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Justice League #40 Review: Here Comes The 'Darkseid War'

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Are you enjoying Convergence? It's a fun, eight-part series that brings back heroes from long-gone eras, like Crisis On Infinite Earths and pre-Flashpoint, for what looks to be one last adventure. But its effects on the current, mainstream (New 52) continuity have yet to be felt. Assuming there are any; so far it seems to be happening well outside of New 52 affairs.

If you have an itch for an event that will affect the current DC Universe that needs scratching, fear not. DC has a second event series happening this year, and it kicks off next month in the pages of Justice League.

It's a story arc called "Darkseid War," and it's something writer Geoff Johns has been building toward for years. Before the war begins, Johns sets up the action with Justice League #40, a "Darkseid War" prologue.

Despite the Justice League title on the cover, be warned that not one member of the League shows up in this issue. It's instead a brief history of the multiverse, as told by Metron of the New Gods.

All of the past Crises are name-dropped, and even Convergence gets a mention, but all of these are waved off as insignificant compared to what's to come.

The problem, according to Metron, is that with the multiverse being destroyed and reborn over and over again, the whole of reality is destabilizing. Metron has foreseen yet another death-and-rebirth yet to come, and he believes that this time the universe won't be able to survive. So he seeks out an old comrade to try and stop the war before it stops.

Issue #40 ties in with the recent "Forever Evil" story arc involving Earth-3 to create a scenario where Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor will go to war. And it's important to note that unlike other beings across the multiverse for which there are numerous incarnations, there are only one of each of these two characters (as well as all of the New Gods). They have no multiverse counterparts; they exist outside of it, above it.

Very little actually happens in the issue, but there are a couple of revelations that will have longtime DC fans' minds reeling. Most importantly, the origins and true identity of the Anti-Monitor are finally starting to be revealed. In the past, the Anti-Monitor has been portrayed as a kind of force-of-nature (rather like Marvel's Galactus), but in "Darkseid War," he's being given an actual personality and motivations. That's something we're eager to see play out.

Joining Johns on the issue are a battalion of artist superstars including Jim Lee, Phil Jimenez, Dan Jurgens and more. Yet remarkably, the comic never feels disjointed, visually. It flows consistently from one page to the next, and that's no small feat. Better still, the art is grand and epic, a real feast for the eyes.

It's an essential piece of the "Darkseid War" puzzle if you're planning to follow along — and we certainly are. But readers hoping for their monthly dose of Justice League action won't find it here.

Story

★★☆☆☆

Art

★★★★★

Overall

★★★☆☆

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