from robbing a nightclub before they’ve even hit the front door. In a gross abuse of his teleportation power, he basically snaps his fingers and transports the whole gang, and their car, to the antarctic circle to think about what they almost did. I like this scene. It creates a Batman that isn’t challenged by being the bat, a Batman that no longer fears his dark side, but controls it.

That becomes very clear on Bruce’s next adventure. In a flash of white light, Brucey boy brings himself back to the scene of his parents’ murder – a scene illustrated about a million times in any version of Batman lore. Finding that his god powers don’t allow him to actually stop his parents from dying, he does the next best thing and commands the Mobius chair to bring him to Joe Chill.

This scene is superb. The God Bat is ruthless in his psychological torture of his parents’ executioner, not only letting him know how much he would like to kill him, but revealing his true identity to Chill after Chill theatrically boasts about how he must have turned that little Wayne boy into a broken mess. Bruce, in true Bruce form, doesn’t kill Joe Chill. However, he does do much worse, whispering into the ears of sleeping inmates that Joe Chill created Batman. That should make for a lifetime of harrowing encounters in the rec yard.

COMIC REVIEW: Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1

Justice League – Darkseid War – Batman #1 (2015) – Page 19

The book closes with the revelation that perhaps Bruce isn’t an all powerful god being, leaching power off of an all knowing hover throne, but that perhaps the Mobius chair is giving him these powers in exchange for leaching off of him as a host. A poignant scene with Alfred imparting his sagely wisdom all but confirms this. Whatever the case may be, the story promises to be continued in Justice League #46, which I will be eagerly awaiting.

The “Best There Is” : Geoff Johns and Francis Manpaul take a reprieve from Justice League for this issue. At first, I was scared (I was petrified), but the creative team on this issue did some brilliant work. This Batman is darker than any Justice League Batman that I can remember in recent history. Though I loved the art style of “Justice League #45” and was craving more of it, Fernando Pasarin does a beautiful job of making these scenes pop.

The “Not Very Nice”: Though I thought this book was fantastic, I also had the benefit of being current on the most recent arc of Justice League. While they don’t make it absolutely necessary to do so, I feel that this story would fall a little flat on its own. This is the first of six one-off issues, I’m assuming with each of the “gods” getting their own book, but this one promises to be continued in the following issue of Justice League and would certainly be a much more enriched reading experience with the knowledge of the previous arc.

FBI Score: 8 out of 10: Though maybe not the best stand alone story without context, “Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1” is a great read. The idea of a god like Batman is fantastic and script and art direction were entertaining from start to finish. I would have loved to see more of a tie-in with the previous issue of Justice League, but enjoyed seeing God Bat kick some ass, nonetheless.

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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