As you can see from the main cover of this limited series, Nightwing and Deathstroke will be living out their death match. A lot is going on this issue, and I respect the creative team as they bring it. You can tell this is a series by creators who are also fans, and now they are making it happen. In this issue, you will witness the Nightwing vs. Deathstroke fight, some insights into Pariah, and the gathering of heroes near and far.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Dark Crisis #2!
DC Comics gave us this first page as part of their preview of issue #2. I appreciate this enlightenment as to why Pariah is taking down heroes and assembling the villains. I value that Joshua Williamson has kept the character in hisvoice as I remember Pariah being a smug person and with that tie-in explanation to how his ego has led him down this path. I also have to shout out Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sanchez for doing their “after Perez” panel tribute to Crisis on Infinite Earths. I appreciate character insight, and I wonder – how much are Pariah and the Great Darkness working together?
I also enjoy the costume redesign for Pariah shown in the last issue; that take on Anti-Monitor armor helps hammer home that this is a significant crisis. I am also interested in why Pariah has three Earths on his chest logo when referencing the Infinite Earths? Great mystery pieces engross me in this series, and this is only page one so far!
The issue reads in parts focusing on Nightwing, Superman (Jon Kent), and the GLC. Let’s continue with the damage from the last issue that attacked the Titans. We last saw Deathstroke and villains attack Titans Tower and go after the newer heroes, which brings Nightwing into the conflict. He has to stand against the villains as Deathstroke notes that no one would care if he killed the more recent heroes, so it has to be Nightwing sacrificed. I feel like Deathstroke can be a voice for naysayers of DC’s newest heroes and legacies – a bit of fascinating commentary, and there’s some truth to it.
Daniel Sampere gives us quite the two-page spread for the fight. I like the bold figures in the front as they scream with rage and anger. Then the little panels around them showcase their brutal hits, both given and taken. The battle is a top-tier showdown between Nightwing and Deathstroke. Joshua Williamson doesn’t make it easy for Nightwing, as he manages to take Deathstroke down only to hear that it is round one. Nightwing is about to give in to despair and let himself be sacrificed for the good of the younger heroes when hope returns faster than a speeding bullet.
It seems like the tide will turn for the heroes, but Deathstroke accounted for this and brought his own Superman, Hank Henshaw. I enjoyed the teases of his arrival in the art before we saw him. Here is another moment where Daniel Sampere displays his action art skills with another throwdown. Both fights were intense, and I’m glad they played the way they did, as the creative team gave us the action but didn’t cheapen the characters.
We get some closure on Beast Boy, and I appreciate that Joshua Williamson didn’t drag that on. It was perfect for shocking us and showing how vile the villains can be, but we didn’t pay the total price. Black Adam happens along to call out the heroes and remind them they are not ready. I enjoyed Jon Kent calling him out about his absence and lack of standing with others. There is a foreshadowing of things to come, and watching Black Adam, his actions will be worthwhile.
The final part takes us to outer space, and fans of Kyle Rayner, get ready! We see Jo and Hal come to his rescue and conclude his arc from the latest Green Lantern series. Once they liberate Kyle, they catch him up to speed with some beautiful panels that focus on character groups. Featured in their glory, that last page of the GLC is just the right hopeful note to end things. Like they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn, so hopefully, the heroes rally together!
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