Darkseid always has a plan.
This was out of the first week the issue I was most looking forward to, it’s Darkseid written by one of my favourite writers, Greg Pak who has been doing a fantastic job on Batman/Superman, and I hoped he would do well on the lord Apokolips as well as he is being used in his Batman/Superman run as well, and Pak said this would relate quite a lot to his Batman/Superman run, and I was interested to see how.
Uxas a mudder grubber stands in a field, and moans about the gods when they fight over them, and in the end manipulates them into fighting each other, and when they are dying he kills them, and does not stop, until he has killed all of them, and becomes Darkseid. In a dying gods final moments he turns Darkseid’s brother into Highfather, and they fight it out.
This is one of the better villain’s month issues, and it is definitely fitting for Darkseid, compared to some other issues (Joker). Pak definitely is using this issue as a way to introduce Darkseid more fully into his Batman/Supeman work, as he’s already been seen in Batman/Superman briefly, and this issue definitely has ties to that series, and Pak makes it so it doesn’t feel particularly forced at all, the connection is pretty obvious if you’ve been reading Batman/Superman. Pak does however change Darkseid’s origin, and the origin of Jack Kirby’s the Fourth world, yes I say Jack Kirby it is because it’s Kirby’s masterpiece, and even though I’ve read the first volume it’s already a personal favourite of mine, and if anything’s going to replace Kirby’s work it better be good, and Pak does an admirable job, but doesn’t completely rewrite it.
- · Cover’s nothing special, like most villain’s month covers, and the 3D’s alright, but the omega beams work well in 3D
- · As I said I love Jack Kirby’s version of the origin of the Fourth World, and while I’m not sure if all of it has been changed (as to whether New Genesis, and Apokolips were split out of the world of the olds gods), but Darkseid’s origin definitely has been changed from what he originally was (which I have only learnt via research), but enough of that as it is pretty unfair to compare anything to the work of Jack Kirby, I will though say that Pak has created a fitting origin for Darkseid that actually works very well with the character. I particularly liked this origin as it makes Darkseid origin not feel forced, as you can kind of tell where he’s coming from, and the way his orign is told is interesting, and sets a few plot lines relating to high father up as well.
- · An interesting aspect of this issue is the focus on the Old gods, and while I won’t spoil what exactly they do they definitely bring a spectacle to this issue making the book feel suitably epic in scale.
- · The origin of Darkseid basically means the Fourth world comes after right? Well yes High father is created in this issue, and while I have gripes with this in other places, I at least liked seeing him here and also Apokolips later on.
- · Kaiyo the chaos bringer fits very well into this book, and it helps tie it to Batman/Superman in a way that doesn’t feel forced at all, and it fleshes out her character quite a lot as well, even though she doesn’t really have that bigger a role in this issue when you think about it. I liked how Pak has tied this to his Batman/Superman work, but not so much that it becomes confusing to anyone who hasn’t read that series, but it definitely benefits anyone reading that series to read this issue.
- · Final part of the issue actually explains quite a lot of what Darkseid has been doing in the New 52, and why in particular he targeted Superman in the first arc of Justice League, and what he has been doing since then and what lead up to it. Pak did this very well, and even though this came quite fast, you can grasp what was said easily enough, and Pak doing this is an incredibly good decision of his, and he ties it all up pretty well.
- · Darkseid is perfectly portrayed, and even if he appears to be being played for a fool he’s not, it’s all part of his master plan, and he is a great planner. After Johns handling of Darkseid in Justice League I’m happy to see Pak knows him, and understands him.
- · The ending will make your jaw drop.
- · The art is very good for the most part, adding a lot of depth, and spectacle to the issue especially in the early parts of the issue with the old gods, and the first splash page is truly spectacular from the angle it is taken at. Paulo Siqueria, and Netho Diaz (not sure how it’s split as there styles mesh together very well, and produce some good art, and some of the images of Darkseid in this issue are very impressive, and the action is very dynamic as well.
- · The first half of this issue acts as a nice story, but the ending feels so quick, and rushed almost like more of a summary of a story rather than a proper naturally developing comic story. Pak has some truly great ideas about Darkseid, but this issue should have been double sized to flesh out the issue correctly, because Kaiyo could have got a bit more attention, as could the bit with Highfather, and the parts toward the end of the issue.
- · Art suffers a bit because the story is a bit all over the place, and I think the artist had problem putting all the ideas on to the page.
This issue is all over the place towards the end, but this issue is one of the best Darkseid stories in a while, and I think Pak is going to create a truly great story with him when he gets to it, but he simply just wanted to do too much in this issue, as loads of it feels very compressed in to a small page, but I still recommend picking this issue up as it’s still a good read.