The Justice League is dead! So how does the DC universe move on? Who is going to step up and take over? These are a couple of the most important questions for fans moving forward. Joshua Williamson plans to answer those questions with the Free Comic Book Day Dark Crisis Special Edition. Williamson is joined by Jim Chueng, Daniel Sampere, Tom Napolitano, and Jay David Ramos.
Williamson has been building up this major storyline with his run on Justice League Incarnate. The league is gone, and Williamson lays out in this preview issue who will be taking over. Wally West and Dick Grayson seem like the obvious choices and are spotlighted in this book. One thing Williamson does well in this issue is show how much of an impact the Justice League had on society. Without them, villains have been running rampant. Williamson also shows us that heroes and villains who don’t normally fight one another have to engage. The Flash battles Clayface in this issue. This is great to see because it’s something we don’t normally get as readers. Each character has their own rogues gallery, and it’s rare when they step outside of it. There is also a preview from Dark Crisis #1. This is seen through the eyes of Dick Grayson. Williamson establishes him as the spokesman for the next generation of heroes as he addresses everyone about the next step. Nightwing makes total sense and seems like a no brainier. Bruce has been training Dick for this his entire life; Williamson is just allowing things to progress as they would naturally. FCBD Dark Crisis Special Edition #0 has some important content for being a preview issue.
Chueng is the artist on the free comic book day issue, and Sampere is the artist on the Dark Crisis issue 1 preview. Chueng’s pencils look great here. Maybe I haven’t seen his work in a while, but he’s refined his style. Chueng delivers his hero panel when Wally West shows up to stop a villain. This is a half-page close-up of Wally as he prepares to take down a villain. Chueng’s linework is unmatched as static waves ooze off the Flash in this iconic image. Sampere’s work on the preview is excellent as well. He has the task of drawing every hero in the DCU as they gather for a memorial service. The best thing about this panel is that even though there are about a hundred characters on the page, the quality doesn’t dip. Both artists do a fantastic job and should get readers excited for Dark Crisis.
The colors by Jay Ramos bring Chueng’s pencils to life. As children walk the halls of the Justice League museum, we see different incarnations of the league. Ramos uses lighter colors for the older versions, and more vibrant colors the more modern we get. This is a nice touch for readers. In addition, Ramos utilizes shading well in this little issue. As our mysterious tour guide leads unsuspecting children through the museum, Ramos shades her face when she starts to act weird. This foreshadowing tool gives the reader a hint that she’s not as nice as she claims to be. Shading is also used when Wally makes his stand against the villain. Ramos uses beautiful colors for this issue and delivers some stunning visuals.
Napolitano tackles the letters for this issue. Napolitano uses textured word balloons when it comes to Clayface. The balloons feel grimy and dirty as they are spoken. As the children look at all the different versions of the Justice League, Napolitano layers the word balloons, so they don’t block any characters in the images. This delicate placement of word balloons allows the art and colors to shine.
Dark Crisis #0 is a free comic book that should interest readers on the fence about this event. Williamson uses this issue as an opportunity to showcase his ability to write many different DC characters. We start to see who the next generation of heroes will be in these little preview issues. Dark Crisis will be a tragic time in the DC universe, but Williamson shows us that our planet is in good hands. Dark Crisis #0 is available on Saturday for free comic book day!