JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE DARKSEID WAR: BATMAN #1
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin, Gabe Eltaeb
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: October 28, 2015
New Gods have been created in the wake of Darkseid’s death and a series of one-shots are being released to flesh out the story of this massive, high stakes event that is The Darkseid War.
The first issue focuses on Batman, the new God of Knowledge, seated upon the Mobius Chair. He seeks to use his vast knowledge to finally defeat crime in Gotham and revisit points in his past. I will admit that the vast amount of this story seemed rather irrelevant to me, with the journey into Batman’s past taking up the majority of the issue and appearing to be inconsequential to The Darkseid War as a whole. Spoiler here, Tomasi takes readers (and Bruce) back to the moment when his parents are murdered (a moment that has been mined for all the emotional gold it could contain a fair while ago) and then into a long interaction with Joe Chill that, in the larger scheme of The Darkseid War and the conclusion of this issue, feels completely like filler. I felt little emotional connection to Batman during this exchange, as he’s now an even colder personality as the God of Knowledge, and the longer this part of the story went the more I tuned out from the issue as a whole.
Batman’s exchanges with Gordon, which are far more brief compared to the Chill storyline, are well written and entertaining. They highlight the complication of having an all-knowing God of Knowledge actively altering the world due to his precognition and I would have much preferred to have read an issue that dealt more with the after effects of Bruce’s actions as the God of Knowledge than another trip down memory lane that added little to nothing to the over-arching event. Even though the pages with Gordon are written well, save for the final page I felt like this entire issue did not build or enrich the events in Justice League at all. As of this moment, I feel like I could have skipped this issue entirely and not missed any details that would be all that relevant in the ongoing events of this epic and that is a missed opportunity for a one shot featuring Batman as the God of Knowledge.
The artwork, by Fernando Pasarin, has moments of being spectacular to the point of almost saving the story. He captures the arrogance of Bruce in the chair well, as well as the fatigue the chair is inflicting upon the Dark Knight. The final page is striking and, if you are interested in seeing more of Bruce in the chair in any capacity, his artwork will not disappoint you in this issue. The opening pages had me locked in with their exceptional detail and the last one had me wanting the next issue of Justice League very badly. The colour work by Gabe Eltaeb was my favourite part of the Chill storyline of the issue, as Eltaeb uses some interesting colour work to highlight what Batman is capable of while sitting in that chair. His work really shows what the God of Knowledge can do very nicely, as some aspects of Bruce’s new power are not immediately obvious.
Overall, I found this issue to be a mixed bag. The storyline spent a long time lingering in areas that didn’t intrigue me much at all, nor did it have any kind of massive impact like what we’ve been witnessing in Justice League. There were aspects of the story that entertained me and the artwork is solid throughout, but I can’t shake the feeling that this comic felt like a missed opportunity and an unnecessary tie-in to a mega event that had been flawless thus far.
The Verdict: 6.5/10